Revisiting the Udacity Data Analyst Nanodegree

Since the last time we “spoke”, the summer “has come and passed” and September has ended. Also, Udacity has modified its Data Analyst nanodegree and created an additional offering labeled “Data Foundations”. The changes have to do with both the content and the format of the classes.

Firstly, the new Data Foundations nanodegree, as it so evidently proclaims, provides a foundation for one to start in the data analysis field. It explores the basics of data, SQL and visualizations.

The new format for the Data Analyst nanodegree (DAND) does away with the own-paced curriculum replacing it with two terms, i.e. 3 months. Term 1 is labeled “Data Analysis with Python and SQL” and includes: “Introduction to Python”, “Introduction to Data Analysis” and “Practical Statistics”. Each is accompanied by a project. All projects have to be completed to earn the nanodegree within 3 months. You can complete/watch the coursework or not, but project completion is the prerequisite to pass. Term 2 of the DAND is labeled “Advanced Data Analysis” and includes: “Data Wrangling”, “Exploratory Data Analysis” and “Data Storytelling”. The first has two projects to complete, while the next each have one project. Term 1 costs 499USD while Term 2 costs 699USD (previously the cost was 200USD per month with a 50% money back offer if the course was completed within 12 months).

Personally, I have re-enrolled in the DAND Term 2 and I have received credit for my previous submission of one project. I have all but submitted the EDA (Exploratory Data Analysis) project as well. Some changes will be necessary as new datasets are a required this time around, but most of the material and work for the project I have watched/done before.

I believe that this format is much more user friendly and to the point. One of the reasons that Udacity might have followed this new methodology is that they are now offering more advanced nanodegrees in “Machine Learning”, “Deep Learning” and “Robotics”. So some of the material that was part of DAND has now moved to those courses. In my opinion this is much better as it focuses on data analysis leaving the more advanced material for the specialized courses.

Starting this week with the new material in the Data Wrangling module I was surprised to also find new videos and instructors, as well as a new format in the learning material. Videos are now even shorter (maximum 3-4 minutes) and are followed or intermixed with text. This makes the learner more involved, as you need to switch between listening and reading constantly. It also helps with skimming through material if it is something you are already familiar with.

So stay tuned for the next posts reviewing each of the modules of Term 2 of the DAND.

In the meantime, I have also found two telecom related courses on edX from Institut Mines-Télécom:

  1. Digital Networks Essentials
  2. 4G Network Essentials

From the reviews I see the videos are in French with English subtitles, but overall they appear to be of good quality.

Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou manages revenue assurance and fraud at Epic, a Cypriot telco, having joined their RA function in March 2011. His background includes a double major in Computer Science and Economics, as well as an MBA. Before being lured into the exciting world of telecoms he worked as a software developer.

Michael is interested to gain a better understanding of different aspects of RA and data analysis. He shares his insights on training courses he participates in with Commsrisk. Michael's accumulated experience of online training also led him to volunteer for the role of Coordinator of the RAG Learning online education platform.