As a business student from Bangladesh who is aspiring to be a data analyst in near future, I love this course very much. The quizzes and assessments were the places to check how much I exactly learnt.
It was really insightful, coming from knowing almost nothing about statistics or experimental design, it was easy to understand while not feeling shallow. Just the right amount of information density.
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I am simultaneously doing a course here and one on Udacity. In comparison, this course is much less enjoyable and efficient. There are several reasons for this 1) you never see a person present the material in the videos, it is just pictures of slides. This makes it feel less personal and enjoyable. 2) The lessons are relatively long and there are not opportunities to practice in between. Udacity, for example, has short 1-2 minute videos for each concept and then ungraded practice quizzes, which make it very clear what you are supposed to learn without feeling like you failed if you make mistakes. This saves you time so you don't have to go back into a 15 minute video to hunt for an answer to something. 3) The quizzes here test a lot of minutae. They are not always focused on the main points from the lecture. This can be frustrating because you may feel like you need to spend an unreasonable amount of time looking for answers to small points or get frustrated and feel like you are failing. That does not really make sense for an overview course. 4) The instructor often rambles or has side remarks. He sometimes forgets to give the proper background information for beginners. Takeaways or action points are not always clear. 5) This course feels unnecessarily long for what it is supposed to accomplish. It could be a list of programs to download and a very short summary of things you will learn in upcoming courses. Instead, you spend hours on this and feel like you walk away with no new technical skills.
By Chloe B•
The course is fine, however its more an introduction than a course. The course in itself doesn't teach much, should have been the first week of subsequent courses. I went through all 4 weeks in 1 week, the whole course is mostly about downloading different tools and signing up for accounts.
What I didn't like is that the teachers seem to be really concerned about their reputation and workload. Its repeated several times that you shouldn't email the teachers with questions and that online questions should be of a certain standard, its understandable but its a bit patronizing. I think teachers should be available for questions, even if its only through the forum (which they are) Its understandable that there are a lot of students so direct emails might overwhelm but that's just part of the job, we pay for the course, we should also get support when its not working for us.
Overall I wouldn't advise taking this course if you aren't taking it as part of the specialization.
By Shawn L•
I think this course could have been done in two 30 minute videos. It jumps in with overviews but contain some high level items you won't understand until later in the course and it really doesn't give enough context to be meaningful at the time. It almost seems like it was thrown together without a clear mission of what should be in the introduction. Being a developer who has used some of the tools in this toolbox (Git, GitHub, Command Line) this intro really glosses over tools that most non developers won't understand. If I had a say in what should be in this intro it would be one video end to end of setting up the tools. The second video would be all about the history and logic and some of the applications we will be exploring without all the r formulas in the slides.
By Susan C•
The automated voiceover is really unpleasant, it's like listening to a phone menu over and over again. If you choose not to listen to the voiceover, it's like reading a book, so one might as well buy a good book or read through some documentation on the web.
My other problem with the course is that it contains a fair amount of subjective information. For example, the quiz might have a question like 'What are the most important characteristics of a data scientist'. Well, the answer to that is obviously subjective, and other data scientists might have a different list.
That said, on the plus side it worked as a quick introduction to the R toolbox, the R/git connection options, and R markdown, all of which were very useful.
By Florence C•
I wonder if most of students who took this course would have expected to keep installing software, one after one, and seems never end. For the whole week course, there is nothing related to the course. The worst part is that once I got into trouble to get a software work, I got stuck. I spent hours and hours to search for a solution on the web. However, most of the answers are too technical for me to understand. Although I understand that data scientists have to use some computer programs to assist them to the work done, I don't think that, as a novice, at this stage I need anything like GitHub or git to help me learn the subject. Moreover, I'm not sure if I would be taking another data science course yet.
By Cándido O M•
Too basic material. I had to watch everything x2 faster to keep my attention. This course is just an overview of the topics that will be explained in the next courses, which could be much shorter in just one lesson or just avoid it. It is only useful to have R and RStudio installed and to introduce you to GitHub if you do not already know it.
I think it would be an improvement if you made the videos longer in order not to repeat yourself. Because sometimes you are constantly reintroducing a topic and never getting to explain much of it.
I hope that the rest of the courses be more direct and easier to keep my attention on, because I really what to learn about this subject!
By Julia S•
This is really bad structured. As analogy - imagine a cookbook that says: in chapter 8 you'll learn how to cook pies, but here in introduction let me tell you how to add baking powder in them. It is not useless information it is just very out of place.
Learning some git commands was the most usefull in the course for me. (Though again, why would you first show the commands and just after that explain what's the tool for and where to download it?)
And by the way it takes half a day to cover all 4 weeks material (listened through all videos, installed the tools). Which is not bad, just of other users information)
By Lenka " P•
It is a nice introduction, but the material is barely worth a one week orientation lesson (I have completed it in about 4 hours with watching all the videos, taking detailed notes, and completing the quizzes for 100%) . Why should we pay for a specialization preview, we can read info about the separate courses on our own? I am really looking forward the next courses in the specialization since I really need a good course in statistics and this seems to be one, but the first course should be eliminated. The installation of R and github account videos should be added to the next course as an introduction.
By Claude R•
A very big difficulty for me, French people who uses to speak english everyday for may work is that :
1) Teachers don't do any effort to speak slower and to articulate
2) As with all other courses I've attended in english, it's impossible to read a transcription, even in english, while reading slides.
Slides are not sufficient by themselves, i.e. without commentary beside. The workaround I've used is to print french translation or english transcription and read it, trying to guess which part suited with which slide ...
For a non-free course, it's not really professional ...
By Shannon P•
This was a very basic introduction to the concepts of Data Science and the software necessary for future courses. Overall it was fine, but I hated the robotic voiced over videos and ended up playing them on mute to get through them. Also, considering the explanation that doing the class content and videos this way allows the university to keep the courses up to date and correct errors faster, there was still several out of date sections of the course and a number of errors, so I really felt the automated setup as an annoyance not a benefit.
By Amy-Louise S•
The lectures were very uninspiring for the most part and I felt that my practical understanding was poor. The forums were also not particularly helpful as I saw Moderators mocking students for asking valid questions based on their inexperience with Data Science. I spent most of my time finding better tutorials on YouTube, so really.... I have a certificate but don't owe much of that to the course in question. It only becomes worse as the complexity increases with the rest of the Courses in this Specialization.
By Sem O•
The course is well structured and provides a good introduction, however, I expected a bit more from a course that costs 20 pounds than just a few clips on how to install and set-up software/create a github account etc. This information is available for free online on the websites of the respective software.
I understand that such an introduction is needed for the course, but then do not offer it as a separate 20 pound module. Instead include it for free with any other 'specialization' you can buy.