Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Update - Microsoft Data Science Essentials Course

Not too long ago, I signed up for the Microsoft curriculum on big data and analytics. The first course in the series is Data Science Essentials. See the original blog post here.

The course has six modules plus a final exam. There are mini-exams at the end of each module that, together, account for 50% of the grade for the course.

Module One is a basic introduction. What is Big Data, what can you do with it, etc.

Module Two is real stuff. It's basically a quick intro to probability statistics and various kinds of variables. I took lots of statistics in graduate school and occasionally read up on statistics just to keep tuned up. Given that, I think it would be hard to understand everything in Module Two if I didn't already have a good background in this stuff.

The very good news is that you can download a transcript of the video presentation. There is also a PDF white paper you can download that does a good job of summarizing the material. The handouts and downloads are less than 15 pages total. So while it's dense, you can definitely get through it if you just sit down and read.

The lab for this module consists of setting up a free account on Azure to access the databases and examples, and installing the software needed to run the R programs. There's a bit of coding involved, but no real explanation of the coding. That's okay for now. Later in the course I assume we learn enough to do some code cleanup.

The mini exam consisted of only two questions. Basically, if you finished the lab you can answer the questions. If not, then you can't. So that's good. (I got 100% of the two questions correct.)

I assume this gets harder. But it's still an intro course. So I'm hoping I can finish before I head off to Colombia at the end of the month.

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If you want to get started, I recommend you check out my first post on this -

Big Data Education . . . Microsoft Style.


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