The Data Product Seminar

Are you a data strategist, analytics leader or data scientist who is tired of building solutions customers don’t use?

Is low engagement preventing your data initiative from generating its full potential business value?

  • Are you concerned that your customers won’t trust your predictive model or insights?
  • Are you sick of hearing customers say, “So what? What do I do next?" when they see your solutions?
  • Do you want to avoid becoming one of the ~85% of AI, data, and analytics projects that fail to deliver value or make it into production?
  • Are you worried about how to present your insights in an engaging way?
  • Do you lack confidence when it comes to designing simple solutions, potentially when there may be multiple types of users with different needs?
  • Are you afraid of incurring significant technical debt and cost if you build the wrong solution?
  • Do your business leaders come to you with inflated expectations around ML/AI, but no clear business problem to work on?
  • Are you concerned the business may not adopt the model, especially if it delivers surprising results?

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."

–Peter Drucker

Is there a helpful solution? Yes.
Is it another new technology? Nope.

Your company has probably invested significant in data and technology already. However, more tech won't address the people and organizational problems that can impede adoption of data-driven solutions and products.

When it comes to designing useful, usable, indispensable decision support solutions, the last mile–where humans decide (or not!) to use your solution–is critical if you want your work to matter. You’ve probably got some serious math, statistics, and technical background, but to many business people and end users, analytics, AI, ML, and tech jargon is a foreign language. They want clear answers and simple experiences that make sense.

In this course, we connect these dots so your data products are designed from your human stakeholders' perspectives. What if you could:

  • Identify the real—and often unspoken—needs, desires, and whys that determine what customers really need from you
  • Turn vague “AI” requests into clear problems you can address
  • Get everyone involved in designing your solution to agree on what a good solution looks like before tons of effort goes into building it
  • Find out early, before you have invested too much into your initiative, whether customers will like and use your new predictive model or solution
  • Navigate around or through the organizational impediments that might keep an otherwise great analytics or data science solution from getting incorporated into production?
  • Lead a cross-department design jams (ideation sessions) to generate possible UI/UX solutions before any code is written
  • Learn to rapidly sketch, evaluate, and iterate on a low-fidelity design and get customer validation before too much data engineering or technical effort is invested
  • Apply the same tools that product managers and designers at software companies use to create indispensable products and services built on data
  • Learn to create better designs, not just how to do “design thinking”
  • Switch from project to product-centered in your approach (not the same!)

My training program—The Data Product Seminar— will give you the business, design, and product management skills it takes to build data science and analytics solutions people will use.

Who's this seminar for?

If you're leading the creation of a data science solution, data product, or decision support application, and you have responsibility to deliver business or customer value from it, then this course can help. Students may be:

  • Data scientists, analytics leaders, or analytics translators
  • Software product managers in charge of decision support, analytics, IOT, or monitoring products
  • Consultants and services firms providing data science and analytics solutions

Why offer this seminar now?

Tons of money continues to be thrown at analytics, data science, and AI, with an extremely high failure rate. The last mile is the place where solutions get deployed and human engagement determines whether the technology created any value. You can leave it to chance and hope that people will engage with your solution, or you can learn to intentionally design data and analytics solutions to be usable and useful in the last mile. Additionally, having a "data product" mindset, where your solution is approached as either a standalone information product or an enhancement to an existing product, requires a different approach.

If you aren't convinced, look at Gartner's 2019 definition of the Chief Data Officer v4.0. The focus now? It's all about products. "Fundamental to the role definition are its vision and objectives, goals, and scope and metrics — specifically, the metrics for transitioning toward a customer-centric approach for innovation." This seminar is all about teaching a repeatable process for data product innovation, centered around the linchpin: the people who are your customers and users.

This fourth version of the CDO is focused on products, and on managing profit and loss instead of just being responsible for driving D&A projects and programs. [...] Not all CDOs will be able to make the transition to a product mentality. [...] CDOs who are able to deliver results using an operating model that hides details and is focused on more scalable usage of the data assets will succeed.

–Mario Faria, Program Director
Gartner Research Board


The Data Product Seminar builds upon techniques used in traditional Design Thinking and Lean processes, but also blends in consulting and product management skills that data product owners need to develop successful human-centered decision support solutions. As apposed to being "all in" on one approach, we will explore how and when data product owners need to use analytical and creative thinking, how to choose between speed vs. quality, and balancing experimentation (trying solutions) vs. clarifying the problem/need (research). The Seminar contains two sets of modules:

(8) Core Modules

(4) Advanced Modules

Great session, very different approach to other sessions experienced so far. It's incredible how difficult it is to ask open questions 😉

–Anonymous attendee at O'Reilly Strata Conf. (London, 2019)

Dates, Seminar Format, and Student Experience

  • 100% Online, group format, featuring training videos, hands-on activities (homework!), live design critiques, and classroom discussion with the instructgor. The seminar will take place in Slack.
  • Maximum of (10) students will be accepted in the first Seminar; you will have full access to the other students in the class within Slack. Learning with and from your peers is encouraged.
  • (4) weeks for the Standard seminar and (6) weeks for the Premium seminar. Optional: at the end of the course, students are welcome to access the Slack room and request feedback from Brian and the other students for an (2) additional weeks. This is to provide students with extra time to try out the ideas in the Seminar and get feedback after the formal part of the Seminar has concluded.
  •  Weekly Schedule:
    • On Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm ET, Brian gives a video lecture topic followed by Q/A time and homework assignments.
    • On Fridays at 12pm ET, we review the homework in an open-studio / design critique format with live video, followed by a two-hour optional block of real-time Q/A time.
    • In between, Brian will drop in and out of Slack to comment or respond to questions left in the chat room. Students are also encouraged to trade ideas and learn from other students taking the Seminar in Slack
  • Next Seminar Dates: Early 2020. Get Notified when Registration Opens

Brian’s questioning of our business and user objectives for a new video analytics SAAS–prior to any discussion of design solutions–was a bit unusual for me. In fact, I’ve rarely met anyone with a process like his. [...] One of the key capabilities Brian brought to the table was the ability to help us distinguish between "vanity" analytics and "actionable” analytics, so that our service’s data was always presented in a way to help users actually make better business decisions. In the end, the prospects to whom we showed Brian’s designs were wowed by the extremely clean and elegant presentation of our video analytics, and we got excellent feedback that this design was much better than the existing, highly established players in this space. [...] If I needed to develop a design strategy for another analytics product or service in the future, I wouldn’t hesitate to call Brian first.

Rohit SharmaRohit Sharma
Managing Director, North America
kPoint Technologies

Pilot Pricing and 100% Money-Back Guarantee

The seminar has 50%-off pilot pricing of $999 (Individuals) and $9,999 for Teams (up to 10 people). The seminar comes with a 100% money-back guarantee within the first week. If it doesn't feel like a good fit, I will refund all of your money, with no questions asked. After the Pilot runs, pricing will go to $1,499 for Individuals and $19,999 for Teams.

Fine Print

  • Payment is due up front, in full. I accept credit cards (see below), bank wire or checks.
  • This plan is subject to the terms and conditions of my consulting services.  You will receive a 1-page, simple SOW to sign.


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Buy Now / Next Steps

  • This plan can be purchased online with a credit card or bank transfer below.
  • If you prefer to pay via check, please email me.

Individual Registration

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Team Registration

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When you’re bringing on a consultant, there is always a level of uncertainty about results, and there’s nothing worse than ending up with solutions that aren’t feasible, workable, or usable at the end of the process. While Brian’s processes differed from what I was used to, and I didn’t always want to get into the level of requirements detail that he felt was necessary, the bottom line is that Brian brings a very high floor in terms of end results. Given how many different responsibilities I am juggling at any given time, it was extremely comforting to know that my goals for the [new Apptopia analytics] product would always be met, and that my bottom line was so high. I’ve recommended Brian to my peers because the worst possible end result they will get from him is so much higher than what most designers can provide at their best.

Jonathan KayJonathan Kay
COO, Apptopia


Why Should You Study with Brian?

My name is Brian T. O'Neill, and I am the founder and principal of Designing for Analytics, a consulting firm that helps companies turn data into indispensable information products and services. I have worked with companies including DellEMC, Tripadvisor, Fidelity, JP Morgan Chase, ETrade and numerous SAAS startups so my perspective working in business, product, and UX design spans multiple industries and everything from tech companies to banks. In addition to hosting the Experiencing Data podcast and consulting, I also frequently give talks at conferences including O'Reilly Strata, Enterprise Data World, the International Institute for Analytics Symposium, and Predictive Analytics World. After these talks, attendees started asking me if I had a training offering, and I said no. Until now.

But, enough of the bio stuff, my case studies, and the like.

I want you to know the truth about something: you and I are not that different.

If I can learn about design, UX, product management, and business—as it applies to data products and analytics—you can too.

How do I know that?

Because my degree is in percussion performance, not design. My formal training—in music—is probably even less relevant to design than the technical background you likely already have. As such, I know you can learn enough in this seminar to start making much more engaging data products and solutions. On top of that, I'm used to working with people like you. My clients and past employers have largely been high tech or engineering-driven companies filled with incredibly talented technical minds. When most of my creative colleagues wanted to work on consumer products, I leaned in to designing enterprise products, analytics applications, and IT software because I enjoyed working with technical people who thought differently than I did.

What I also learned through these clients was that my approach to human-centered design for data products was "rubbing off," and they would mention how much they valued this at the end of our engagements—even if that wasn't the intended goal of our work together. So, The Data Product Seminar is my way of "packaging up" this knowledge so you can deliberately apply it to your work in an accelerated fashion that benefits your career and your business.

I hope you'll join me and the other students on this ride; it's going to be fun, and I'd love to have you join us.

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Space will be limited to (10) students in the first Seminar. Subscribe for updates on the Seminar and get notified when registration opens.