5 “Sexiest” Free Online Courses on Data Analaytics

Have you heard about the cool things called¬†Data Analytics or Data Science? Sounds sexy right? No? ūüôā Well, it better does, ’cause ¬†according to World Economic Forum’s¬†‚ÄúThe Future of The Jobs‚ÄĚ 2016 report, by 2020 Data Analytics is going to be the most required skill by employers. You see where I’m going?

New job market trends require everyone to be aware of at least the basics of Data Analytics. Here’s an intro video to get an idea what it is.

Today we are getting tons of data every moment and it can’t be analyzed without specific technologies. Every employer or organization needs people with these skills, so mastering them can be extremely helpful for you, especially if you are a ¬†location independent worker¬†or a¬†freelancer.

Data analytics is a science for collecting, storing and analyzing data, so to speak, “making sense of it”. It may seem to you, that if you are not a programmer, mathematician, engineer or someone from that sphere, you don’t need it. But you need it more in your life¬†than you can imagine.

Of course, you won’t become a data scientist in 1 month¬†or even 6 months, but you will start understanding how data works and most importantly, what level and what kind of data science do you need for your work.

So, here are 5 best free online courses, that I put together for you to save time. Right now I’m learning more advanced data analytics skills to use them as a journalist and a marketing specialist. I’ve collected the courses that don’t require advanced mathematics or coding background. They are free and easy to get started.

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1. “Getting started with data science” on bigdatauniversity.com.

Course created by: IBM. Level: Beginner. Duration: 2 hours.  Certificate: None.

This is a collection of short 2-5 min. video interviews about the very basics of Data Analytics. This will really help you get an idea about the topic and get started and won’t take too much time from you.


2. “Making Sense of Data in the Media” on futurelearn.com.¬†

Course created by: University of Sheffield. Level: beginner. Duration: 3 weeks (calculated 3 hours per week, but you can do faster), Certificate: available for‎ £34 ($49) if desired.

This, I think, is a must-do course. While you are not a data scientist, you need to know what all the numbers and statistics presented in media mean and should you trust them or not. This is a part of being media literate and making educated decisions about the information you get.


3. “Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools” on learno.net.

Course created by: European Journalism Center. Level: beginner. Duration: 1 month (there are 4 modules and it’s advised¬†to do each in a week, but you can go faster or slower). Certificate: None.

It says “Doing journalism” in the title, but this course will be useful for anybody, who wants to learn how to start using data, find sense and stories in messy, complex data sets and visualize it in a manner, that’s understandable for non-scientists.


4.¬†“Intro to Data Science” on udacity.com.

Course created by: Facebook, MongoDB, Zipfian Academy.¬†Level:¬†Intermediate. Duration: 2 months (it’s calculated to be done with 6 hours per week, but you can do it at your own pace). Certificate: None (this course is a part of Udacity’s ¬†1-year “Nanodegree” program ($199/month), at the end of which you can get a certificate).¬†

This course requires a little bit data science background but it’s an intro, so you will learn everything from the beginning. You will also have a chance to work on a project with real-life data from New York Subway.


5.¬†“Data, Analytics and Learning” on edX.org.

Course created by: University of Texas Arlington. Level: Intermediate. Duration: 9 weeks (calculated Р5 hours per week, but you can do it at your own pace).  Certificate: available for $50, if desired.

This course will teach you about open source programs for analyzing big data, social network data etc. You also learn the basics of the cool softwares like Tableau, LightSide, Gephi etc. It’s a very useful course, so definitely worth trying.


An example of good data visualization from Reddit.

Of course, this is not the whole list, there are tons of useful learning materials, videos, paid courses, but this can be a good guide to start.

One of the ways to learn better is to practice your learned tools on real world problems – be it writing an article, analyzing marketing data for your company or just analyzing public data to find stories or connections. You can even make some interesting discoveries and write about it.

Let me know in the comments below once you try them and what you think. ¬†We can even do some interesting projects together ūüôā¬†Share this source with your friends or who you think might be interested in learning this much-required skill set.

Happy Learning!

From LA with love ūüôā


Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of these web pages, courses or universities. I’ve made the list solely based on my experience and research.¬†