Tag Archives: online

Data Society – A new Data Science Learning Platform

If you are looking to learn data science but do not have the time or money for a full master’s degree, Data Society might be your answer. Data Society is an online data analysis skills training program that is designed by educators and curated by data science experts. The learning experience is online and includes:

  • Training Videos
  • Printable step-by-step guides
  • Forums
  • Reusable Coding Templates
  • Data Sets
  • Opportunities to build a Portforlio

There is one other completely awesome feature of Data Society. For every membership purchased, they provide a free membership to help someone in need. Data Society is currently running a Kickstarter to build a community for learning data science. Your support would be greatly appreciated (I am not involved in the project but I am always happy to share innovative educational opportunities for data science).

Recently, I was able to get a brief interview with Merav Yuravlivker, one of the founders of Data Society.

There are many data science learning resources on the web, how is Data Society different?

We understand that most people do want to learn these skills, but don’t feel like they have the time, the money or the background. We eliminate all those barriers to entry by providing short lessons that are taught intuitively with real data sets. It’s the first platform that’s designed with working professionals in mind. Not only do we teach our students how to analyze data, but we also have a separate track for managers that teaches them how to implement data-driven strategies in their teams, how to hire a data scientist, and how to communicate effectively with their employees. Our courses are not just videos, each course includes ready-made data analysis templates in R that decrease the time it takes to do the work, a step-by-step printable guide that can be used as a reference for every stage of the analysis, and live, dynamic forums where students can get all of their questions answers by the Data Society team as well as other students. In short, we provide everything someone needs to learn new skills in a much shorter amount of time.

What is the Kickstarter about?

Our Kickstarter campaign is about building that community around learning data science and helping others solve problems – we’ve already released the first three courses in our curriculum, and we’re excited to give our supporters an opportunity to see exactly how their contributions can make an impact. Our mission is to increase data literacy across the workforce – we know that data analysis skills are widely valued and sought-after, which is why we’re partnering with non-profits who help veterans and low-income individuals get back to work. For every membership bought off of Kickstarter, we will give one to someone who can use these skills to become more marketable and improve their life.

Is there anything else you would like to tell me about Data Society?

The most frequent compliment we get from students is that they didn’t feel intimidated to learn data analysis skills. As an educator, that is the biggest reward to me because we’re opening up possibilities for individuals who didn’t think that they had the ability to analyze data and pull insights from it. Our goal is not to turn everyone into a data scientist, but rather to give everyone the ability and confidence to get new data, look at the data they already have, ask “How can this data help me solve this problem?”, and then discover those insights that will help them make better decisions.

Why Data Science?
Why Data Science?

DataQuest – Free Browser-based Learning for Data Science

DataQuest is a recently launched online data science learning platform for python. The site consists of a gamified series of missions that increase in difficulty as your skills progress. Here are a few other features of the site.

  • Sample Code
  • Live, Interactive Browser-based Coding Environment
  • Step by Step Instructions
  • Instant Feedback
  • Helpful Forums for Q&A

The site is still under development and the founder, Vik Paruchuri, is looking for help developing more content and missions for the site. If that is something of interest to you, get in touch with Vik via the DataQuest website.

New Data Science Certificate Program – Cal State Fullerton

If you are interested in earning a data science certificate, California State University Fullerton has just announced a new data science certificate program.

The program is entirely online and runs 1 course at a time starting in late February 2015. The 5th and final course should complete sometime in late 2015. Thus, the entire program lasts less than a year. Below are some more details on the program.

What do you need to get into the program?

  • Bachelor’s Degree in math, CS, stats, business, science, or other related field
  • A couple year’s work experience

What type of people should attend this program?

  • Someone intested in transitioning to data science career
  • Managers whom wish to better understand data-driven decisions
  • Programmers and Statisticians looking to become data scientists
  • Analysts looking to move beyond Excel


Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Advisory Board for this program.

Online Data Science Book Club

An online data science book club is being formed.¬† The group will be discussing a collection of books from O’Reilly.

New Berkeley Online Data Science Degree

The University of California at Berkeley just announced a new masters degree in Information and Data Science (MIDS). The program is targeted to be completed entirely online with the exception of a one week visit to the campus. The program has a approximate cost of $60,000 for the 27 required credits. The curriculum looks good. It includes: machine learning, data analysis, visualization, big data processing, and privacy/ethics. The initial class of students will start in January of 2014.

Coursera Launches Data Analysis Classes

In case you missed the announcement yesterday, Coursera added 12 new universities and over 100 new courses. The exciting part for people learning data science is a new category of courses: Statistics, Data Analysis, and Scientific Computing. None of the courses have started yet. Most are scheduled for this fall or early 2013. The courses look very good.

Are you excited about these new courses?

Take and Learn Statistics For Free

Last week, Udacity started a course on Introduction to Statistics, Making Decisions Based on Data. This is a beginners level course on statistics, so it should be accessible to everyone. The course consists of seven units, which are intended to last about one week each. Udacity does not enforce any time limits though. Homework problems are also a part of the course, so you will get a chance to practice what you learn.

Udacity is a learning environment similar to Coursera. I would say the presentation is more focused on the web and the experience is a bit more enjoyable. Courses at both sites are taught by professors from top universities and other leading experts in the field. Both sites offer lots of knowledge for free, and I say try them both. Then let you own personal preference decide which you like better.

What do you think about Udacity? Have you tried it?

How To Learn Data Science? Part 2

Yesterday, I posted about some traditional strategies to acquire data science skills. Today, I will post a nontraditional strategy.

Internet Based

There is hoards of data science information available on the internet for free. With enough personal motivation, a person could learn all the skills necessary for free (or cheap) online. Coursera is probably a great place to start. There are also other good sites such as Udacity, the Kaggle Wiki, other blogs and websites.

The problem with this approach is knowing exactly what to learn. A course in machine learning is great, but data science is more than just machine learning. How do you know what to learn? It would be really nice to have a collection of data science topics and the associated online training materials.

Would this strategy work for you?

Free Online Strata Conference

May Strata 2012 will occur online this year. The cost is zero, and the event is tomorrow (May 16, 2012). The only catch is that you must register first. The entire conference is scheduled to take place in the morning, so the format looks quick. Judging from other Strata videos I have seen, I would guess this will be an event of high quality.

Thanks to DataGeeks-MSP for alerting me to the conference.

edX – Online Education From Harvard And MIT

Just yesterday, MIT and Harvard University announced a new partnership to offer online education. The goal is to increase learning for students on-campus and others throughout the globe. Both schools plan to study the results of edX to better understand how students learn and how technology affects learning.

See the official announcement here.

EdX Video Announcement

How will this affect Data Science Learning?

It is too early to know exactly what courses will be offered, but given MIT’s strength in engineering, those courses would seem reasonable. I am guessing (and hopeful) that many courses pertinent to data science will be offered by edX. Also, the announcement is most likely a response by MIT and Harvard to compete with Coursera, a company started by 2 Stanford University faculty. Obviously, the elite schools do not want to be outdone by each other. In any case, I only see these new and different methods for education as a good thing. Happy Learning!