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6 weeks Data Scientist Online Courses #rstats

Hosting a 6 weekend live online certification course on Business Analytics with R starting June 1 at Edureka.Check www.edureka.in/r-for-analytics for more details. Course has been decided to ensure more open data science than current expensive offerings that are tech rather than business oriented but more support and customization than a MOOC This is because many business customers don’t care if it is lapply or ddapply, or command line or GUI, as long  as they get good ROI on time and money spent in shifting to R from other analytics software.

Screenshot from 2013-05-28 07:16:41



Coursera gets cluttered

I am a big fan of Coursera, but I really think they should organize the Courses along tracks for people wanting to gain multiple skills for a domain or a career.

Their current system of tracks is a signature track that at 39/69$ offers a certificate. Can’t this be upgraded to something like a Data Scientist certification – say if you complete 5-6 courses that are specified.

Also there needs to be much more external social (rather than internal social /forums discussion) as well as some gamification like Codeacademy does (points, badges, leaderboard) to make it more fun.

Lastly- I wish there was a way to read the transcripts fast or at least some way for professionals who are busy to change the rate of learning (the video speed can be changed but its not that effective)

See this- with 370 courses I think Coursera should really build a layer of certifications for multiple courses along a single industry/domain.


Why Online Education

1) Huge variety of courses from the best professors in the world (see Gamification course from Coursera below) or Machine Learning , Human Computer Interaction


2) They are free ( is a mistake)! time is not free.

Also signature courses at Coursera now offer credible tracks for $39, and they have more support.

Why do you as a student need support? because sometimes you get stuck, and sometimes you need human interaction to stay motivated.

3) Coursera- I love these things-

Can run the course faster at 1.75 times ( because seriously I get distracted otherwise)

Can run the multiple language CC (captions) – reading is so much faster

Best feature- in video quizzes

Most number of courses



Makes learning fun

Makes easy to learn language

I wish someone could mash more of Coursera content with Codeacademy gamification and teach hacking and data sciences to the next generation of hackers!!

Rest of the websites are good, but I stick to Coursera and Codeacademy!

5) Education empowers! Every person who learns R or JMP through a free MOOC will create more value for themselves, customers, and their society, country than had they remain uneducated because they could not afford the training.


The rise of the global MOOCs ( Massively Open Online Course)

Threatening the monopoly of corrupted universities that cater to rising educational aspirations with mediocre , recycled courses, the MOOC revolution now breaks out of North America to reach global universities.Of course, Coursera leads and I liked the tight integration with Meetup.com -

May I suggest they look at codeacademy and build much more gamification than  currently available in their own courses.




Today we’re welcoming 29 new universities to the Coursera community of 2.7 million students and 33 existing universities across 4 continents!

also see





To date, edX has more than 700,000 individuals on its platform, who account for more than 900,000 course enrollments.

EdX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced today the international expansion of its X University Consortium with the addition of six new global higher education institutions. The Australian National University (ANU), Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, McGill University and the University of Toronto in Canada, and Rice University in the United States are joining the Consortium

Do you want a 100,000 extra analysts in your platform or language. Why don’t you let your training department design a MOOC for these platforms. Because the more people that are trained in your software or platform, the more brand ambassadors you have to selling it to future clients. Companies like 10gen are already doing it for MongoDB. And Oracle is doing it for R Enterprise ( see http://decisionstats.com/2012/10/23/10gen-and-online-education-mongodb/)

What is a MOOC?


A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale participation and open access via the web. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education using open educational resources. They are similar to college courses, but typically do not offer academic credit. Other forms of assessment or certification may be available including those based on learning analytics for online environments.

MOOCs originated within the open educational resources (OER) movement and connectivist roots. Several MOOC-type projects have emerged independently, such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX.[1] Others, like Canvas Network and CourseSites by Blackboard Inc have evolved from learning management systems.

Also see-

http://www.mooc-list.com/  list of Massive Open Online Courses (free online courses) offered by the best universities and entities.

Interview Anne Milley JMP

Here is an interview with Anne Milley,Sr Director, Analytic Strategy, JMP.

Ajay- Review – How was the year 2012 for Analytics in general and JMP in particular?
Anne- 2012 was great!  Growing interest in analytics is evident—more analytics books, blogs, LinkedIn groups, conferences, training, capability, integration….  JMP had another good year of worldwide double-digit growth.

Ajay-  Forecast- What is your forecast for analytics in terms of top 5 paradigms for 2013?
Anne- In an earlier blog, I had predicted we will continue to see more lively data and information visualizations—by that I mean more interactive and dynamic graphics for both data analysts and information consumers.
We will continue to hear about big data, data science and other trendy terms. As we amass more and more data histories, we can expect to see more innovations in time series visualization. I am excited by the growing interest we see in spatial and image analysis/visualization and hope those trends continue—especially more objective, data-driven image analysis in medicine! Perhaps not a forecast, but a strong desire, to see more people realize and benefit from the power of experimental design. We are pleased that more companies—most recently SiSoft—have integrated with JMP to make DOE a more seamless part of the design engineer’s workflow.

 Ajay- Cloud- Cloud Computing seems to be the next computing generation. What are JMP plans for cloud computing?
Anne- With so much memory and compute power on the desktop, there is still plenty of action on PCs. That said, JMP is Citrix-certified and we do see interest in remote desktop virtualization, but we don’t support public clouds.

Ajay- Events- What are your plans for the International Year of Statistics at JMP?
Anne- We kicked off our Analytically Speaking webcast series this year with John Sall in recognition of the first-ever International Year of Statistics. We have a series of blog posts on our International Year of Statistics site that features a noteworthy statistician each month, and in keeping with the goals of Statistics2013, we are happy to:

  • increase awareness of statistics and why it’s essential,
  • encourage people to consider it as a profession and/or enhance their skills with more statistical knowledge, and
  • promote innovation in the sciences of probability and statistics.

Both JMP and SAS are doing a variety of other things to help celebrate statistics all year long!

Ajay- Education Training-  How does JMP plan to leverage the MOOC paradigm (massive open online course) as offered by providers like Coursera etc.?
Anne- Thanks to you for posting this to the JMP Professional Network  on LinkedIn, where there is some great discussion on this topic.  The MOOC concept is wonderful—offering people the ability to invest in themselves, enhance their understanding on such a wide variety of topics, improve their communities….  Since more and more professors are teaching with JMP, it would be great to see courses on various areas of statistics (especially since this is the International Year of Statistics!) using JMP. JMP strives to remove complexity and drudgery from the analysis process so the analyst can stay in flow and focus on solving the problem at hand. For instance, the one-click bootstrap is a great example of something that should be promoted in an intro stats class. Imagine getting to appreciate the applied results and see the effects of sampling variability without having to know distribution theory. It’s good that people have options to enhance their skills—people can download a 30-day free trial of JMP and browse our learning library as well.

Ajay- Product- What are some of the exciting things JMP users and fans can look forward to in the next releases this year?
Anne- There are a number of enhancements and new capabilities planned for new releases of the JMP family of products, but you will have to wait to hear details…. OK, I’ll share a few!  JMP Clinical 4.1 will have more sophisticated fraud detection. We are also excited about releasing version 11 of JMP and JMP Pro this September.  JMP’s DOE capability is well-known, and we are pleased to offer a brand new class of experimental design—definitive screening designs. This innovation has already been recognized with The 2012 Statistics in Chemistry Award to Scott Allen of Novomer in collaboration with Bradley Jones in the JMP division of SAS. You will hear more about the new releases of JMP and JMP Pro at  Discovery Summit in San Antonio—we are excited to have Nate Silver as our headliner!


Anne Milley directs analytic strategy in JMP Product Marketing at SAS.  Her ties to SAS began with bank failure prediction at FHLB Dallas.  Using SAS continued at 7-Eleven Corporation in Strategic Planning.  She has authored papers and served on committees for SAS Education conferences, KDD, and SIAM.  In 2008, she completed a 5-month assignment at a UK bank.  Milley completed her M.A. in Economics from Florida Atlantic University, did post-graduate work at RWTH Aachen, and is proficient in German.


Introduced in 1989, JMP has grown into a family of statistical discovery products used worldwide in almost every industry. JMP is statistical discovery software  that links dynamic data visualization with robust statistics, in memory and on the desktop. From its beginnings, JMP software has empowered its users by enabling interactive analytics on the desktop. JMP products continue to complement – and are often deployed with – analytics solutions that provide server-based business intelligence.


Education for the common people

Higher education in the West is no longer the exclusive club and proxy partner to student debt. This amazing article by NYTimes shows how- the following are shaking the football loving US education giants in their boots while bring balance back to the Force. Big Education for the common people because you need humans to code in the Big Data era.

https://www.coursera.org/ - The pioneer, has the advantages and disadvantages of being the market leader in an innovating. Sure 1.7 million users, but how many are attending how many lectures and how many newly skilled machine learning people are there after 2 courses have been completed by Andrew Ng, and does industry feel the same about the employ-ability of these course takers.

https://www.edx.org/ , and http://www.udacity.com/ – again  some course are common across these platforms so more public web analytics would be a welcome step.

But I really liked Stanford’s open source solution, so that anyone especially and including corporations and companies can start creating their own online courses. It is called class2go and is available at https://github.com/Stanford-Online/class2go


Class2Go is Stanford’s internal open-source platform for on-line education. A team of eight built the first version over the summer 2012, and it is still under active development. Class2Go launched this Fall for six on-campus classes and two “massive open online courses” (MOOC’s): Computer Networking and Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries.

Class2Go was built to be an open platform for learning and research. Professors have access to the classes’ data to learn how their students learn.

Leveraging Others

Projects that help class2go.com

  • YouTube for video
  • Khan Academy for their HTML-based exercise framework
  • Piazza for forums
  • MySQL is our database
  • The massive Python Django ecosystem: eg. South, Registration
  • Amazon AWS suite for hosting (EC2, S3, RDS, Route53, IAM)
  • Chef from Opscode for configuration management
  • Github for source code management and issues

Good to see technology and the internet bringing back skills to people globally, so in the future they wont have to use a skill shortage excuse to import cyber technology H1b slaves  and coolies from Asia forced to choose between livelihood, family and undeniable economic arbitrage pressure. Maybe they can try and customize it for Africa, or for women or other  needy areas as well.





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