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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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2251 - 2275 of 2,444 Reviews for Introduction to Big Data

By Juan P

Jul 16, 2016

This is an introduction course, and no advanced concepts are seen. I think it provides a good background, that is all. If you have a solid technical (programming, databases, etc.) knowledge maybe you will miss more hand-ons. For me, for an introductory and theoretical course I expected more resources, for example additional suggested readings, optional exercises...

Lectures are well structured (intro and summary at the end), but I have missed presentations from some of the most interesting videos (week 6).

By Tomáš V

Sep 2, 2022

The course probably provides a nice introduction to the topic of big data, but it seems that it focuses on useless terminology (that feels to be made up so that concepts like five P of big data and six V of big data can be used instead of normal language) a little bit too much. The course also seems to need some renewal - it seems that the original was made around year 2016 - the used programmes are not supported any more and I ran into some problems with the new versions.

By Kjell L

Aug 25, 2016

The course is ok but I found that there were some technical quirks that could be ironed out first. Example is to download the text files in the final assignment the command wget is invaluable. How to leave safe mode if the Name node is in safe mode. VirtualBox is default to 32 bit/ubuntu when the image is 64 bit/Centos/Redhat.

In addition the course content is a bit little. It says 3 weeks but I finish it in 2 days. Perhaps it is about quality and not quantity.


Jun 1, 2019

Really difficult to understand for the new hand who don't knowledge the knowledge about programming, computer science, etc.

One of the difficulty is the many technique words. I suggest that providing the animation video to present some concept such as MapReduce should be more understandable.

However, after this lesson I can have a foundation perception in Big Data. Thanks for the Coursera, the University and course lecturers.

By Foram K P

Nov 7, 2018

I faced lots of issues using VirtualBox and Cloudera as it kept on throwing several errors and not all errors are captured in FAQ document that exists in one of the Weekly Topic + also whomever I approached for this error were also not aware on how to resolve it + Coursera Help Center was also not able to me provide resolution!! :(

But, after trying hands on activities, it was satisfying that I got to learn something new!!

By Erik P

Sep 19, 2017

I think this course was a great introduction the data science.. but needs some updating in terms of instantiation of the Cloudera image.. Docker was a much cleaner way for me to get up and running with the image.

Also this course was mostly about the methods of Data Science, not necessarily about big data.. but a great foundation has been laid and still looking forward to more coding with hadoop in future courses.

By Robert S

Dec 6, 2017

A little too much dull talking. The content is (slowly) read from the promter and it shows. The materials lack diversity and creativity. Too much fancy words (eg. We have 5 V's? - Let's introduce the sixth and seventh one!) instead of some meaningful science. That said, it is indeed a gentle introduction to the subject which everyone can understand backed up with a lot of interesting real-life examples.

By Jeffery Y

Aug 23, 2017

Overall it is a good course introducing Big Data concepts. However, there is no technical help on how to get the tools working. Some posts in the forums help. The course designers should mine the forums for problems and solutions and develop FAQs or technical tips for the tools. I had to change settings in windows control panel, app features based on a cryptic (but helpful) post and finally g

By Fidel R

Dec 26, 2020

I think the course contain too much theory, and following the slides I can save some time in videos. I'd like to have more feedback in the discussions (I do know there are too many students to follow), but at least confirming my responses are valid and make sense. I liked the last part of the course about Hadoop and the implementation in Cloudera's VM.

By Tamalika M

Nov 18, 2016

The course was very useful with what knowledge it provides. However, it would be better if there were more hands-on exercises on relevant stuff. The exercises are too easy and boring. Tougher exercises should be added and more time should be spent on the Hadoop Ecosystem part. Knowing the history helps but it should not replace more important topics.

By David T

Oct 28, 2016

A good introduction to big data (last time I was working with it was in the 1990s when a few 10s of MB was a huge dataset!). Slightly let down by the forums, despite loads of mentors there seems to be almost no presence of the teaching staff beyond setting up a few posts to spark discussion which in reality just prompt short responses and no replies.

By Philippe H

May 28, 2017

Week 3 should have been broken down into at least 2 weeks and probably 3 weeks. We probably needed more guidance on using Hadoop as there were a lot of technical issues such as removing directories and local files that were not explained. It is easy to spend numerous hours running the same program over and over and not realizing the problem.

By Madhura B

Aug 19, 2017

The installation part was tough and there were many issues with starting Virtual Box. Crossed each and every step by searching for the answers in discussion forms. Many are unanswered there so had to google extensively. Finally I am done with this course and I hope the rest of the courses are not so technically challenging.

By Emily V

Mar 4, 2019

Sometimes difficult to follow. I'm a computer person but the program discussed were completely new to me and I found I struggled with the material at some points. A lot of new terms as well but overall do-able. I feel like I learned something but not confidently enough to list any skills on a resume or anything like that.

By Matt S

Jan 27, 2017

The first week or so feels inconsistent and oversimplified. After that, when you get into the actual content, it gets much better. It then ends on a peer-graded assignment. While the assignment itself is creative and fun to complete, I've never been a fan of peer-graded assignments so early in an introductory course load.

By Edwin J A A

Oct 9, 2021

(1). No está actualizado, Oracle VM virtualbox está en la versión 6.1.26. (2). la explicación de la ejecución de los hadoop-examples.jar no fue clara en el sentido que hay que aclarar que cada programa o salida del mismo debe tener un directorio independiente o pueden estar varias salidas en un mismo directorio.

By Sudipta m

Aug 9, 2017

The course is well structured with relevant theories & definitions. However, my opinion there was too much stress upon theory and less focus on practical. It didn't cover all possibilities where Hadoop Code might not run, given the fact that almost most of the learners were using Hadoop for the first time.

By Rebecca C

Jan 9, 2017

I little slow to start but the pace picks up nicely. Content is generally easy to follow. Some differences between spoken and voice recognition subtitled text. Practical tests were interesting but not particularly well explained for the MapReduce shapes task, which seemed to leave a few puzzled.

By Jefferson B

Aug 27, 2019

Bom curso, por ser um inicio ao haddop e nao informar que é direcionado para pessoas que tenham um conhecimento prévio, precisa procurar na internet comandos e dicas sobre como atuar em algumas situações que nao ão discutidas em aula, mas no geral material muito bom.

By Наталия В О

Jul 15, 2020

The lectures are a bit boring and it seems like lecturers only approve of their own point of view, so the quizzes require precise answers as in the lecture. Also don't enrol if you don't have 8gb of RAM :) But overall I guess I did learn some new useful stuff.

By Jorge L

Aug 29, 2016

I believe this course can be performed much faster, beware that it is really an introduction, and IT professionals persons may feel it slow, in addition the presenter speaks English very slowly, good for non English proficient persons, but bad for the others.

By Palash S

Oct 23, 2017

Better content needed. While I understand this was an introductory course, it was challenging only in semantics (remembering exactly what subjective thing Ilkay mentioned/ selecting one of two partially correct options etc.) and not in concepts


May 4, 2020

Very informative, and I've learned a lot. But I felt it a little bit slow and boring. There are so many ways to make it so much interesting, and it's important too. I think that's why I took a long time to finish this course.

By Miriam F

Aug 10, 2017

The course is nice for people without any background. With some background in physics/math/computer science it moves very slowly and doesn't provide much technical details. I wouldn't call it a specialization though.

By María C

Oct 21, 2020

In my opinion it is a little difficult for somebody who is not related to this world to make the exercises of the practice area. More information on the websites about downloading the programs must be implemented .