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Online Learning

What to Look For in a Data Analyst Learning Platform

6 min readView all articles
By Jason Russo
Aug 4, 2020

There are so many online training platforms and options out there to choose from.

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what training solution is right for you. Some platforms sell single courses for as little as $10 while some other platforms charge over $15,000 for 3 month intensive bootcamps. And there are many other solutions in between.

Your time and money are valuable, so it is important to do your research and make a choice that will set you up for success.

We talked with hundreds of students that have tried many different platforms about what they struggled with when making a decision. We’ll share their insights and some key criteria to help you make the best choice for you.

During our research the most common problems we heard people run into with learning platforms are:


“There are too many options on some platforms with hundreds of courses available on the same topic from multiple instructors all with different teaching styles and levels of quality.”

Many platforms feel the approach of having hundreds or even thousands of courses is the best way to help students. The reality is that platforms that take the “hundreds of courses available” approach often-times have a lower bar for quality and ultimately value quantity of courses over quality of courses. More courses does not mean it’s a better solution. At Maven we take the opposite approach, by only offering the highest quality and relevant courses so that you don’t have to sort through and weed out the good from the bad. If it’s on Maven, it’s top notch and worth your time.


“The hardest part is figuring out what courses are right for me and in what order I should take them.”

We hear horror stories from students who have used other platforms and tried 5 or more courses before they found the right one for them which wasted so much of their time and money. On the other hand Maven’s students love the way our platform guides them to a learning path with the courses that are right for them.


“I don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for a boot camp, but I need high-quality training to get the skills I need to land my dream job.”

There is no doubt that a boot camp is a powerful method of training and access to a new career, but what if you could gain similar benefits for hundreds of dollars? That’s what we have built Maven to do...give you access to potentially life-changing training benefits for $29 a month instead of thousands. All you have to do is establish your goal, get started and stay on track. When you get stuck our instructors are there to help and coach you along your way.

With that feedback and other considerations in mind, here are some important things to factor into your decision when you are selecting a training platform:

  • Coaching and guidance: Are you getting just access to courses, or are you getting access to guidance on what courses are best for you and expert support when you need help with part of the training. One of the most valuable items for a student is getting advice from real industry experts. As a student you don’t always know what you need to learn, especially if you are just starting out. Make sure the training platform provides learning paths designed by experts in the industry so that you learn the skills you need to be successful in the job you want to get. Also make sure you can communicate with the instructors of the courses to ask questions and get support as you are taking the courses.

  • Quality: Unfortunately, there are a lot of poor-quality training options for sale in the market. Pay attention to reviews and ratings from other students. Obviously all students are different, but ratings and reviews are typically a good indicator of quality. Is the platform using a project-based teaching approach that uses real world case examples designed to get you job-ready? Look for student testimonials and success stories from people just like you as an indication that the platform can get you to where you want to go. I’ll share some success stories from Maven students in an upcoming post.

  • Is it right for your current skill level: Make sure that the training solution has a way to help you determine if the training is too easy or too hard for your current level of knowledge. Look for difficulty ratings on the courses, read student reviews and course feedback. Ideally the training solution will have a way to measure your current skill level through a skills assessment and then recommend the best courses for you to take and in what order.

  • Cost: Look deeper than just whether or not you can afford it. Make your decision based on whether or not the cost opens the benefit to really improve your career and livelihood. With online education platforms being so varied in content and features make sure you are getting something that is worth the money. Look to see if the platform offers a Free Trial or a Free Preview which can be the best way for you to try the platform before you commit to paying for it. Oftentimes, platforms will also provide discounts for choosing a yearly price rather than monthly price or they provide a bundle discount on multiple courses compared to the individual course price. Simply put, the best platforms will let you see how good they are before you buy because they know you will experience the value you are getting as you explore the training product.

  • Time: Your time is valuable and there is only so much of it to go around. Some platforms are self-paced which allow you to learn at your own speed. This can be great for you if you are looking to learn part time or on your own schedule. Other platforms will have structured learning times and schedules ranging from part time to full time. Only you know what will be best for you, so choose wisely. You should also be able see how many hours each course or learning path will take to complete. It is fairly standard for platforms to include course durations in their descriptions. This is an important time to remember there is no magic way to learn a lot of information instantly, but there are more effective ways to learn than others. Pay attention to reviews and be cautious of courses or platforms that promise you will become an expert in a matter of days.

Becoming a job ready Data Analyst can be done in weeks or months, but not overnight.

  • Certificates and Accreditation: You worked hard and completed your training, you should get something meaningful that indicates your successful completion. Many platforms issue a completion certificate, but look for platforms that provide third-party completion credentials. These can be in the form of digital badges that are verified by a third-party to recognize that you completed the training and now have specific industry skills. Oftentimes these badges or credentials can be shared on your social media and networking profiles to promote your accomplishments. Some platforms are accredited by various organizations for continuing education, certification or college credit.

Everybody’s goals and abilities are different, but we are here to help you make the best choice for your career. We believe that Maven Analytics is the best training platform for the money and hope that you take us up on our Free Preview accounts (no credit card needed to get started) or reach out to one of our experts for help figuring out what’s the best way for you to get to where you want to go.

Happy learning!

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Jason Russo

Jason has 20+ years of experience leading successful teams, and has delivered results for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Jason founded and bootstrapped his previous company to a successful acquisition before joining Maven in 2019 to help lead the next phase of growth.

Jason has 20+ years of experience leading successful teams, and has delivered results for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Jason founded and bootstrapped his previous company to a successful acquisition before joining Maven in 2019 to help lead the next phase of growth.

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