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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python by University of Michigan

5,406 ratings
910 reviews

About the Course

This course will introduce the learner to information visualization basics, with a focus on reporting and charting using the matplotlib library. The course will start with a design and information literacy perspective, touching on what makes a good and bad visualization, and what statistical measures translate into in terms of visualizations. The second week will focus on the technology used to make visualizations in python, matplotlib, and introduce users to best practices when creating basic charts and how to realize design decisions in the framework. The third week will be a tutorial of functionality available in matplotlib, and demonstrate a variety of basic statistical charts helping learners to identify when a particular method is good for a particular problem. The course will end with a discussion of other forms of structuring and visualizing data. This course should be taken after Introduction to Data Science in Python and before the remainder of the Applied Data Science with Python courses: Applied Machine Learning in Python, Applied Text Mining in Python, and Applied Social Network Analysis in Python....

Top reviews

Jun 26, 2020

its actually a good course as it starts from fundamentals of visualization to the data visualization,the assignments this course provide are exciting and full of knowledge that you learn in course ..

May 13, 2020

I am going for the specialization and I know this is just the second course in it and I haven't even seen the further courses yet, but this is already my most favourite course in the specialization.

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1 - 25 of 896 Reviews for Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python

By Jan

Apr 3, 2017

The course can be summarized as: "OK, here are some tools that can be used: now read the documentation, Stack Overflow and some papers that we give you links to". Each week there are just few videos. What I expect from a Course are baby steps and clear guidance about good practices. Of course you can learn it all from the Internet - I am taking a Course to get something I will not easily find elsewhere: a good teacher who will guide me through optimal approaches.

By scott m

Nov 27, 2018

I don't think the tutorials walk us through what we are supposed to do. I find myself on youtube watching free tutorials on the very subjects I am paying to learn.

By Huang L

Apr 11, 2019

The grading by peers system coupled with the unlocking next week lesson is really aweful. I can't change to previous session event though I worked through the first lesson fast. Everyone has the same issue on the forum but nobody dares to reply. We get no help nor assitance from the platform. This course is purely money stealing. Run away from this course as soon as possible.

By Alexandre M

Jan 16, 2019

This is an interesting course, but the professor really does not spend enough time teaching the topic. It's like as if he expects that giving us a very high level overview on a subject (e.g., "These are the principles of beauty to follow when making a chart!"), followed by 1-2 very specific cases ("here's how to build a scatterplot!") is enough. We're then expected to teach ourselves in order to be able to turn in assignments. I understand that a core skill of any programmer is the capacity to search for code snippets online as well as ask questions to the community, but for an introductory course on Matplotlib, I'd expect more teaching of the subject matter.

By Sourav P

Sep 26, 2018

The lectures are overloaded with too much information, and the concepts are presented in a complicated way. I wish the courses in this specialization were self sufficient. It just does not feel like I am getting proficient at any of this even though I can get the assignments done on my own. there should be ample practice exercises with the aim of burning the syntaxes and concepts to memory which is usually not the case. This eventually leads to half hearted learning where students are expected to do every thing on there own. I am disappointed. The course can be improved by going deep into the concepts and providing additional resources for students to explore.

By William T

Sep 15, 2018

Not very good instructions. The Assignments required just self learning online via other video tutorials/documentation....which defeats the purpose of taking an online course

By Melinda M

Mar 25, 2017

This course was not nearly as valuable to me as the first course in the series. It breezed through a bunch of different plot types without explaining in enough detail what they would be used for or when you should choose to use them. At the same time, it also didn't provide enough clear examples of how to do basic things in matplotlib, which seems to me to be a very non-intuitive thing with poor documentation. I found the first assignment to be very difficult.

By Farhad S

Jun 27, 2018

The instructor just read a text without any interest and passion.

By Nigel S

Jun 9, 2019

Of the 6 Coursera courses I have done to date, this was by far the most tedious and frustrating.

There are a few different approaches to creating images in Python using Matplotlib, and this course didn't manage to set any of them out in a cohesive way that was easy to understand or implement.

An intent of the course was to educate learners about the more detailed Matplotlib control, features, e.g. canvases, so they had more control. But the course presentation is so incohesive that learners are just left utterly confused when it comes to doing the assignments, and they end up trying to pull together a mishmash of code from the internet to try and provide a credible assignment response. It is just such an inefficient use of the learner's time.

This course needs to be torn down, the assignments reviewed, and then the lecture material rebuilt in a way that will enable learners to easily implement the points from the lectures, and eliminate the chasms between course content and what's needed to do the assignments.

By David S

Nov 26, 2018

assignments are unclear and provide few explicit resources for users less familiar with statistics. crucial topics are not discussed and we are instead told to go google them for ourselves, which i could have done without paying for a course.

By Michael H

Sep 9, 2019

Not a great course. Prof is obviously smart, but the lectures breeze through the material far too quickly and too lightly, with students left to do most of the work themselves via the assignments. I'm a fan of learning by doing, but I question the value of a course when most of what I pick up I get from stack overflow. The assignments aren't well explained or maintained, and the same questions keep coming up from students year after year.

Prof would be well advised to revisit this course, expand and update the content, and clarify the various points of confusion in the assignments.

By Josh C

Mar 10, 2019

Peer review of assignment is very time sensitive. I don't feel it useful.

By Yousef A S A

Feb 16, 2019

The course takes into account the theoretical approach when creating charts which is something I have never thought of! And I don't think you'll find instructors that will go that deep into theory instead of programming.

To be honest, I don't believe that charting needs any programming skills at all, it is similar to creating front-end apps, so I think their focus (a week is dedicated for it) on the theory was a great choice.

By Siddhartha B

Nov 3, 2017

Loved the course! This course teaches you details about matplotlib and enables you to produce beautiful and accurate graphs.. Assignments are challanging, and helps to build a solid foundation.

By jie

Apr 24, 2020

Pros: Very nice assignments

Cons:Instruction is terrible (week 1 on how to draw neat chat is great though). However, coming to the charting, it is terrible. At the end of the course, the instructor didn't emphasize differences among 3 different charting methods:

stackflow has a great post on this:

The instructor should have talked about this in a laymen language in the very beginning.

Although I learned a lot, but mainly from the assignment and stackflow, not week2-4 education videos.

By cheting c

Mar 2, 2018

Very unresponsible professor. No passion at all!!!!! Did not explain the fundamental concept well. As a result, I do not think I have a deep understangin at all. I spend most my time google in order to finish my assignments.

I give him the second star only because I the way he designed those challenging assignments. He should include some skill needed to finish the assignments.

By John R

Nov 22, 2018

Cant submit for two weeks but billed monthly, this is bogus.

By Matheus G S d L

Jun 28, 2017

Good course to learned matplotlib and other Graphs libraries, but the course goes further than Python and also encourages the studies to create more meaningful and beautiful Graphic views.

By Sergey I

Aug 1, 2019

The course is not balanced - lectors give very brief explanations and doing it very fast. There is not much little connections to practical applications. The assignments often are vague, many times I had to research what they actually wanted instead of actually stadying Python. I finished it, but this course creates more frustration than dophamine. Not recommend it

By Thomas M S

Jan 2, 2018

A fundamental issue after this course is that it still takes me hours to prepare an appealing data visualization using what I learned here whereas with Excel it takes me minutes to draw and pretty a graph. So the course doesn't fulfill the practicality criterion yet.

By Vivian Y Q

May 4, 2018

very much much less content than the first one and it is not self-contained. A lot of things left unexplained and kind of assumed that you knew a lot about python already. I literally took another course in python before finishing up this one.

By Patrik T

Nov 10, 2019

CONTENT: The instructor shows some examples of different plots in python (e.g. line, bar, scatter) and some concepts (e.g. histograms or heat maps) but doesn't properly explain anything. Mostly you'll get an example graph with snippets of code only working for that particular example and for the assignment you're "strongly encouraged to use other sources". That's not what you're supposed to get when you're paying for an online course. You should get proper explanations.

ASSIGNMENTS: You're basically told to get data from any source you like and then plot some graphs. If you've had some experience with python and got your explanations for plotting from somewhere else, you'll mostly spend more time looking for data to present than for the actual assignment.

I don't understand why there's no selection of graphs and data sets to choose from so you can concentrate on programming and properly presenting data rather than wasting your time looking at reddit like recommended by the instructor.

ASSIGNMENT GRADING: You’ll have to grade your peers’ assignments with a rubric that’s just not working: you can give points for someone uploading an image/writing a paragraph of text, but you have to either give 0 or 100%, so there’s not way to properly grade partially wrong answers. Example: yes, there is an uploaded image and the student has explained how it follows “Cairo’s principle of beauty”, but it doesn’t follow the principle of beauty. So, how to grade: zero or hundred percent?

Likewise, your assignments are graded by your peers, so you’ll usually have at least one or two days to add to each assignment. You should take this into account when opting for the monthly subscription. Additionally, neither you nor your peers are qualified to grade the assignments, because you’re just learning how to curate and present data (if you’re not already a scientist and just want to learn how to do this in Python).

DISCUSSION FORUMS: You won’t find answers or discussions in the discussion forum. There are only posts asking to please grade a student’s assignment because it is urgent because the subscription is ending soon (see above).

SUMMARY: If you need the certificate for Applied Data Science in Python, you probably must take this course. Otherwise I strongly encourage you to skip it and find other (better) resources to learn plotting in Python.

By Nicolau G

May 25, 2019

I registered to the whole specialization mainly to take the first three courses. I got stuck in the second (this one about data visualisation) because a file I need for assignment in week 2 is missing. There are many complaints in the forum from those affected (the file is supposed to contain weather data around your location, and it seems to affect some of us in Europe). I jumped to course 3.

I'm very happy with courses 1 and 3, but this one is extremely bad, with poor material, confusing data and wrong instructions. On top of that, there is no one in the forums to answer questions or fix the errors. I finished courses 1 and 2 (those are great, really) and I will drop this specialisation right now leaving this course unfinished.

By Abu S

Mar 6, 2018

Very helpful to understand what it takes to make a scientific and sensible visual. Recommended for someone who is interested in learning data visualization and does not have a background.

By Karol S

Dec 11, 2017

Great course, great instructor! I think for me the more difficult was lack of simple practice tasks during course - it will much improve to understand material. Regards, and thanks!