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FAQ


Q: What is Data University?
A:
Data University offers direct and database marketing information, training and access to consulting through Data University faculty members. It focuses on how to leverage all types of data, both internal and external, for customer acquisition, cultivation, retention and reactivation.

Data University delivers on-site training, on-line continuing education, and on-target follow-up consulting when necessary, to help clients attain their marketing objectives. Data University delivers “data information, available anywhere” through high-quality training by database marketing thought leaders, who teach on-site, or provide instant training on-line, or both. The training comes to clients at their locations, at their convenience, and at their speed.

From the “Direct Marketing 101” fundamentals to the most advanced aspects of statistical analysis, Data University delivers actionable knowledge and proven strategies and tactics straight to its clients.

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Q: Where is Data University?
A:
Data University is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. However, it is located wherever clients want to learn more about transforming data into increased revenues and decreased costs. Data University provides on-site training at client locations, and on-line at the desktop – “at your fingertips,” 24/7, wherever there is a browser connected to the Internet.

Clients never have to go anywhere – whether they use the customized on-site training, or subscribe to the on-line interactive classroom training, or both. There is no longer any need to travel to seminars at great expense to become expert in direct and database marketing. Clients can participate in advanced training at their place of business, with the added advantage of “total recall via their computer screens.”

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Q: How is it structured?
A:
Data University is structured around three business information resources, packaged for the convenience of its clients:

  • First, it is a training organization that sends specialists to corporate locations to analyze available marketing data, in order to develop customized on-site training focused on transforming this data into increased sales and decreased costs.
  • Second, Data University is a distance learning organization that produces and compiles Web-based, on-line direct and database marketing training modules. Any and all aspects of the business can be addressed, from fundamentals to advanced marketing strategy and tactics. Both the vendor and client sides of the equation are spanned. Combining the on-site and on-line resources enables clients to get vital marketing training, both “live and later,” at their convenience.
  • Third, Data University is a think tank of “in-the-trenches” direct and database marketing professionals and leaders, comprising some of the best minds across multiple industries. All faculty members and executives are available to consult, analyze and recommend on-target courses of action to transform data into increased revenues and decreased costs. These individuals live and work throughout the continental United States, with the ability to deliver actionable knowledge anywhere there is a browser connected to the Internet.


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Q: Who is behind Data University?
A:
Two well-known direct and database marketers are behind Data University.  Combined, they have more than 40 years of hands-on experience. They have analyzed the strategies and tactics required for successful direct and database marketing, and realized that there is a skills gap among many of the professionals charged with making these programs work. They perceived an urgent need for training in how to leverage data for successful target marketing campaigns. They are independent business people by profession, and not teachers. However, they are outstanding platform instructors, with experience serving over 100 past and current clients across multiple major industries.


Mark Graham is a former Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association Research Council. He began his database marketing career in 1985 at Metromail and has held key positions at Equifax, Epsilon and Acxiom before launching Bandera Consulting, which ultimately was purchased by Consortia. Mark is the President and co-Founder of Data University. He most recently was the SVP and Chief Knowledge Officer for Yankelovich. He is a frequent author and speaker and his experience includes strategic and tactical program development for many Fortune 100 companies in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, public utilities and pharmaceuticals.


Jim Wheaton
is a Co-Founder and Principal at Wheaton Group (www.wheatongroup.com), a Chicago-based data management, data mining and decision sciences practice. The firm also offers full list processing capabilities, desktop access and campaign management software through its Daystar Wheaton Group, LLC joint venture. Jim has been a database marketing professional since 1981, with positions ranging from building and managing a leading data mining and strategic consulting practice, to profit and loss responsibility for several major direct marketing product lines. He has authored over 160 industry articles and speeches, is former Chairman of The DMA Analytics Council.


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Q: Why was Data University created?
A:
The founders confirmed that there is a need in most data-driven industries to better understand and leverage that data to increase revenues and decrease costs. There are many significant gaps. Most schools do not teach practical direct and database marketing. Instead, this expertise is almost always gained by years of practical, hard-earned experience.

The goal of Data University is to educate direct and database marketers with various levels of experience, from beginners through experts. As a result, data apprentices will grow into data masters. This is an exploding audience because every company with an ecommerce site is now a de facto direct marketer. Seasoned direct and database marketers who can effectively transfer their knowledge are in short supply. However, Data University has identified and engaged over 30 of them to serve on the faculty.

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Q: What is its purpose?
A:
Data University is engaging clients, enhancing knowledge, enabling practitioners, and empowering marketers who must use data successfully to positively impact their bottom lines. It provides a forum that addresses the broad spectrum of data – internal, external, survey, and all others – that can be used to identify potential customers, contact them efficiently, track their buying patterns and preferences, and increase their lifetime value.  The purpose is to drive the knowledge necessary in a highly competitive marketplace to decrease the cost of acquiring and retaining customers.

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Q: What's the compelling "big idea?"
A:
The concept of a traditional university is the foundation of Data University. It is important for there to be a vast repository of direct and database marketing knowledge that is available to practitioners who either need fundamental facts and skills improvements or comprehensive training in DM specialties such as advanced analytics. Traditional direct and database marketing expertise and up-to-the-minute practical data knowledge has been combined with, and made instantly available through, today’s cutting-edge, multi-channel communications technologies.

There are now two ways in which data users can receive instruction.  Besides the traditional classroom setting, the on-line channel is a convenient way for students to review course content anytime, anywhere, and at their own speed and convenience. That is the Data University concept in a nutshell.

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Q: Is there anything really new here?
A:
Yes. Data University is bringing direct and database marketing industry experts to its clients’ locations, and to the desktop via streaming media and step-by-step instruction with visual support and interactive participation. Customized assessment is new to this process.  Each module is fundamental, but tailored to each client’s needs.  Instructors also measure and report results with case studies to ensure that the actionable knowledge is fully transferred and absorbed.  Further, instructors confirm that participants understand the concepts and best practices well enough to drive significant increases in revenues and reductions in costs.  We believe that the breadth of faculty experience will result in Data University’s becoming the international leader in database marketing instruction.

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Q: What makes Data University unique?
A:
The founders’ research indicates that no other educational or professional organization can bring years of experience both on-site and on-line at the desktop, via the vast experience of the successful practitioners who serve on the faculty.  Furthermore, there are excellent data practitioners throughout the industry, and there are excellent presenters.  However, Data University uniquely offers excellent data professionals who also posses excellent presentation skills.  The resulting instruction is practical and intensive.  It is also preserved on-line for  instant access anywhere in the world, 24/7.

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Q: Who teaches at Data University? What qualifies them to teach?
A:
To date, Data University has enlisted over 110 senior-level database marketing experts as faculty, trainers and consultants.  These are the most successful, best-in-class database marketers in the world, who drive sales for some of the most successful marketing organizations.  Their track records provide their qualifications and credentials

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Q: What does Data University teach?
A:
Through customized on-site seminars and an on-line repository of practical instruction, Data University focuses on all areas of data-driven marketing.  It provides in-depth guidance on critical topics such as data acquisition and compilation, data processing, strategic analytics, and cross-selling, retention and program development.  The emphasis is on the real-world practical application of data knowledge to increase sales and cut costs.  Data University teaches marketers how to optimally integrate and leverage all available sources of data, including internal and external, to achieve their marketing objectives.  For example, the following customized modules were developed for a large marketing services client:

  • Basic direct and database marketing terms and math;
  • Dynamics of direct and database marketing;
  • Working with list vendors, brokers and service bureaus;
  • Testing and experimental design for database marketers;
  • Actionable lifetime value analysis;
  • Predictive modeling and data mining for non-statisticians;
  • Using overlay data in descriptive & predictive analysis;
  • Integrating focus group and survey research into data-driven marketing;
  • Database marketing: integrating multiple analytical techniques;
  • Optimizing data in the development and construction of creative and copy.


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Q: Who should attend Data University?
A:
Anyone who uses database marketing, and who wants to become expert in optimally leveraging and integrating all available information sources to drive increases in revenue and decreases in costs.  There are two types of clients.  The first is those who have been chosen and funded by their companies, and who want to expend their command of data-driven marketing.  The second is individuals from any industry who subscribe individually to the on-line database marketing instruction and library of resources.

The audience is exploding.  Every company with an ecommerce site and even a rudimentary mailing program is now a de facto direct marketer in a highly competitive, technology-driven environment. The information explosion, fueled by the Internet, has changed the dynamic from “only the strong survive” to “only the smart succeed.”  Anyone who wants to market smarter should attend Data University.

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Q: How do participants enroll?
A:
Through their corporate sponsors, or individually, on-line at www.datauniversity.com

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Q: What can clients expect to learn?
A:
Clients will learn how to utilize data creatively and efficiently to drive their target marketing programs, with real-time instruction from experienced, in-the-trenches direct and database marketing professionals who have their hands in the business and their fingers on the pulse of data-driven marketing.

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Q: Can I get the courses Data University offers anywhere else?
A:
Similar subject matter is available in expensive seminars and in textbooks and business manuals.  Colleges and universities, private and public educational groups, and a number of consulting companies teach several different aspects of database marketing.  However, Data University is far more than just courses of instruction.  Our research indicates that Data University is the only resource that offers industry experts on-site and on-line, sharing their professional experiences, in-the-trenches tactics, and step-by-step instruction; all tailored to the specific needs of each individual client.

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Q: How does Data University replace what's already available?
A:
Data University provides significant advantages over other available resources.  It offers customization, multiple delivery channels, breadth of subject matter, depth of instruction, total integration, on-line 24/7 access, and a cost-per-participant that generally is a fraction of tuition and travel for out-of-town seminars.  And, the knowledge that is transferred is immediately actionable

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Q: Is the instruction generic or customized for each client company?
A:
There are themes and base content that provide the foundation for all instruction.  However, each set of on-site modules is customized to meet the client’s most pressing practical needs. Every client has the advantage of Data University’s on-line repository of direct and database marketing instruction. However, they also have the option of requesting the development of a customized on-line repository for availability across the enterprise, derived and edited from customized modules that have been delivered on-site by Data University instructors.

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Q: How long does each module take to complete?
A:
Each customized on-site module represents eight hours of classroom time. Live and recorded on-line modules are 35 - 60 minutes each.

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Q: Are the modules sequential, or can students choose the area that interests them most?
A:
Modules are not sequential. However, they are analyzed by college theme. For example, one module explores CRM activities while another communicates Research and Analytical applications. The other college focus include: Core Competencies, Information Processing, Marketing Communications and Privacy. Clients can focus on the areas that drive business for them.

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Q: Can established Universities and business schools also tap into the real-world of database marketing through Data University to enhance their undergraduate and graduate curriculum?
A:
Our Principals routinely lecture in institutions of higher learning, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Currently, Data University is working with a major university on a prototype course of instruction that connects college students with real-world, in-the-trenches database marketers via live Webinars and through access to our repository of instruction and resource library.

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Q: Do students receive any form of certification upon completion of training?
A:
At this time the information is not certified. However, viewing programs designed by our advisory board assists organizations educate their associates.

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