February 4, 2014 by Luke Mason
Our announcement about the Emsi Certification Program led to some questions from our users, questions like “What is Emsi Certification?” and “Is it the same as Analyst training?” As we get ready to launch Emsi Certification, there’s an important distinction to be made between certification and the everyday training we’ve always provided to Analyst subscribers — one that will help explain what the certification program is for.
Over the years, as we’ve worked with our clients, we’ve realized that using Analyst well involves two distinct learning curves. On the one hand, Analyst requires a good understanding of what the data is: how it’s gathered, what it all means, and how Emsi delivers it. On the other, you also have to understand Analyst itself: how it’s laid out, what it can and can’t do, and how to navigate it to run the reports you need.
The second learning curve is covered, and covered well, by our everyday training. But training hasn’t always dealt thoroughly with the first curve — understanding what the data itself is. Certification is all about gaining a deeper understanding of the data and methodology we use in Analyst. It’s for those who want to dig deeper into the sources and our unique processes. The program is designed to explain what data Emsi produces and how we make it. The end goal is to turn our users into experts on Emsi data so they can use that data to answer important questions, and feel comfortable defending it.
Training starts with the onboarding process, where we set up users and get to know the group who will be using Analyst. After that we provide the initial training that gives a high-level view of our data, and spends the majority of the time on learning how to use Analyst itself. From there, more trainings are available for those who want to learn specific workflows within the tool. The content that we cover in certification is given about 10 minutes in the initial training.
While it isn’t the focus, Emsi Certification will include some hands-on training and testing using Analyst. Once the concepts are explained we want you to understand how to apply that knowledge to getting good data to make good decisions. One example of this is found in the section on industry data. In that module we’ll present some ways of identifying driver industries for a region, explain the measurements being used, and end with producing that driver industry report in Analyst.
The bottom line: Training is not being replaced by certification. Our customer service team will continue to deliver excellent onboarding training as well as custom help to all of our clients. We also plan to provide more trainings on a regular schedule, with specific groups in mind. Look for sessions geared towards higher education, workforce boards, and economic development in the near future.
Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.