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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Big Data by University of California San Diego

10,693 ratings

About the Course

Interested in increasing your knowledge of the Big Data landscape? This course is for those new to data science and interested in understanding why the Big Data Era has come to be. It is for those who want to become conversant with the terminology and the core concepts behind big data problems, applications, and systems. It is for those who want to start thinking about how Big Data might be useful in their business or career. It provides an introduction to one of the most common frameworks, Hadoop, that has made big data analysis easier and more accessible -- increasing the potential for data to transform our world! At the end of this course, you will be able to: * Describe the Big Data landscape including examples of real world big data problems including the three key sources of Big Data: people, organizations, and sensors. * Explain the V’s of Big Data (volume, velocity, variety, veracity, valence, and value) and why each impacts data collection, monitoring, storage, analysis and reporting. * Get value out of Big Data by using a 5-step process to structure your analysis. * Identify what are and what are not big data problems and be able to recast big data problems as data science questions. * Provide an explanation of the architectural components and programming models used for scalable big data analysis. * Summarize the features and value of core Hadoop stack components including the YARN resource and job management system, the HDFS file system and the MapReduce programming model. * Install and run a program using Hadoop! This course is for those new to data science. 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. 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. Software requirements include: Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.10+, Ubuntu 14.04+ or CentOS 6+ VirtualBox 5+....

Top reviews


Aug 11, 2021

I love the course. It goes deep into the foundations, and then finishes up with an actual lab where you learn by practice. I greatly benefited from it and feel I have achieved a milestone in big data.


Sep 8, 2019

I love the course. It goes deep into the foundations, and then finishes up with an actual lab where you learn by practice. I greatly benefited from it and feel I have achieved a milestone in big data.

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1 - 25 of 2,444 Reviews for Introduction to Big Data

By Deleted A

May 10, 2022


By Isara A

Oct 4, 2018

I think the course could be shorten by half. The instructors extended the course into 3 weeks, but I think the real meat can fit into just 2 weeks. They use too many examples and several similar case studies to make the same points about why big data is important and beneficial -- repeatedly.

I know why it is important, that's why I took the course! Just give a few mins intro and move on already.

They even have a session discussing why should learn basic tools and theory and have a quiz about that; A quiz about why should you learn how to add and subtract before using a calculator. They can just explain once and people would understand.

Anyhow, I feel like I learned quite a lot, but those I can do my reading just first chapter of big data book or watch 1-2 YouTube tutorials.

Should not waste so many hours watching the course.

By Abdul K

Sep 27, 2016

The course provided almost no value , and there was almost nothing covered that you couldn't find online for free. The presentation was probably the worst part of the course: It was extremely boring and made it hard to get through the videos.

I didn't expect much practical parts in the course, but there was even less than what I expected: What was described as setting up a hadoop cluster consisted of downloading a preconfigured VM image and running it, and then typing in a couple of commands that were provided to you. Again, nothing of value was added, and quickly going over the FAQ page of any of the products mentioned would be more helpful, faster and a lot more interesting.

By Rakesh G

Jul 14, 2017

First of all i would like to take this opportunity to thanks the instructors the course is well structured and explained the foundations with real world problems with easy to understand the concepts.

By Prabir B

May 25, 2018

A step by step approach stating from basic big data concept extending to Hadoop framework and hands on mapping and simple MapReduce application development effort.

Very smooth learning experience.

By Patricia p

Nov 7, 2018

The intro part is too long. You will not start with the practice till the end of next week and I find that the lectures and videos by then are a lot less complete even when the content is harder. I would have prefer is the theoretical part was shorter and there was more support when we start learning about hadoop

By Catherine B

Nov 8, 2018

Very interesting course. Explained concepts I'd heard of but didn't really know about. It is a foundation course for a specialization, it's not enough by itself but very good as a foundation course.

By hatem m

Sep 9, 2019

I love the course. It goes deep into the foundations, and then finishes up with an actual lab where you learn by practice. I greatly benefited from it and feel I have achieved a milestone in big data.

By Raivis J

Feb 5, 2019

The general concepts of big data (week 1 and week 2) seemed a bit drawn out, much of the same was repeated over and over again. This was not necessary. The peer-graded assignment needs more detailed instructions - like mentioning that it is ok to resize the fields, and that shapes need to be copy/pasted as much as needed.

By Hendrik B

Dec 1, 2017

I have participated in better courses on Coursera. I think the power point presentations are very very ugly. The colors really don't match well. This could be a lot more visually appealing. Also, for self learners, a bit more text would be cool, even though I know that not having too much text, but rather pictures, is beneficial. The presenter could speak a bit more natural. At the moment, it is very obvious that she reads text aloud. Also, there need to be some more FAQs in the practical parts, because there can be quite a few problems when trying to run mapreduce. I was only able to do it using Google, because I also had to install another hadoop version (5.12.) because my Intel Chipset was not compatible with the version you wanted me to download. There, the file path to map reduce was different from the example you proviided. To be honest, I did not check the Discussion Forums because I was not aware there were any. Maybe I could have gotten help there.

By Tarif B

Feb 23, 2020

The course material is 2014 or 2015. it needs to be updated as this is a fast growing field.

By Alexandra H K

Apr 9, 2017

The course content is okay and covers the basics well enough. However, the assignments are structured for memorization not learning and contribute little to the experience. I decided to cancel my subscription as there are better options on EdX and other Coursera courses.

By Guy D

Feb 6, 2021

If you are looking for a specialization that teaches you how to make your life miserable with tool installation problems, you came to the right place. I endured until W4 of the 3rd course before giving up. I spent most of my time debugging installation scripts that are badly outdated and broken. The forums are full of messages from students who are all running into the same issues but mentors are nowhere to be seen.

The lectures are extremely boring, barely scratch the surface and keep jumping around. Nothing you could not find online for free. The hands-on exercises just consist in running a couple of trivial commands. Sadly, I feel like I learned virtually nothing.

This specialization, at least for what I saw of it, is a disgrace to Coursera.

By Sean G

Sep 24, 2016

Less useful than reading an introductory chapter. Being able to reiterate acronyms or idiosyncratic mnemonics does not demonstrate any real understanding of this field. The minimal information provided and low level of the instruction at least clarified that this specialization is not worth pursuing.

By Rongon C

May 14, 2019

Perfect for starters!

By Pranav V

Mar 7, 2019

This was absolutely useless. Lots of definitions with no motivation. The one saving grace is that the slides are comprehensive.

By Mayank R

Oct 3, 2019

Too much theory, got bored. didn't serve my purpose. I completed some how.

By Ahmed K A A

Jun 9, 2019

This course gives a basic view for Big data Analysis through introducing much information in the subject "much theoretically at the beginning and then become more piratical using basics of Hadoop program"


excellent overview of the Big Data's concepts

gradual teaching techniques

having flexible time viewing the vids

Needs of improvements

Quiz need to stick on learning objectives (for example: instead of asking about Amazon or other companies practices in some area (which was included as an example), questions need to be practical on other non-mentioned companies.

The course has a deadline (one week after the week 3) it should be extended more

some videos are not directed to the point and much details are asked in the quiz

Some IT concepts need to be explain more (like in the last videos) because for me I'm ZERO IT experience

I had a good overview for the topic because I'm applying myself for Master in Big Data without having a single IT background

By Brian S

May 9, 2022

Definitely learned the fundamentals of Big Data. Very well structured course and very informative. The course is a bit too easy. More challenges would have been nice.

By Nikhil C

Jul 12, 2020

It's a well thought out and well done course. It starts with a high level overview of the importance of big data and provides examples. It ends with having your download a virtual box and performing some simple hadoop programs yourself. I like that fact that you get hands on experience doing it yourself because especially for professionals, theory can only get you so far. I only wish perhaps there were a few more examples of "real-world" map reduce applications. The search engine one makes sense, but what about in finance? Retail? Is anyone using this effectively. Perhaps outside the scope this course, but would help with driving thought for the students.

Thank you for providing such a great course.

By Prateek M

May 25, 2020

I will review the course first and yes you will get something practical to work on. The course id designed very well you actually moves form understanding the basics like Why Big Data is important, The 5 V's of Big Data with add on V's then HDFS, Hadoop, The MapReduce Algorithm and in the last week you gets an opportunity to work over it practically.But I thought they should try to make the course of 2 weeks but it is good they provide many examples applications etc. It is really good as beginner course, and i'm thankful to the instructors Madame Ilkay Altintas and Sir Amarnath Gupta from San Diego Supercomputer Center for their simple and smoother yet professional way of teaching.

By Rukshan M

Jan 31, 2019

I have learnt the new Big Data Concepts & modern technology that is used to unlock the value of massive data sets. This course has ignited my curiosity & interest in learning more about the Big Data technologies. I received the financial assistance to complete the course & earn a verified certificate for this course. Thank you Ilkay Altintas & Amarnath Gupta who are the instructors in this course. They organized & taught the course materials well so that even the new learners can understand. Thank you Coursera for giving me financial assistance to complete the course.

By Luis A R

Oct 13, 2018

Excelente curso, muy explicativo los vídeos y de gran utilidad el material suministrado. Este curso me ha permitido comenzar mis conocimientos en big data, comprender el gran potencial de manejar la data que se genera en mi trabajo, en la sociedad y personalmente, lo cual permitirá contribuir a la toma de decisiones que permitan incrementar el valor de la data.

By Dewan K

Aug 11, 2021

I love the course. It goes deep into the foundations, and then finishes up with an actual lab where you learn by practice. I greatly benefited from it and feel I have achieved a milestone in big data.

By Azar R

Mar 31, 2020

One of the best course to start learning new cutting-edge technology and to get deeper insights into Big Data. Thanks to the great instructors for amazing explanations of each module and e-materials.