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

10,506 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


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.


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.

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1726 - 1750 of 2,406 Reviews for Introduction to Big Data


Jan 8, 2017


By Suad A A

Dec 13, 2016


By 현아 이

Aug 9, 2016


By Martin D

Aug 12, 2020

For a newcomer like me in this subject, it was an interesting learning, after this first course I am even more motivated to continue and to complete this specialization. As English is not my first language, I could still note some errors in the subtitle script.

I got difficulties with the last Quizz (the 2 questions on Hadoop) since the "out" directory already exist (created throughout the step by step videos and lectures) I could'nt process with the alice.txt question, the system can't overwrite the existing files and exixting directory. I had to delete first the out directory (thanks google with linux commands I don't know) with hadoop fs -rm -r out command. I had to repeat the same for the question #2 (Shakespeare text). Please udpate your instructions to clean the place prior to start an other exercice.

Thank you

By Pedro T

Sep 14, 2021

I​ enjoyed the course very much, I think the start is very begginer friendly but by the end you increase the complexity of the material to make everyone more aware of various terms associated with Data processing, cloud computing, etc.

A​lthough the addition of hands-on Hadoop was good, I wish there were more assignments to review and put the knowledge into practice.

L​astly, there are a lot of questions in the quizzes that are a bit confusing to understand, especcially in the earlier modules. Additionally, it would be good to include explanations on why we are wrong for every question.

O​verall I feel like I learned a lot, but there are a few places that could be improved to make the course more engaging and accessible to everyone.

By Roman J

Aug 13, 2016

For an introduction class in Big Data this is excellent: concepts down to the point; good example analogies used; material provided to reinforce concepts and knowledge (transcripts, slides) were great. Videos were pretty good. Content of lessons are good; lab and software downloading/exercise with Hadoop give you a good sense of what expected in more advance classes.

I would add a bit more of information regarding to the downloading software and its purposes for those with no computing background (like what OS used when running the Hadoop... maybe I missed that?).

The class worth the money paid.

By Gregg J

Jul 4, 2017

Overall an excellent introductory course. My only complaint were the practical exercise. Overall it was pretty simplistic which was fine but irequired understanding the syntax and of specific applications. That would be fine for introductory courses in those applications but I don't see the value in an introductory level course. Also, it was very difficult to download the virtual box application and get it to work. I don't see any value in going through that pain just to learn how to do a wordcount on the text of a book. I'd delete that exercise for this first course.

By Dabashis K S

May 30, 2020

As an introductory course, it covers each and everything related to Big Data. But in my opinion, it's a theory-based course not much of lab works. Those who are looking for theory kind of stuff come to enroll this course. But if you are looking for practical usage it is not quite enough. Actually, it's my first course in Coursera so I enjoyed it a lot but first two weeks of this course are very much boring. Instructors repeat things over and over again. Overall, I thanks to the instructors to offer such a wonderful course. I am looking for further courses on this topic.

By Heiko F

Feb 28, 2018

Overall quite ok. The presentation materials looked amateurish (the PowerPoint presentations). Some of the multiple choice questions were more word picking than actual checking your understanding of the topic. In the final Hadoop exercise I missed information how to set up the keyboard to German in the Cloudera setup. It took me over half an over to find how I can change my keyboard settings, otherwise I would have had a really hard time to finish the exercise because finding elements like "/" or ":" on a German keyboard with English settings is a chore.

By Vasileios K

Dec 17, 2017

It is a nice course, however I found my self struggling to find interest especially in the first 2 weeks. The problem is that during the first 2 weeks it is all theory and it is not as captivating as I would like. The third week is much better, especially when you get to install hadoop and try it a little bit. I would much prefer to get all the info for the big data as I progress with the specialization in order to find it interesting, instead of getting a big dose of it at the start of the specialization.

By Chan-Vu L

Dec 12, 2016

The course was awesome. It taught me the ins and outs of Big Data. Although its only the basics, I'd still recommend it to everyone before deciding whether you want to keep going as a Big Data specialist or not.

Some steps are not uptodate e.g. hadoop and wordcount aren't in the same folder as listed by this course. They were in the other folder /usr/lib... . It'd be nice if you guys put a "find" command with that description, because I've had to search it myself. That's why I took one star out of it.

By Giorgio L M

Nov 16, 2020

Excellent course. Well presented and very informational. A very good first course to get introduced to this topic. The quality of the presenters is outstanding.

My only feedback for improvement would be that some (very few) questions/answers in the assessments were possibly somewhat unclear as did not directly related to presentation contents. Therefore it was more difficult to understand what was required.

But otherwise everything was clear and useful.

By William D

Jul 30, 2017

This is very good course. It help you to understand the importance of Big Data, especial how nowadays big companies can take advantage of their large data storage to came out with lot of stuff like: innovation, user experience improvement. Big Data is also useful for organization. This course let me discover how Big Data is being user in US for social purpose. Mostly, I also learn technical skill with Hadoop which is a Widely user Big Data framework.

By Srikanth C

Oct 23, 2017

It was a very nice introductory course, and I'm looking forward to the future modules! As the lectures in this particular module are very verbose, I would've liked occasional in-lecture quizzes (not marked, of course) to keep me more engaged as there is a lot of factual information to assimilate. Prof. Daphne Koller does this during her PGM lectures and I found such quizzes very beneficial in keeping me in sync with what she's talking about.

By John R

Apr 11, 2017

Overall a good introduction to Big Data. Needed no prior experience, but ironically I found I'd misunderstood the way Map:Reduce worked. Reading around afterwards I worked out exactly how it worked, but I didn't think it was explained very well. Overall though, a great intro into a subject which is highly hyped in the IT industry, and demystifies some of the concepts, explaining what Big Data is good for, and hinting at it's limitations.

By Shaojun Z

Feb 11, 2022

It's not easy to understand all the concepts and definitions. The questions and quiz are a little abstract. For example, the task for mapreduce algorithem is absolutely inconvenient. Preparing the Hadoop environment is a very time-consuming job. It would be better to find a way for the learners to easily understand everything and not just physically memorize them. And a clould environment with Hadoop preinstalled would be a good idea.

By Diksha C

Jan 20, 2018

This course is a really good introduction to Big Data. I come from an EE background and barely have any experience in IT/CS field. I was able to adapt and get a really good introduction to the Big Data world. My favorite part of the course is Hands On exercises at the end and quiz based on the hands-on exercise that provides you experience with Cloudera, Hadoop and MapReduce. I enjoyed this course and would recommend this course.


Jun 22, 2019

This is an excellent introductory course on Big Data in general and introduce to basic usage of Hadoop using Cloudera on a virtual machine. This course could be improved further especially to working professionals by spreading the course over 4 - 6 weeks instead as the 3 weeks duration is very short as the coverage of this course is quite broad. Thank you to the course instructors for preparing this wonderful course.

By Kornel T

Nov 25, 2021

Overall information on Big Data. I enjoyed the course though it could be refreshed. Short introduction and then straight o Hadoop, it would be good to have some helicopter view on different possibilities application wise and then I will say more practical uses of Hadoop. The tasks were great althou I would love to see it gets more tricky. Some more difficult guided task, to deliver actual insights would be great.

By Edwin D

Jan 27, 2022

The Cloudera Hands-On demo was good, but a bit outdated and it could've been longer than introducing to wordcount or wordmedian. Perhaps, that's as simple as it gets. But maybe that's enough for an intro. It'd be nice to know how to take the foundations from this course to the next level with a related course or one with more advanced topics particularly one with challenges encountered in industry.

By Alireza A B

Jul 20, 2017

good overview on Big Data. I like the intoroduction to Hadoop using the Cloudera VM, that's where things start to be more quantitative than qualitattive , some parts of the lectures could be improved. Also would be nice to be able to download the entire scripts for the lectures as a pdf at the end of each lecture or each week rather than only having it as a .txt file per lecture.

By Gregory G

Nov 21, 2017

Some of final lab instructions were out dated, i.e. the jar file was not in the directory listed. Perhaps too much time was spent on covering the introductory material. It could have been better with more actual examples and/or talking more about determining whether a data set would be a candidate for using Hadoop.

I enjoyed the class and look forward to the next course.

By Shahin A

Apr 11, 2020

The course in general is good and useful. However, there are a few caveats here and there. For instance, sometimes the questions in the quizes are not comprehensible. Maybe this is the problem of English proficiency for teaching. Also some case-studies can be added to the assignments and course. To train our eyes to figure out various data sources, and potential values.

By Katherine K

Mar 15, 2020

Great course for those new to big data - it helps you understand the core components and processes of big data analytics. As a heads up, the last assignment will require significant computer bandwidth to support the program needed. Overall, very useful, understandable course on a topic that is becoming a foundation for business, society, and government.

By Hugo A A S D

Apr 25, 2022

I can't give the 5th star because of the hands on exercises that are frozen in time. First, with Windows 10 and 11 we have Hyper-V and the course only provides Oracle VMs that are incompatible with Hyper-V. Than, the exercises are in Python 2, and in 2022 it's dead and most of the things we can't make them work because there isn't support for that.