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McGill SCS Graduate Certificate in Data-Driven Decision Making


The Graduate Certificate in Data-Driven Decision Making is designed to provide the core principles and tools of computational intelligence to support decision making. The program helps learners to take on or support leadership roles in increasingly digital organizations operating in fields that need to make data-driven decisions, such as health technology, maintenance of critical infrastructure, or dynamic supply management.

Building on the knowledge acquired in the Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis for Complex Systems or through relevant work experience, this program focuses on developing advanced competencies, such as evaluating data sources and converting data into actionable insights.

You may also be interested in McGill SCS Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis for Complex Systems


Type:   Graduate Certificate
Courses:   5
Credits:   15
Time:   Weekday evenings
Delivery:   Online
Unit:   Technology and Innovation
Questions?   info.conted [at]



Message From the Academic Program Coordinator

We are surrounded by data and know how it is organized. We analyze and run basic statistics on it to know whether there are significant patterns. We try to convince others of what the data means. Yet, there are nagging questions that keep popping up.

Let's say you work at a library, and you need to decide how many copies of an upcoming book to order. You know how long the waiting lists are for the currently popular titles, and yet, you can’t come up with a number because the popularity of books depends on multiple factors.

Maybe you work for the city. The pavement is in disarray and there is only so much money to spend on repairs. In what order should repairs take place? Will traffic be too chaotic? How are you supposed to justify your recommendations?

Or say you work at a steel factory. Thermal treatments help to attain desirable properties on the product, but the results vary based on which production line was used. You suspect that some of the equipment may not be correctly calibrated to consider the conditions of the space in which it is installed.

All in all, you have rich information on what is happening, what seems good, and what seems bad. But you need more. You need to make decisions, offer recommendations, or suggest a change. And you do not want to convey the impression that you are guessing. You want science, not just intuition.

Welcome, then, to the new Graduate Certificate in Data-Driven Decision Making. We have:

  • Bite-size science, just the kind you need.
  • Data science to vamp up your data analysis.
  • Artificial Intelligence to provide guidance.
  • Decision science to base your recommendations on mathematical facts.
  • Computational intelligence for when the situation is too complex for straightforward yes/no reasoning.

The Graduate Certificate in Data-Driven Decision Making will enable you to harness the power of computation and underlying mathematical methods, reduce the manual labour involved, automate what can reliably be automated, and spare you from unnecessary technical details while being aware and in control of what and how is being done. The knowledge will empower you with the evidence to help you make the best decision.

Elisa Schaeffer
Academic Program Coordinator

Key Features

This program helps you become empowered to use data and tools to make the best decisions in data-driven fields.

Who Should Apply

This program is a good fit for you if you are:

  • A professional from either a technical or non-technical background who seeks to harness the power of data available in the context of your work.
  • A professional wanting to learn how to gather data and apply computational tools in order to process, analyze, and represent data and as a result gain insights opening opportunities for new and improved processes

Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to enable you to:

  • Make decisions based on diverse scenarios founded on comprehensive mathematical and computational models, while being aware of the strengths and limitations of the models and methods that are applied.
  • Build computational models based on data for tasks such as clustering and classification in different scenarios using diverse processes and technologies.
  • Harness the potential of artificial intelligence in an ethical manner in diverse application areas, in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Graduate Certificate (Gr. Cert.) Data-Driven Decision Making (15 Credits)

Admission Requirements
  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an approved university with a minimum CGPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.0 in the last two years of full-time academic studies.
  2. If your CGPA is lower than the above requirement, please submit the following for consideration with your application:

    a) Letter of Intent: 1 to 2 pages in length, single-spaced, written in English or French, addressing the following:
    • your knowledge that would be pertinent to the program
    • your interest in the field of study and the reasons for applying
    • plans for integrating the training into your current or future career
    • description of your professional experience and its relevance, if applicable, to the program
    • awards received or other contributions
    • any additional information relevant to your application

    b) Curriculum Vitae

    c) Two letters of reference, signed and on letterhead. At least one should be from a current or former employer.

    d) GMAT and/or GRE test score results (optional)
  3. In addition, applicants must:
    a) have successfully completed the McGill Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis for Complex Systems


    b) have a minimum of two years of recent, relevant work experience and include a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, and two reference letters with their application.
  4. Applicants must provide proof of English Language proficiency.

Career Spotlight

There are over a billion knowledge workers in the world right now, and 23% of enterprises need to hire even more. (Braintrust, 2020). These new knowledge workers are being asked to develop data processing and analysis competencies, and ideally, have professional or academic certifications that recognize these skills (Ricard, 2020; Ali, 2022).

The Graduate Certificate in Data-Driven Decision Making is well positioned to provide the recognition these knowledge workers require in various fields such as identifying complex systems, building computational models for analyzing data, and understanding the properties and behaviours of complex systems. It also tackles more advanced competencies like acquiring/sharing data in an ethical manner and evaluating decisions based on data. These competencies are relevant to knowledge workers from both technical and non-technical backgrounds.

News & Articles

 ChecklistReady to take the next step?

Be sure to review all the necessary instructions and guidelines to help make your application process smooth and easy.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Language Requirements

Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

International Students

Return to Areas of Study

Need help applying?

Contact us at info.conted [at]
or call 514-398-6200

Questions about your admission?

Contact us at admissions.scs [at]
or call 514-398-6200

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