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New Course of the Week – The Data Scientist’s Toolbox

A new course is being offered by Johns Hopkins University, called The Data Scientist’s Toolbox. JHU has many data related courses starting this week, but I chose this toolbox course because it is an introduction to the tools that data scientists use to analyze data, and that’s a good place to start.

From the introduction page on Coursera:

In this course you will get an introduction to the main tools and ideas in the data scientist’s toolbox. The course gives an overview of the data, questions, and tools that data analysts and data scientists work with. There are two components to this course. The first is a conceptual introduction to the ideas behind turning data into actionable knowledge. The second is a practical introduction to the tools that will be used in the program like version control, markdown, git, GitHub, R, and RStudio.

This course sounds technical, so if you have an aversion to learning a new programming skill (like R), or to use websites like Github, it might not be for you.

But if those things don’t scare you, give it a try! Data analysis is a growing field (and given the amount of data the world produces, will only grow more in the future). This information could lead you to some interesting places!


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  1. I tried that course and some others from that specialization.
    Data Scientist’s toolbox is overly simple. All that you have to do to pass that course is setting up R, Rstudio, a Github account and show screenshot of that.

    The ones after look interesting, but I found them superficial and not so helpful. They are all costrained to 4 weeks, the lectures are not clear or engaging, and the exercises are boring or overly long.
    I finished R programming, but I dropped out of Data scientist’s toolbox and statistcal inference.

    I suggest the course from Duke, Data analysis and statistical inference, to people interested. It’s longer, it goes in depth, and the professor is great. It also has a tool called Datacamp to learn R from the basics.

    • I don’t like it when courses at this level (supposedly college or university level) have such simplistic criteria for passing. Seems like it could have been so much more.

      Thanks for letting me know Chiara. I guess I will skip that one. And Duke does seem to have some interesting courses, like the Intro to Gamification one as well. Go Duke!

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