5 Inexpensive Ways To Learn About Data Online (For Beginners)

by Kayle Simpson, on June 2, 2016


Whether you’re a total data newbie or a seasoned professional looking to branch out, we’ve gathered a list of resources to learn about different aspects of the data industry with no previous knowledge required. Best part- most of these are free or inexpensive, and all are taught by seasoned professionals, experts, and even top rated universities! Let’s dig in:



SQL for Newbs: Beginner Data Analysis

Nowadays, knowing SQL is an incredibly useful skill to have. SQL is the universal language of data, so even if you don’t work with data regularly, knowing SQL can not only boost your resume, but can get you direct access to your data, allowing you to provide invaluable insights for marketing, sales, and even human resources. For $20 you can learn all about the basics of SQL, and you even get a certificate of completion to show off to your coworkers!



Networks, Crowds and Markets

Maybe you’re not so much into the tech side of data, and you want to learn more about what data can do. Or maybe you’re a sociology buff, internet enthusiast, or a social media marketer! This class connects technology, economics, and social science to explore how data and information in general has an impact on today’s society. It also makes advanced analytical topics such as Bayes' Rule, Page Rank, and the Network Effect approachable.  This class is taught by instructors at Cornell University, and is available for free on edX.org. 



Condensing the News: An Introduction to Data Visualization

Maybe you’re more creative and want to try your hand at creating infographics? While it’s debatable whether or not what is taught in this class actually counts as data visualization (vizzes are dynamic and interactive, where as infographics are static and must be updated manually), it is a fun way to learn more about visual representations of data and do a little bit of data collecting yourself. This is best for people who are familiar with Adobe Illustrator, and want to branch out and grow their portfolio. This class is offered on Skillshare, which is available for a small monthly subscription fee.



Tableau Starter Kits

Talk about a Tableau-ception: The Tableau Starter Kits are actually Tableau vizzes about using Tableau, by Tableau. Say that ten times fast! If you’ve interested in learning how to use Tableau, or make data visualizations in general, this is one of the best resources out there. Tableau is useful for just about anyone, and skills in data visualization are highly sought after. Best part? It’s 100% free!




Data Science Specialization


So you want something with a little more oomph, do you? Then this is the course for you. The Data Science Specialization on Coursera is taught by professors at Johns Hopkins University and includes 10 classes that cover everything from the R programming language to machine learning. This course is a lot more intensive than everything else listed above, with a final capstone project due at the end of the course, but the payoff is worth it- completing this specialization will earn you a certificate from Coursera and Johns Hopkins, which will give you a boost on your job hunt, or easily make you employee of the month. Each class is individually available for purchase, starting at $29 for the introduction and $49 for the subsequent classes, or you can purchase the entire specialization for $422.


Do you have any favorite classes you’ve taken that have helped you with your data career? Leave us a comment! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Arka Blog so you never miss a new post!

Topics:Data Science

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