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Maven News

2020 Year-in-Review

4 min readView all articles
By Chris Dutton
Nov 30, 2020

What. A. Year.

No matter how you look at it, 2020 will be one to remember.

While many industries were decimated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, others were thrust into the spotlight as daily behaviors -- including the way we teach, learn and communicate -- were forced to change virtually overnight.

At Maven, we’re fortunate to play in the EdTech and E-Learning space. As schools close their doors and employers struggle to keep employees active and engaged while working remotely, the need for high-quality remote learning has never felt so critical.

Finding ourselves in the right place at the right time, we've spent most of 2020 investing heavily in accelerating our growth -- expanding our team, building new products, creating new content, and refining our mission.

Let's review some highlights...

✓ Assembled a world-class team

We'll start with a shout-out to the people who make it all happen.

We kicked off 2020 on a mission to fill a few critical roles, and ended up more than tripling the size of our full-time crew by the end of the year.

In Q1 we landed two huge wins, bringing on John Pauler and Aaron Parry to round out the leadership team. John drives our growth & content strategy and serves as our Lead SQL instructor, while Aaron heads up our Student Success team and Power BI & DAX courses.

We also doubled our instructor team, hiring local Tableau legend Dustin Cabral, data science expert Josh MacCarty, and certified Excel badass Enrique Ruiz. After working with Enrique on several adaptations for the Spanish market, we convinced (lured?) him to come on board full-time to teach Maven's first ever certification prep course: Microsoft MO-201: Excel Expert.

Last but not least, we hired a full time web developer, bolstered our UI/UX and marketing teams, began assembling a board of advisors, and recruited a global team of teaching assistants to help support our students around the clock.

Long story short, we added rockstar talent to support critical roles, positioning ourselves well to make major waves in 2021 (more on that later!).

✓ Launched a one-of-kind learning platform

From day one, we’ve challenged ourselves to build the best online learning experience on the planet.

While we aren’t there quite yet, 2020 was an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is and see how the Maven platform performs "in the wild".

After nearly a year of planning and development, we officially released v1.0 of our subscription platform to the public in Q1. By June we welcomed our 100th student, and by the end of the year we're forecasted to surpass 500. More importantly, initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and our growth rate has steadily increased as we continue to learn, iterate and evolve.

In September we released our highly anticipated Team Training and Enterprise products, incorporating unique tools to assign courses, set deadlines, and track real-time progress.

This was designed to solve many of the headaches typically associated with corporate training (low engagement, limited accountability, high cost, etc), and is something we’re excited to continue developing in 2021.

B2B Demo Screenshot

Outside of the core learning platform, we launched a number of resources aimed at the broader analytics & business intelligence community, including our Maven Blog and the fan-favorite Data Playground; a collection of free data sets and analytics challenges curated by the Maven team.

Data Playground Screenshot

Last but not least, we introduced the world to our Guided Learning model, the unique philosophy and approach we bring to online learning. Without giving too much away, this will be a MAJOR theme you can expect to see more of in 2021.

✓ Expanded our content library

Content is the heart and soul of our business, and it’s where we thrive.

In 2020 we launched two brand new learning paths (MySQL Specialist and Tableau Specialist), expanded our flagship BI Analyst path, and released six new project-based courses, including:

  • MySQL Database Administration
  • Tableau Desktop
  • Advanced DAX for Power BI
  • Advanced Tableau Desktop
  • Excel MO-201 Exam Prep
  • Machine Learning for BI (Part 1)

While skills-focused training remained a priority in 2020, we invested in other types of content as well, including weekly blog posts aimed at aspiring data professionals (career guidance, interview prep, networking, resume tips, etc), new datasets and monthly contests, and upcoming courses designed to help students prepare for successful analytics careers.

✓ Drove real-world results

Our mission at Maven Analytics is to empower everyday people to change the world with data, and 2020 provided us with plenty of evidence that we’re on the right track.

Take Chris Mengel for example, who used Maven courses to build the skills he needed to land his dream role as a BI Developer. Or Stacey Thienel, who took our MO-201 prep course, aced her exam, and earned a coveted Microsoft Certified Expert credential.

Then there's Matt Brooks, Justin Grabowski, and Kelli Harrington -- all former Maven students who successfully transitioned into brand new careers in business intelligence.

Stories like these remind us just how much we love what we do, and inspire us to keep pushing ahead, relentlessly, to deliver the best student experience we possibly can.


As proud as we are of the work we’ve done in 2020, one thing is for certain:


Our 2021 roadmap is extensive and ambitious, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are a few things you can expect to see from us this year:

  • Brand new courses, paths & instructors
  • More data sets & challenges
  • Game-changing platform features
  • Unique learning tools & resources
  • New badges & credentials

And of course some ultra top-secret stuff we can’t share just yet :)

Happy learning, and cheers to another great year in 2021!


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Chris Dutton

Chris is an EdTech entrepreneur and best-selling Data Analytics instructor. As Founder and Chief Product Officer at Maven Analytics, his work has been featured by USA Today, Business Insider, Entrepreneur and the New York Times, reaching more than 1,000,000 students around the world.

Chris is an EdTech entrepreneur and best-selling Data Analytics instructor. As Founder and Chief Product Officer at Maven Analytics, his work has been featured by USA Today, Business Insider, Entrepreneur and the New York Times, reaching more than 1,000,000 students around the world.

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