Best MOOCs In Business For January

Data Science

A Crash Course in Data Science


School: John Hopkins University

Platform: Coursera

Registration Link: CLICK HERE

Start Date: Available Anytime (Self-Paced / 1 Week Long)

Workload: 4-6 Hours

Grades: Students can choose to explore course videos, discussions, and ungraded assignments for free, but they won’t be able to submit graded assignments, earn a certificate, or complete a specialization without paying a $49 fee.

Instructors: Roger Peng, Brian Caffo and Jeff Leek

Credentials: Each of the professors is a Ph.D. who teaches biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Leek and Peng collaborate together on the Simply Statistics blog. Leek recently created a data analysis course that earned him a teaching excellence award from students. Caffo is another master teacher who won the school’s Golden Apple and AMTRA teaching awards, along with collecting a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist (PECASE) and Engineers. Peng’s research focuses on environmental data and he has also developed over a dozen software packages in statistical methods, reproducible research (where he is hailed as a global expert), and data distribution.

Description: Everyone throws around the term “big data?” What does it really mean? How does it work? And can you successfully apply its principles. Describing this course as “data science without all the fluff,” the course is designed to provide an entry level foundation in the field’s basic concepts and applications. Notably, the course will focus on the role of data science in various business functions and contexts; the key terminology and tools used in the field; and how to set up a data project that delivers reliable and valuable data.

Review: “A Crash Course in Data Science is good for what it is: a brief overview of a field taught at a high level so that anyone can follow along. The professors have plenty of face time, explain concepts well and the video quality is good. The content quality is a definite step up from the original John Hopkins data science track.

The only real knock against this course is its brevity and the fact that it costs the full $49 to get a verified certificate if you want to complete the specialization. A course that you can complete in an hour or two should not cost the same as a month-long course. Students looking to dig their teeth into something substantial for the first month of the Executive Data Science specialization may be disappointed.

A Crash Course in Data Science is a well-made primer on the data science field, but its brevity may leave paying students wanting.” For additional reviews, click here.

Additional Note: This course is the first part of John Hopkins University’s “Executive Data Science” specialization, ranked as Coursera’s second most popular specialization in 2015. The “Crash Course” is the first part of a five course specialization, which covers building a data science team, managing data analysis, and understanding data science in real life contexts. To learn more about these courses and register for them, click here.