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Learner Reviews & Feedback for What is Data Science? by IBM

54,963 ratings
10,381 reviews

About the Course

The art of uncovering the insights and trends in data has been around since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used census data to increase efficiency in tax collection and they accurately predicted the flooding of the Nile river every year. Since then, people working in data science have carved out a unique and distinct field for the work they do. This field is data science. In this course, we will meet some data science practitioners and we will get an overview of what data science is today....

Top reviews


Jun 26, 2020

I throughly enjoyed the course and the fact that everything was explained thoroughly. I always enjoyed Dr. White's personal experience with Data Science as well as other Data Scientists point of view.


Sep 9, 2019

Very learning experience, I am a beginner in DS, but the instructors in this course simplified the contents that made me I could easily understand, tools and materials were very helpful to start with.

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By Dylan H

Feb 12, 2019

Was ok.

1) For what it was, (predominantly opinion videos) you could probably stand to remove a couple of the videos from the two professors, (especially the second one) without changing the overall effectiveness of the course.

2) You might want to work with that second professor, (or just edit the appropriate video) to remove the clear disdain he expresses toward statisticians since a) they're at least just as much a part of data science as computer scientists and are thus due the same degree of respect, and b) some / several of the people taking this course, (such as me) come from a statistics background, and it's really not a good idea to require us to sit there and watch while this prof decides to backhand us all with his not only inappropriate, but, more importantly, inaccurate statements - really not a good way to help us feel welcome as part of the program.

3) The final question on the final exam was -horribly- rote and pedantic. I get that you're trying to find something that's easy to peer review, but really - one random person's opinion on how to format a paper? That was about as unimaginative / uninteresting as you could possibly get and only goes further into making data science seem like it's going to be an incredibly boring-to-other-than-totally-left-brained-control-freak humans. How about easing it up a bit on the precise content and let people answer more about the Voltaire discussion, (i.e. thinking about how you want to present the results even before writing the report)? How about having people talk about the first professor's discussion of what he did with the Toronto busses - going off on his own to acquire priorly-unrelated data to determine correlations? These are the kinds of things that are going to help someone become a good data scientist later in life, not whether they could list 10 italicized bullet points about how precisely one form of report, (i.e. a very formal, long form - often only used in its entirety in academia and generally inappropriate in other contexts).

By Aykut Ö

Mar 2, 2019

What did I like about the course?

* The contents discribed in the videos were very interesting.

* The rating system is great because you also have to rate other people yourself. With this system you get to know the motiviation and background of other attendees.

* Also, setting a due date is a good decision, as this motivates one to get through the course.

What was not so good?

* Some of the questions were way to easy. Due to the fact that you will be certified at the end, I would like to compare the degree of difficulty with that of a university/collage. After all, we want to be reasonably prepared for the job market after this course. Some questions were even superfluous. In the video the speaker says something like "With Zepplin Notebooks you can run code in different languages". Immediately afterwards the video is paused and the question is "True or false? With Zepplin Notebooks you can run code in different languages"... I hope, since it is the first course, the difficulty will increase through out the course and we can get our hands dirty.

* I don't know if this is a bad point but three weeks for this amount of content is way to long. I think it depends on the attendee but you can finish this course easily in one day.

What else could be improved?

* In some situations, I wish the video player was a bit larger, because you'd like to read along with the script but still want to see everything and with such a small player, it's not possible.

* If you're working on a laptop and have 2 browser windows open side by side, the page is not responsive enough and the player will appear cut off. So therefore it is hart to watch the video in one window and directly try out the stuff in the other one.

By Michael F

May 23, 2021

Data Science is a fascinating field, but I think this particular course has several problems.

Firstly, the quizzes and final exam test purely on memorization of words and phrases, but not on actually learning the material. The final assignment, which is written entirely by the student and peer graded, has grading rubrics that explicitly require the use of these words and phrases. I believe this is the biggest reason non-traditional coursework has, in being accepted by the business sector.

The presenters, though highly regarded, are much less than polished speakers. Teaching effectively requires communicating effectively. As students we (at least I), seek proven organizations and their people to learn from. so a speaker who does not have even rudimentary presentation skills is a big disappointment. Further, it impedes learning even more for those who do not speak American English as a first language.

In addition, the presenter problem is made worse by the inaccurate digitization of speech to text, that accompanies each video. Unfortunately, this is not the only course exhibiting this problem, the entire Google IT Support Specialist Certificate series is an example.

The solution is three-fold: create a concise script of what is to be said (and how the speaker will appear on video), rehearse the presentation thoroughly, and an accurate proof the text that accompanies each video.

By Imran S

May 8, 2020

Not going to say this course is bad. This course is good for an absolute beginner who doesn't have a clue on what Machine Learning is. However, don't expect to build predictive models from this course. They go through surface knowledge of Data Science (which is a ridiculously broad term so it makes sense to do so as a starting point). There's some Watson projects which is pretty cool, but Watson is like a software where you can implement Data Science. You're not building any new models as such through code here.

It all comes down to personal preference, if you want to learn about what Data Science is and how Watson works, this could be a good path for you to take. For me, my goal was to be able to understand the mathematics and thereby code in popular languages and frameworks, basically going into the micro level rather than having a general surface knowledge of everything. I learned alot about coding from Lynda's Python and Data Science Essentials. However, ML is a very broad umbrella, and I narrowed down my discipline to learning Deep Learning with Andrew Ng's Deep Learning specialization which in my opinion is an excellent course if your learning goal aligns with mine.