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The Northwest Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC) is offering data analytics courses for individuals and businesses.

The organization’s Data Bootcamp is for individuals wanting to prepare for a job in the high-demand data analytics field, and its Data Workshop is for businesses wanting to learn how to utilize data.

The Data Bootcamp will begin Jan. 19 and the workshop will begin in February.

Participants in the 24-week Data Bootcamp will learn skills necessary to be a valuable asset to a company without spending the time and money on a bachelor’s degree.

Data analysts translate business data into information that can be used to make predictions about the future, determine prices of products and make executive decisions.

Upon completion of the course, students will earn a certificate and qualify for a data analyst job, said Diane Kamionka, executive director of the NWIRC.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 20% growth in data analyst jobs between 2018 and 2028.

“There’s a huge demand for data analysts right now,” Kamionka said.

The course will be taught by a group of data professionals including Nella Ludlow, a professor of data analytics and artificial intelligence, and a successful entrepreneur and data analyst.

Data analysts usually need a bachelor’s degree. The Data Bootcamp aims to add workers to the high-demand field in a shorter amount of time, Kamionka said.

The NWIRC hopes to make data analytics careers accessible to those of all backgrounds, Kamionka said.

The course is on the Washington State Eligible Training Provider List, which means participants can apply to receive government aid for the cost of the $8,500 course.

Kamionka said those interested in government aid should reach out to WorkSource by emailing Info@NWC-connect.org or stopping by the office at 2005 E. College Way in Mount Vernon.

The NWIRC partnered with the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) on the Data Workshop for businesses.

EDASC spread the word about the workshop to small businesses in Skagit County, EDASC Communications Manager Aaron Weinberg said.

“We’re really engrained into the business community here,” he said.

The Data Workshop is a crash course designed to help small businesses utilize data to improve their businesses.

Amelia Cook, owner of Goodwinds Composities in Mount Vernon, participated in the Data Workshop pilot program.

Cook kept track of the products her customers were ordering, and the ones they were asking for and searching for on her company’s website. She used the information to grow her business into the composite manufacturer it is today.

Cook was invited to attend the workshop pilot program by EDASC. She said she learned how to use data to answer questions she has about her business.

Kamionka said that the Data Bootcamp will be run parallel to the Data Workshop in order to provide potential job opportunities for students in the bootcamp at businesses taking part in the workshop.

To apply for either the bootcamp or workshop, visit nwirc.com.

Reporter Maddie Smith 360-416-2139, msmith@skagitpublishing.com

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