On Sept. 15, Coursera, a technological enterprise that provides universal online courses free of charge to any and all interested, will debut over 30 specializations. Among the soon-to-come New Business and Computer Science concentrations will stand the University’s Data Analysis and Interpretation specialization.
In order to successfully complete the comprehensive Data Analysis and Interpretation specialization, learners will have to enroll in a series of four project-based courses. Some of the data science skills that learners will study include data visualization, regression modeling, and machine learning. Participants will conclude their specialization with a capstone project.
“The Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization takes you from data novice to data analyst in just four project-based courses,” the course description reads. “You’ll learn to apply basic data science tools and techniques, including data visualization, regression modeling, and machine learning.”
Coursera serves as an outlet for individuals who may not have the time or interest to invest in a degree but are looking to increase their skill sets. Additionally, this specialization caters to people in the workforce who find that although they previously did not need to know data analysis, skills such as making spreadsheets have become necessary.
“Compared to even a decade or more ago, as a society, we are now literally swimming in data,” Dierker said. “Turning this data into meaningful information and being able to tell its story requires analytic skills.”
The Applied Data Analysis course that Dierker and Rose have been teaching for years at the University has stood as a blueprint for the specialization they have created on Coursera.
“We really want the passion to come from them [the students] and we don’t think we can instill passion in someone by giving them a canned question or a canned path to an answer,” he said. “We really want the students to be able to explore that for themselves. And so yes that can cause panic, but I think it makes the experience more valuable for the student. By the end they are really a lot more excited and happy when they get to do their poster presentation and they are presenting their own research, and they are presenting research on questions that they had and not that someone gave to them.”