Data analytics skill has become one of the most important factors in one's career development today as data has become more explosive than ever. According to PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers), over 50 million jobs created in "analytics skills" from 2015 to 2018.
This article will recommend 10 best online courses on different MOOC for beginners to learn data science fundamentals, key data science tools, and widely-used programming languages in big data analytics.
"Acquiring an education is the best way to not be left behind as technology races ahead."
- The Second Machine Age
Creator: Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP
Commitment: 21weeks, 3-4hours/week
This specialization includes 5 courses, from data-driven decision making, problem-solving with basic functions of Excel, data visualization with advanced excel, to the business presentation with PowerPoint, and a final project.
With an average rating of 4.6, this data analysis specialization is designed for employees by PWC, which undoubtedly focuses more on business application than theory. And it’s suitable for people without a programming background.
Creator: John Hopkins University
Commitment: 43 weeks, 4-9 hours/week
Composed of 10 courses, this specialization covers the concepts and tools you'll need throughout the entire data science pipeline, from asking the right kinds of questions to making inferences and publishing results.
Rating 4.6, this is one of the longest data science specializations on Coursera. Unlike the PWC one, it focuses more on theories relating to statistic, algorithm and data analysis. Besides, it practices mainly by R programming, so a basic knowledge of programming is recommended before taking this specialization.
Creator: University of California, San Diego
Commitment: 30 weeks, 3-6 hours/week
With a total 6 courses, it covers the main aspects of big data, from the basic introduction, modeling, management systems, integration, and processing, to machine learning and graph analytics.
Average rating is 4.3. This is a great introduction to big data for beginner and doesn’t delve too much into programming., no prior programming experience is needed. As it involves several open-source software tools, including Apache Hadoop, it has requirements on hardware and software.
Creator: Duke University
Commitment: 27 weeks, 5-7 hours/week
With the 5 courses in this specialization, you will learn to analyze and visualize data in R and create reproducible data analysis reports, demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the unified nature of statistical inference, perform frequentist and Bayesian statistical inference and modeling.
Average Rating of 4.5, the course is all about R programming, which is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.
Commitment: 56-58 weeks, 2-4 hours/week
Made up of 3 units (9 courses total) and a Final Project, this specialization covers the basic introduction of data science, essential programming languages and advanced programming languages in applied data science.
Unsurprisingly, it has a high connection with Microsoft software, including Excel, Power BI, Azure and R server. The programming languages involved are R and Python. If above-mentioned software utilities are your daily utilities, then you should not miss it.
Creator: University of California, Berkeley
Commitment: 16 weeks, 5-7 hours per week.
The program is designed and taught by industry expert Stephan Sorger, who has held leadership roles in marketing and product development at companies such as Oracle, 3Com, and NASA.
This program is divided into 4 courses, including Marketing Measurement Strategy, Price and Promotion Analytics, Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation, and the last one, Products, Distribution and Sales.
Commitment: 13 hours
It only consists of 3 courses, which give a brief introduction on Big Data, Hadoop and Spark. Known as Big Data University before, Cognitive Class is a MOOC provided by IBM.
MIT Open Courseware
Instructor: Prof. Erik Demaine
Commitment: 22 sessions, 90mins/session
This course serves as a broad overview of the many different types of data structures, including geometric data structures, like a map, and temporal data structures, as in storage that happens over a time series. It covers the major directions of research for a wide variety of such data structures.
Instructors: Austin Bingham, Robert Smallshire, Terry Toy, Bo Milanovich, Emily Bache, Reindert-Jan Ekker
Commitment: 7 courses, 28 hours totally
This path will take you from the basics of the Python language all the way up to working with web frameworks and programming.
Python is an interpreted object-oriented programming language. It is open source, so the interpreter and source are freely available and distributable in binary form, which contributes Python become a popular programming language in data analysis.
Instructor: John Purcell
Commitment: 75 lectures, 16 hours totally
A beginner course to learn the Java programming language, no prior programming knowledge required. The key reason for this course: Hadoop is Java-based, which is one of the hottest open-source software utilities that paves the ground for analyzing big data.
The above-mentioned courses involve different aspects of data analytics, but there is a presupposition - you've obtained enough data. Currently, the amount of data in the digital world doubles every two years. Traditional approaches to extract data online manually can no longer be used, you need a much more efficient web-scraping tool to extract information on the Internet.
Recommended by many data analysts, Octoparse is an automatic web scraping tool. It is easy to use, fast to learn and does not require prior programming knowledge. Millions of data online will turn into structured datasheet (Excel, CSV, SQL, API) at your fingertips in seconds.
An abundance of step by step tutorials on scraping different kinds of websites is available on Octoparse's website, such scraping leads from directories (Yellowpages), and scraping product information from an online marketplace (Amazon).
The biggest challenge for you is not how difficult the courses might be, but taking responsibility of your own advancement and demonstrating your perseverance.