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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Big Data Integration and Processing by University of California San Diego

1,892 ratings
399 reviews

About the Course

At the end of the course, you will be able to: *Retrieve data from example database and big data management systems *Describe the connections between data management operations and the big data processing patterns needed to utilize them in large-scale analytical applications *Identify when a big data problem needs data integration *Execute simple big data integration and processing on Hadoop and Spark platforms This course is for those new to data science. Completion of Intro to Big Data is recommended. No prior programming experience is needed, although the ability to install applications and utilize a virtual machine is necessary to complete the hands-on assignments. Refer to the specialization technical requirements for complete hardware and software specifications. Hardware Requirements: (A) Quad Core Processor (VT-x or AMD-V support recommended), 64-bit; (B) 8 GB RAM; (C) 20 GB disk free. How to find your hardware information: (Windows): Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties; (Mac): Open Overview by clicking on the Apple menu and clicking “About This Mac.” Most computers with 8 GB RAM purchased in the last 3 years will meet the minimum requirements.You will need a high speed internet connection because you will be downloading files up to 4 Gb in size. Software Requirements: This course relies on several open-source software tools, including Apache Hadoop. All required software can be downloaded and installed free of charge (except for data charges from your internet provider). Software requirements include: Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.10+, Ubuntu 14.04+ or CentOS 6+ VirtualBox 5+....

Top reviews


Mar 06, 2018

It was a good course, it could have been better if some examples of Spark were also provided in other Languages like Java, people without having background of python may find it difficult.


Sep 25, 2016

Best course taking into account the first three. Good material, more in depth than the other ones. Very well explained. Useful to get a sense of various interesting topics and orientative.

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326 - 350 of 386 Reviews for Big Data Integration and Processing

By Keith B

Mar 31, 2017

The course and presentations were very informational and good. I enjoyed that aspect. I would have rated the course 4-5 star based on that. The reason for the low rating was the 6th module, and the fact that I felt very ill prepared for the syntax of creating all the operations in Spark (building out the Jupiter notebook). We really did not cover much of that, and it was quite punishing to search the web and sources to make things work. Even the instructions to export the csv file were misleading at best. I have a full time job and a family, I am not some young undergraduate with copious amounts of time to waste. While I am not opposed to some searching of other sources, I would like to have more of the useful information taught so that it is not so much of a burden. I believe that if you are going to test people on something, you should at least cover it in some sense.


Mar 03, 2019

With deep regrets I feel obliged to share a negative rating on the course. While the course material/video lectures are average to good (no rocket science but well done introduction into the subjects), the hands-on exercises and particularly the technical environment, i.e. Cloudera VM is entirely messed-up: - setup scripts are not working/ are outdated (e.g., anaconda requires no-check-certificate); user permissions are all set wrong and need to be corrected; firefox outdated with update function not working; countless error around spark context (SC) variables.... and so on... For a course that is so prominently promoted on the platform the least expectation is that the provided environment works and that students don´t need to spend hours on google to figure out how to debug the cloudera image.... Here, imo, a much better job can be done!

By Silvain d M

Aug 23, 2017

Although the contents of the course is good, I found that the hands-on exercises needed to pass tests were problematic due to many errors occurring when trying to setup the tools or running provided scripts. This means most of the limited time I have for this was spend browsing the course forums and the internet chasing solutions for errors occurring in the exercises and not on actually working on the assignments.

Also the course makes you install several tools/apps. In itself it is good to be exposed to these tools, however some of these are only used to a limited extent, while still taking time to install and setup. Worst is one of the tools requiring personal information in order to be downloaded and as a consequence being chased by sales reps for the tool.

By Christoph S

Apr 03, 2020

Again I'm torn between quitting this specialization and biting through the rest of it. While the course is good on the high-level view, the link to the low level, the tools and their application just doesn't work well for me. The different tools are presented and used just enough to scrape a tiny lttle bit of the surface, then you're heading on the next chapter. Like in the previous courses, the tools in the VM sometimes need quite a bit on tinkering until everything works as expected. The main drawdown in this course was the final test that I did not felt prepared for at all. On the bright side, you learn to love the Spark manual...


By Andrew D

Oct 14, 2016

Overall this course does have some good content and delivers big data concepts. However, as others have mentioned some content (especially in early modules) could either be combined or ommited. Key focus areas on Spark and MongoDB are not given enough focus and lab time.

The quizes have badly worded questions. Finally the last assignment required to pass the class has bad directions and covers content not reviewed in the class. Spent a frustrating amount of time trying to get what most likely is simple code to work.

I'm hoping this particular module is revised. For those just interested in learning Spark or Mongo and not doing the certificate program you can probably get better learning from doing your own research.

By Joaquim P

May 14, 2019

I think that this course doesn't provide a substantial value to the student. It's basically a series of theoretical videos with irrelevant exercices that the student doesn't even have to think about. It's only about copy and paste until the last assignment. Until then, it's just a waste of time. Obviously it will be a good course for those people who only want the certificate and to pass the course with no effort at all, but it provides no value. On top of this, there is no technical support and I have struggled a lot in order to make everything work properly. I also suggest Coursera to give some guidance in the last assignment, there is a lot of lost people.

By Ryan H

Jun 12, 2017

Again, another course in this series shows a lack of effort in its quiz construction. By the final week, you are presented with a challenge that will require numerous hours pouring over different documentations of both pyspark and MongoDB because there is a lack of essential knowledge being taught in the course. The final "project" is based on a very small amount of what was learned, and as it so happens, only a small amount of what was needed was actually taught. I'm hoping for improvement with the rest of the course, because the majority of this course was good, but the final week just ruined the experience.

By Guillem P G

Jan 10, 2017

The last assignment of the course is, compared to the others, more difficult. In my case, I ran into several errors which I couldn't get help in solving by using the course Forum, as the end of course deadline was just a few days ahead. I had to analyze the tweet texts for the last graded assignment without using Spark framework (nor any of the other "Big Data" tools explored in the course).

I also found some of the videos by PhD. Amarnath Gupta were difficult to understand, his examples were unclear and, in my opinion, too complex and difficult to follow and understand what was the reasoning thread.

By John R

Jul 09, 2017

I was really disappointed by this course, having found the previous courses interesting and helpful. I found the standard of teaching and explanation was poor, and difficult to follow, and the exercises, especially the Mongo DB and Spark remarkably difficult to work out with very little help or support given.

With Spark 2.0 and tools which run over Mongo to provide a SQL interface I'd challenge the usefulness of learning interfaces which are well out of date. We should now be learning SQL interfaces over both Mongo and Spark. The existing interfaces are difficult to just get in the way.


Jun 02, 2020

While there was a lot of useful information in this course at a "survey" level, the slides, documentation, and content in no way aligned with the level of knowledge needed to execute the assignments. That, coupled with the utter lack of maintenance on this course which resulted in MANY issues with incompatible tool versions and therefore code crashes, made this an extremely frustrating experience. If this had been my first Coursera experience it would have been my last as well.


By Rafif S

Jun 14, 2020

This was one of my favorite courses. i learned a lot of new things however the reason i am rating it low has to deal with the whole section on the hands-on; which in my opinion is the most important part. the instructions on downloading and running Anaconda was not clear and i had some many error messages that i was not able to do properly any of the assignments. besides no staff support at all. the professors are great and their explanation fantastic. should revisit the whole hands on and provide more staff support. a pity!

By Ярослав Ф

May 04, 2020

В курсе не рассматриваются базовые операторы MongoDB, например, обращение к данным в подструктуре. Некорректная информация по поводу установки нужных программ для работы в 6 неделе. Никак не мог подключиться к Jupyter и использовать PySpark. Преподаватели не общаются со студентами и отказываются обьяснить. Лекции интересные, но расплывчатые. Так же есть реклама приложения, что само по себе уже не красиво.

By Stephen L

Jul 24, 2017

Good material and challenging assignments, but too many technical issues with setup instructions and spark context. You have to be a cloudera expert to solve the issues. There does not seem to be any support from the course instructors or assistants. The files are out of date with the spark updates.

By Chew S J (

Jul 17, 2018

The contents seem to be fine at the beginning but the assignment on Week 6 was just way too much for me. The assignment lacks clear guideline and perhaps, lecture contents need to be updated, or the assignment task needs to be revised.

It took me two weeks to complete the last week of the course itself.

By Swetha K

May 25, 2020

Too much of theory, and very little practical knowledge is taught. But at the end of the course, the quiz requires hands-on knowledge on Python & Spark. How is it expected that we can solve those questions without prior knowledge, I do not understand. Disappointed with the course content.

By Tamás-Marosi P

Sep 16, 2017

The final pyspark project was too hard for me and I don't exactly understand without massive python knowledge how can this be solvable, while the weeks lessons were way too easy compare to this final project.

This whole course was a little bit too superficial, without comprehensive tasks.

By Christopher R

Jun 27, 2017

Interesting material and good lectures however some of the hands-on work was difficult / impossible to complete due to issues with SparkSQL, which have gone unanswered in the discussion forums, so had to export the data and use other tools to perform those analyses.

By Ferran G F

Jan 10, 2020

Low score because professor team/staff seemed to completely ignore discussion forums. A lot of participants have had problems running shell scripts and other setup instructions that are necessary to perform some tasks, and their posts have been ignored.

By Robert H

Sep 09, 2017

Tedious exercises through VM where instructions oftentimes do not work out of the box. It is a hassle to download the slides in small sets and their design awful. Definitely one of the worse courses I have taken.

By Klaas v S

May 19, 2020

The supplied tools are broken in hard to debug ways, as is evident from the discussion forums, where literally thousands of questions are raised. Somebody should do sentiment analysis on these forums, I suppose.

By Sergey K

Oct 08, 2016

Quizes are inconsistent with given dataset. Questions are bad: i.e. what is the difference between "number of distinct countries mentioned" and "number of countries mentioned in tweets".

By Enrique C M d C

Nov 19, 2017

La virtual box de cloudera va muy lenta y es imposible hacer los ejercicios de manera fluida y satisfactoria.

El usuario y la contraseña de Splunk que se proporcionan estan caducados

By Erwin v R

Dec 24, 2016

I miss a proper buildup from the theory to the practical exercises. Especially the last quiz I found very difficult based on the limited number of exercises presented upfront.

By Brian S

May 23, 2019

Practice activities files are outdated and a lot of the installation of downloaded tools requires manual fixing, there is no support at all from the course publishers.

By Luis E M A

Apr 10, 2020

Links do not work and you must spent a lot of time in the Discussion Forum to know how to run the programs.

Instructions for the quiz are not clear and confused