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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Data Science Capstone by Johns Hopkins University

1,188 ratings
315 reviews

About the Course

The capstone project class will allow students to create a usable/public data product that can be used to show your skills to potential employers. Projects will be drawn from real-world problems and will be conducted with industry, government, and academic partners....

Top reviews

Mar 4, 2018

Capstone did provide a true test of Data Analytics skills. Its like a being left alone in a jungle to survive for a month. Either you succumb to nature or come out alive with a smile and confidence.

Mar 28, 2017

Wow i finally managed to finish the specialization!! definitely learned a lot and also found out difficulties in building predictors by trying to balancing speed, accuracy and memory constraints!!!

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26 - 50 of 305 Reviews for Data Science Capstone

By sairampraneeth

Mar 28, 2017

Wow i finally managed to finish the specialization!! definitely learned a lot and also found out difficulties in building predictors by trying to balancing speed, accuracy and memory constraints!!!

By Ben H

Jan 15, 2020

Great finish to an excellent specialisation. It's actually opened up some excellent career options for me and I am very grateful to the instructions and Coursera for providing the platform.

By Tony D

Oct 25, 2016

This course was great. I went from having a decent grasp on statistics and a little knowledge of software like SPSS to being employed as a data analyst where most of my job is using R.

By Wenjing L

Apr 26, 2019

The final project is interesting. Text input prediction is a very flexible topic. It could be deep, or simple. I hope in the future more practical models will be introduced during the course. Now we are asked to explore it almost solely by ourselves, which usually isn't the case at work, where one would seldom have to research on or develop something from scratch. Also I hope it will focus more on data analysis and visualization than developing an actual app. Shiny is a good tool to do interactive plotting, but not handy enough for UI development. I believe most people will never be asked to develop UI in Shiny at work. Finally I'd like to thank all the instructors who designed and delivered these 10 Data Science courses. I have learnt a lot from them.

By Richard I C

Jul 18, 2016

As a capstone to a series of courses that covered data science and R, I found this one to be a bit lacking. There was no involvement from the professors at JHU or the folks at SwiftKey. As was mentioned in another review, the course feels abandoned. All you get a few short (two minutes or so) videos that give you little in the way of instruction or direction. Basically, they just say, "Go do this. Good luck!"

There were also no Mentors or TAs to guide students or answer questions. It was the students helping each other through the forums. Sometimes it was helpful and everyone involved learned something. Other times, it was the blind trying to lead the visually-impaired.

On a positive note, you will use all of the skills from the previous courses: writing R functions, performing exploratory analysis and publishing it via RPubs. Your final product will be displayed for everyone via ShinyApps and a presentation using R Presentation (also published via RPubs).

On a(nother) negative note, the topic of Natural Language Processing is not an easy one to just walk into and feel confident in providing a working next-word prediction algorithm in about eight (8) weeks. You're reading academic journal articles, watching multiple videos from another Coursera course (which actually focuses on the topic of NLP, and takes place over several courses and several months!).

Supposedly, there is work going on to update the course, so hopefully future students will get a better experience. I did take a bit away from this course, especially since I made more than one attempt to complete it. However, it was definitely a shock to find myself missing those things that one typically finds in a learning environment -- descriptive background, assistance to problems, etc. -- and seeing that I was for all intents and purposes on my own. Even in the professional world of data analysis, I have never experienced the lack of support that I found in this course.

With that, I am giving it three (3) stars. As I said, I did learn a bit, but it was a bit of a struggle that required multiple attempts to complete. This would have been better off as a stand alone topic (which it already is by another Coursera affiliated school), or having a capstone course that builds on a topic more in the wheelhouse of the JHU professors: a capstone project focusing on bioinformatics or biostatistics would have been amazing in comparison to this.

By Guilherme B D J

Mar 24, 2017

The main reason for my rating is because the course is so "loose" on what your are supposed to achieve incrementally every week that it can lead to some hard situations.

Just to give my example: the first week was piece of cake and I didn't feel like it really contribute for the following weeks. Then, I was struggling with the suggested library (tm) until I got support through the discussion forums and someone suggested me to use quanteda.

Then thinks started to run smoothly, or so I thought. When implementing the language model (which, at first, I thought was supposed to be KBO), I got stuck for a long period. Not because my model was wrong (I was able to implement it and to check it against some hand-written and proved examples - which I should probably thank again), but because I was not able to make it run efficiently enough for the given constraints.

Being stuck in this stage for longer than I wanted, I had to sacrifice another important steps of data analysis pipeline in order to not jeopardize my final delivery by not meeting the final due date. I know that this is exactly what will happen in the "real" life, but I think that some better guidance could guarantee the students spent a more even amount of time in across all steps.

All things considered, I think the Capstone was really interesting and likely took more than the 4-9 hours per week, but most of this is probably because of the problems I faced.

I believe that with a better guidance on the paths to follow or maybe some suggested libraries to use, a lot of "noise" (useless difficulty) could be removed and this course would definitely get more starts.

By John D M

Sep 20, 2019

A capstone is typically defined as integrating key material from a course. This capstone did not require material from key courses, specifically the machine learning, regression models, and statistical inference courses. That was a great shame. Instead, it threw us into a completely new area, Natural Language Processing.

There were many complaints about that, and I agree. However, it was a challenging task to explore an area in data science we didn't touch on, and challenging in terms of the programming and enormous data file sizes. In that sense it was probably good prep for unexpected challenges in the workplace and therefore good training to make us real data scientists. Still, I would like to see the capstone rejigged to include material from the missing courses. As for NLP, some students claim it is not a useful area to study, but in my case it is exactly the right thing for me to study as I work with analyzing user queries in the form of tickets in a CRM. I found it especially trying to try to integrate some material such as Kneser-Ney theory and opted for a more basic approach. My learning experience would have been better with some proper instruction in that area.

By Andrew S

Jun 26, 2017

I felt this course was the weakest of the series. The capstone focuses on building an NLP application, which although I find interesting, does not make for a good final problem as NLP was not really covered in the specialization and NLP is particularly challenging in R. That said, the series as a whole is well worth the time and effort.

By Rajib K

Sep 4, 2017

I would say, if we could introduce a capstone project more related to the first

By Matthias R

Sep 17, 2017

Unfortunately, the Data Science Capstone was the worst of all the courses in the specialization. Most of the techniques and models/theories needed to complete the capstone are not covered in the other courses, e.g. natural language processing, markov models, etc.

By Aleksey K

Mar 15, 2016

None of the previous classes will prepare you for this one. This is not really a class, but rather a project on a topic NEVER covered in any of the previous classes in this specialization.

By John K

Jan 31, 2020

Poorly defined, and the course sets the student up to use the wrong tools.

By Pablo R

Feb 20, 2021

I can't just finisih this specialization without commenting my personal experiences regarding this. I have taken several courses related to data science; however, this specialization has set the quality in such high standard that I feel dissapointed with most of the courses around the web.

I'm a technical guy who has most of his professional experience in academy, I know the process of creating new courses, of summarizing complex topics into understandable concepts but the most important is to show the application of the kwoledge into real world projects. Yes, all of this what is what I got from these courses.

Does the specialization worth?. Abosolutely yes!, the amount of knowledge that you would get is huge!. As everything in life, it will depend on how much effort you invest on it, there's a big part of the specialization that depends on you and if you are thinking on becoming a Data Scientist, you better get used to spend lots of time on doing your own research.

Finally, I just wanna let you know that I have started my career as a data scientist and I had several interviews with many companies/clients that were amazed by the quality of my portafolio that I built using all the final projects of this specialization.

I'm really greatfull with all the people involved in creating this specialization and I will absolutely recommend this to anyone who is decided to become a data scientist.



By Zoran K

Jun 19, 2017

Overall this was excellent track. While there was a difference in level of difficulty between the individual courses, it is probably unavoidable given the range of subject areas.

I think it would be great improvement if there was a additional 'post-grad' 'course'-like few weeks to connect to industry that is hiring from this background and get those connections to lead the 'grads' into real job interviews; Also, more projects that are direct connection to the industry, like the capstone - where those project would be dine perhaps in some kind of cooperation with the industry reps, so that graduate student here has direct path and had already worked with people that might hire him/her, where the time spent working on the capstone project includes meeting with the reps from the industry whom would have interest in the work. Something along the lines of grants for university projects (not talking about money here) but of a connection to the needs of the industry. Students working on that if they deliver good and interesting results would have one foot into the new job. This would also allow for higher fees to be charged for the classes since there would be more tangible 'selling' path.


Mar 8, 2020

Really liked this overall course. I was able to get directly into data science aside from my job (quantitative analyst). This specialisation helped me makeing my way in quantitative finance with much more understanding in computing models; much more confidence in the way I will face (I am facing) datas/algorithm issues. Really struggled with the last course(capstone) I even sometime wanted to give up as I went really deep in NLP and was facing issues with my memory.

Finally I'm getting out with strenght, smile, confidence and the taste of hard work in data science projects.

Some other really important point is to learn to be humble :) . This capstone project shows us enough how far it's a constant work to be a data scientist.

Really glad to have completed all the courses; going from zero on R to near hero :)

By Zhen ( W

May 12, 2016

I had no experience in natural language processing before I took this course, and now I'm kind of in love with it! Some of my fellow learners complained about the new data type and little information provided, but I feel this is a good simulation of real world experience as a data scientist! The field is constantly changing, so we have to be ready to cope with unfamiliar problems and come up with creative solutions. Due to other commitments, I was once 3 weeks behind the weekly deadlines, but finally poured all my efforts into this and deployed an App in time... You never know how much you can accomplish before you are forced to do a "Mission Impossible" ;-) I think I've improved my hacking + googling skills, and built more confidence over completion of this course. Thank you, JHU and Coursera!

By Lucas T

Jun 27, 2020

The idea of the final project is superb! It really pushes you to your limit, but giving resources through the way so you don't get lost, which is certainly pretty easy.

This course differs a lot from the previous ones because you are pretty much on your own, with only guidelines and references on what they suggest you should do.

The intention is clearly to mimic real life projects, where you have a basic goal, your and others expectations, and knowledge PLUS hardware limitations. And you will have to overcome it in order to be a good Data Scientist!

I really recommend this specialization!


Oct 24, 2020

This specialization was like a box of chocolate. I at first thought it was easy, then found the difficulties and struggled a bit. Then again I urged myself to finish this slowly which was a good decision ultimately. At present, I am now relating the things I learnt with my study in the field of Economics. Thank you very much for organizing this specialization. This has been a great experience for me. Gracious!

By Olivia U

Jun 21, 2020

I've read a few negative reviews, saying it's not guided enough etc. I actually enjoyed finding out on my own how to tackle the problem and building a solution on my own. Also, the peer-reviews assignment was of a much higher quality, and with no plagiarism, with interesting remarks, it was nice to see other student's work and approach. I enjoyed this course, and the entire specialization!

By José A R N

Jan 20, 2017

My name is Jose Antonio. I am looking for a new Data Scientist career (

I did this specialization to get new knowledge about Data Science and better understand the technology and your practical applications.

The course was excellent and the classes well taught by teachers.

Congratulations to Coursera team and Instructors.

By Subhadeep S

Aug 3, 2021

The Practical assignments that i did through out the course is helpful. This course helps in establishing good foundation in the field of data science/analytics. One capstone for this vast field may not be enough and learners may need to follow more guided projects to get a better insight of what industry wants.

By Eric R

Apr 3, 2017

For me this project was harder than all other courses combined but, because of that, also more rewarding! The theory is very scarce so you're on your own, that's what makes it hard. Once you get the theory right the rest is easy. I learned a lot of NLP and let me practice "Pitchs" using diferent R tools.

By Desiré D W

Sep 25, 2016

The Capstone starts well with sufficient guidance. The second part gives much freedom however, it might be overwhelming and unclear at times what to do next. However, I loved going out on my own and slowly learning more and more on the subject.

You can pretty much choose how much effort you put into it.

By Rongbin Y

Jun 4, 2020

Great learning experiences with multiple meaningful projects and lessons. The whole concentration has been well-designed and well-founded. I had built a solid foundation of understanding for subject. Thank you for teaching this concentration, Professor Chen, Professor Leek and Professor Caffo.

By Johan V M

Nov 13, 2020

It was amazing to learn something completely different from what I personally expected. NLP is such an interesting field, I'm so glad this was my first approach to that topic. The course project was excellent to apply almost everything that was taught throughout the specialization.