My first revelation while following this very short (but wonderfully useful) course was that when I wrote my post about wanting to try out Machine Learning to automate my workflow, I was barking up the wrong tree.
To quote one of the statisticians referenced on the course:
Statistics is the science of learning from data. Machine Learning (ML) is the science of learning from data.
So yeah, it’s definitely not teaching software to automate your workflow, although I’m sure there are tools out there that can do that.
Anyway, the crash course has been just that. Data science ideas, tools and methods were introduced and a brief explanation of them was provided, with some recommendations for further reading. With a few short quizzes to complete, you are certainly not going to become an expert from this course alone, but you will come away with a much stronger idea of what data science is and isn’t and I certainly enjoyed the course.
One of the great benefits that you get from the course whether you complete the whole thing or not, is the amount of introductions that are made to you. I’ve just downloaded and installed rStudio on my laptop as I’ve been convinced enough that the r language will be very useful to me in the future. I’ve also acquired 5 different books from Leanpub, all on Data Science, which will also help me understand statistics better. Finally, they also give broad recommendations of what is basically good coding practice, such as commenting your code, version control and keeping reproducibility in mind.
Really, the way the course and content are presented is great. It feels accessible to people at any level and feels like it opens up the doors to Data Science a whole lot wider. As a whole, it was something that intimidated me a little, but having followed the crash course and finding somewhere to begin has really reassured me.
So that’s my advice on how not to go bananas when you’re wondering about what the future of your job could look like, or if there are better solutions for what you’re doing, go and find a crash course!