November 15, 2022

eLearning, Bootcamps, and Capstone Projects: What’s Best for Analytics Learning?

By Johann Carreno

Most organizations have recognized the importance of leveraging their data to make better business decisions and have invested in data storage platforms like the Snowflake Data Cloud as well as powerful analytics platforms like Tableau, Sigma, and Power BI (just to name a few). 

This, in turn, has created high demand for data and analytics training programs that prepare employees to take full advantage of these platforms.

What often ends up happening is that many organizations experience lower adoption of the new technology and find their staff reverting to old habits like working with Excel files while more powerful tools remain unused. 

The failure to adopt these platforms often stems from a lack of robust training options. 

In this blog, we’ll explore three analytics training methods (eLearning, Bootcamps, Capstone Projects) and uncover which one is the best for optimal education and platform adoption.


The term eLearning is quite broad and can be used to describe learning resources and programs in a variety of media including websites, videos, simulations, instructional games, etc. When it comes to data analytics training, eLearning is typically describing online courses with a combination of video, text, software simulations, and graphic resources.

eLearning excels at teaching procedural topics, especially if the content is highly customized to the learners’ environment and offers high-quality feedback. This methodology also creates a psychologically safe environment where students can receive immediate feedback and make mistakes with little or no consequence.

The downside to eLearning is that when learners finish a course and attempt to transfer their skills to a production environment, they quickly encounter nuances they are unprepared for. They tend to struggle, grow frustrated, and eventually revert to their previous way of doing things. This is because most eLearning uses hypothetical scenarios and perfect data sets that don’t expose learners to the challenges of identifying, connecting, and prepping the data needed for their reports. 

It is also worth mentioning that eLearning can have completion rates as low as 5 percent.


Bootcamps have a different set of challenges. Learners have access to expert feedback, and the content is often customized for the audience. So why don’t you see results? It is likely because the human brain can’t retain that much information at once. Developing mastery of a tool (or anything really) requires practice and feedback over time. 

Bootcamps present too much information, too fast. 

Consider a typical bootcamp scenario; your team is exposed to the technology early in the course. After a couple of hours, they start experiencing mental fatigue, struggle to remain focused, and eventually, start thinking about what they will have for dinner instead of paying attention to the content. Once the bootcamp is over and the instructor is gone, they try to use the tools and realize that they don’t remember everything they need to use the tool. 

Like the eLearning experience, they struggle a bit, grow frustrated, and, unsurprisingly, go back to the old Excel files. 

In the end, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will the analytic skills of your team. 

What is a Capstone Project?

A capstone project is a learning solution that presents information gradually and offers highly customized feedback. It also prepares teams to work within their own environment and with their data to solve a real reporting need. 

Lots of higher education programs and some of the best online learning providers address these needs by incorporating projects where the learner has to apply their newly acquired skills to a real use case. At Data Coach, we call these capstone projects. 

These projects are reviewed and graded by a professor or a group of peer experts who provide the learner with valuable feedback. Here at Data Coach, capstone projects are graded by our team of highly qualified industry experts who offer learners live 1-on-1 feedback, guidance, and support as they create their production-ready artifacts.

In Closing

Ultimately, the goal for any growing organization focused on harnessing the power of data is to equip their teams with the resources and tools necessary for the job. Learning is a massive component of data modernization and one that’s worth investing in. 

If you’d like to learn more about the capstone project difference or an analytics training platform that delivers real business value, we invite you to explore Data Coach!

Data Coach is our premium analytics training program with one-on-one coaching from renowned experts.

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