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Yeah, you’ve probably heard – we’re creating more data at an astonishing pace each year. It’s even stumping the experts. A decade ago, tech analyst dignitaries IDC estimated we’ll be producing as much as 35 zettabytes of data in 2020. Well, we reached 33 zettabytes in 2018.

So IDC revised that figure to 175 zettabytes of data by 2025. 175 zettabytes. Let’s put it into perspective – if you put all that data into stacks of Blu Ray discs, you’d have a long tower of discs all the way to the moon … 23 times!

And in every bit of data, there lies something valuable to extract.

But we need the right kind of tools to sieve through all this data. We need the right people with the right skills to make sense of data.

Left on its own, unstructured data is just arbitrary lines of code. With the proper methodologies, data can mean increasing a company’s profit margin by 100-folds. It could mean finding a cure for a terrible disease. Or transforming whole nations.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Data is the new oil”. Its value is made possible through the field of big data, where people engage in near-mystical techniques to manage, structure, analyze, and extract useful insights from humongous sets of data.

Making sense of large datasets is so instrumental in the modern world that organizations that fail to invest get left behind. It’s so instrumental that people in the know – the big data and business analytics professionals – make serious coin. Depending on the speciality, the average salaries of business analytics folk can rise to $124,019 per year.

You know how some jobs are set to be phased out due to technology? Well, anything to do with big data and business analytics is here to stay. It’s a solid career path. But there’s lots to learn. You need to know different forms of data and how to manipulate them. You also need to understand how to use the tools that can help you do so – from the data crunching ones to the ones that help you visualize your data to create a compelling argument that may eventually save your company millions.

There are online courses to get you there. And instead of getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of courses in the interweb, we’ve done you a solid and picked out our favorite ones below.

Here’s our list of seven of the best online courses for big data and business analytics:

1. STATISTICS FOR BUSINESS ANALYTICS AND DATA SCIENCE A-Z™ | UDEMY

A great place to start your business analytics journey is the Statistics for Business Analytics and Data Science A-Z course on Udemy. Taught by highly-regarded data scientist-turned-educator, Kirill Eremenko, this class will help you master critical statistics concepts to launch your career in business analytics and data science.

Instead of drowning you with theoretical concepts, this course is pretty practical, with plenty of hands-on exercises and real-world business examples, so you’re able to retain the subject matter better through real applications.

The broad subject matters Kirill will cover include distributions, central limit theorems, and the more applicable-to-business topics like hypothesis testing and the Pareto principle.

You’ll learn normal distributions, standard deviations, the distinction between continuous and discrete variables, and how to apply statistical significance to your work.

Statistics for Business Analytics and Data Science A-Z is well-suited for beginners who want to build their statistical foundations to use in business analytics and data science. It’s also useful if you’re looking for a refresher in statistics.

The comprehensive course features 7-hours of on-demand video and costs $22.99.

What the reviews are saying:

“I had statistics at my University. I needed refreshment so I can do more in Data Science and Machine Learning. This course is really nice and with interesting examples. Well done. I will always get back on it, when I need refreshing memory again.” – Manja Bogicevic

“Brilliant course. The approach, real-life examples and the flow of the course have been well thought. Thoroughly enjoyed working on this course.” – Rishabh Nagaich

2. BIG DATA SPECIALIZATION | COURSERA

Another great one for beginners is the UC San Diego-designed, Big Data Specialization course offered by Coursera. This Specialization class will help you leverage big data to drive better decision-making.

The course blends theory with hands-on application to give you a well-rounded understanding of big data. You learn how to use vital tools in the data scientist’s arsenal such as Spark, Hive, Hadoop with MapReduce, and Pig. You’ll also gain expert knowledge on how to run predictive modeling and use graph analytics to solve problems.

The topics covered span big data integration and processing to machine learning with big data, and the final assessment is a project developed in collaboration with popular big data analytics platform, Splunk. So you know it’s legit!

Big Data Specialization is taught by industry experts from the San Diego Supercomputer Cente. It’s completely free unless you opt for graded assessments and the course certificate to boost your data science credentials.

3. BUSINESS ANALYTICS NANODEGREE PROGRAM | UDACITY

Great news. Udacity’s flagship Nanodegree series has one specifically for Business Analytics. Co-created with leading data visualization software company, Tableau, this course is designed to help you develop core data skills to use in a variety of functions and industries.

You’ll learn how to use statistics and modern data visualization techniques to identify and present actionable insights. With Microsoft Excel, you’ll learn how to shape and alter data using spreadsheets to solve business problems. You’ll also learn how to use the all-important, Structured Query Language (SQL), to work with large databases.

Finally, you’ll also learn how to visualize your data – the data isn’t actionable unless you get the buy-in from your stakeholders, and you have to do it through effective data visualization.

As with any class on Udacity, you’ll be treated with access to personalized feedback to your projects, technical mentorship, and personal career coaching & career services, so you’re truly maximizing the learning outcomes from this course.

The Business Analytics Nanodegree Program will take approximately 3-months to complete, and costs $1,017 for 3-months, or $399 monthly.

What the reviews are saying:

“This program is really excellent. The videos and quizzes manage to break down complicated concepts and tasks into comprehensible chunks that make learning faster and more enjoyable. I’ve gained some robust skills and have gained the confidence to aim higher in my career!” – Kilian T

“Program is going well! I really value the effort and time my mentor is putting in, and I value the point of view Elena gives as a Machine Learning Engineer. The information is straightforward, and I’m looking forward to continuing my progress.” – Andrew M

4. STRAIGHT FROM BUSINESS SCHOOL: DATA + ANALYTICS | UDEMY

Udemy’s short course on Data + Analytics is great for those business analysts ambitions. Developed by highly-regarded online business school, Classrack, Straight From Business School: Data + Analytics is an excellent primer on working with massive data sets and extracting meaningful insights to make better business decisions.

The class exposes you to crucial analytics concepts such as sampling, basic statistics & probability rules, confidence intervals, and binomial & normal distribution. It’ll also teach you how to run hypothesis testing, and use regressions to make more accurate predictions that will fuel growth in your organization.

Straight From Business School: Data + Analytics is a 2.5-hour course costing $9.99 for full lifetime access.

What the reviews are saying:

“Excellent course for business analysts at consulting firms. If you need to brush up on your skills in Excel and analysis, this is a great course to take. Helped me out a lot with work stuff.” – Kathleen Higgins

“At first I thought the course was just a standard review of a Statistics class, but it did dive deeper. It was nice to learn the “binomdist” and “normdist” features in Excel, plus “real life” ways to use Regression Analysis and Decision Trees. Thanks!” – Darci Oltman

5. BEST PRACTICES FOR ANALYZING AND REPORTING ON BUSINESS DATA | LORMAN

For high-level insights on business analytics, try Lorman’s on-demand webinar on Analyzing and Reporting on Business Data. This hour-long class focuses specifically on the field of predictive analytics, the process of using data to improve decision making.

Highly-regarded data scientist, entrepreneur, and author, Dean Abbott, hosts the engaging class by diving into best practice examples of analysis and reporting, as the name of the course would suggest.

Dean structures the webinar in the form of an actual analytics project. He starts by building the project framework and in the process, establishes the definition of predictive analytics and teaches you about the popular data mining approach, CRISP-DM. Dean then guides how to select the right problem and choose the target variable with real-world examples. Lastly, he discusses when and when not to use algorithms along your predictive analytics journey.

Access to the on-demand webinar will cost you $99, but for $699, you will get access to all Lorman content for a full year.

6. DATA VISUALIZATION NANODEGREE PROGRAM | UDACITY

So you think you know how to analyze your data. In any business setting, that’s one half of the puzzle. Presenting it convincingly is the other half. Udacity’s Data Visualization Nanodegree Program focuses on precisely that – how to visualize and communicate data in an impactful way to convince even the toughest stakeholders to buy-in to your data-driven insights.

You’ll learn how to create impressive visualizations to deliver your findings. You’ll build the soft skills necessary to pair with your data analysis skills to be more compelling at engaging your stakeholders. You’ll also learn how to use the popular data visualization tool, Tableau, to create dashboards to tell your data story effectively.

As mentioned above, the benefit of taking a course with Udacity is its industry-leading features, which include personalized reviews and feedback on your projects, technical mentor support, and a personal career coaching function that’ll help you make the most out of the course experience.

The Data Visualization Nanodegree Program will take approximately 4-months to complete. It’s priced at $399 monthly or $1,356 for a 4-month on-demand access of the course.

7. DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION SKILLS: THE PWC APPROACH SPECIALIZATION | COURSERA

Another excellent data visualization course is the highly-rated PwC-led Coursera Specialization, Data Analysis and Presentation Skills. It’s all about using filtering and manipulating data to identify actionable insights faster.

The course will teach you how to leverage popular analysis and presentation tools like Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint to present your data in an engaging way.

It encompasses the following modules – an intro to data-driven decision-making, how to use Microsoft Excel to solve problems and leverage its advanced features to visualize data, and how to build compelling business presentations with Microsoft Powerpoint.

In the final project, you’ll work on a recorded video presentation solving a client problem with data provided by PwC. How’s that for real-world immersion?

All enrolled students will also be invited to PwC’s exclusive talent network, giving you access to a plethora of PwC goodies, from career opportunities, to thought leadership, and updates about its global network.

Data Analysis and Presentation Skills: the PwC Approach Specialization is completely free to enroll, unless you want your assignments graded – such as that interesting final project – and an official course certificate.

What the reviews are saying:

“This class was very interesting and you actually apply what you have learnt in the previous class. I feel that I have learnt a lot, and feel confident in working in such a project in a company.” – AL

“This project (more than a course) is very interesting, allows to reuse all the skills acquired during the other 4 courses of the specialization. The learner still have room to conduct his own analysis, build his hypotheses and deliver the presentation ! A great training ! :)” – Pierre S

Top 7 Big Data and Business Analytics Courses

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