Instructor Spotlight: Ryan Teaches The Complexities of Data Analytics in Chicago


Ryan Snedden
Ryan Snedden brings 18 years of data and analytics experience as an instructor for our part-time Data Analytics course and his current role as Sr. Manager at Walgreens. Prior to Walgreens, he worked at Crate & Barrel for 7 years as the Marketing Modeling Manager. His career has been dedicated to organizing, building, analyzing and providing actionable insights on some of the largest datasets available in the retail industry. He received his MS in Computer Science from DePaul University with an emphasis in Database Systems and Data Analytics and a BBA from The University of Iowa with an emphasis in Marketing.

What led you to a career in Data and Advanced Analytics?

In some ways, Data and Advanced Analytics found me. When I first started my career there wasn’t really a profession called data analytics. I got very lucky and started with a company that collected grocery scan data for almost 3,000 grocery stores every day. There was a huge volume of data for the time and a need to provide insights to retailers and manufacturers. I got the opportunity to start to pull and analyze these large volumes of data and the rest was history. The questions and challenges continued to increase and I moved along with the changing environment.

What is your favorite thing about working in Data Analytics?

My favorite thing about Data Analytics is problem-solving and being able to take large volumes of data and distil them down to insights to inform business strategy.

Why do you think there is such a growing demand for Data Analysis and Data Science skills?

Because companies are beginning to realize that strategy informed by data and insights is more valuable and actionable. In addition, the volume of data is growing exponentially.

What made you decide you’d like to teach this topic?

There have been very few formal classes dedicated to Analytics, I felt there was a need and this was an opportunity for me to share my knowledge.

How do the major topics of the Data Analytics Course relate to your industry?

I think all of the topics are very relevant. Excel, SQL, Powerpoint, and Tableau are tools and skills I use every day.

What is your favorite thing about teaching others analytics?

The feeling of empowerment that the student get when they learn something difficult like SQL.

What advice would you give to someone considering the Data Analytics Course?

Don’t be intimidated by the technical parts of the course, they can be learned and will be very empowering if you want to pursue a career in Analytics.

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