Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Learning Data Analytics

Data Analytics is the search for meaningful patters in data. This has become a skill in demand with large amounts of data on the behavior of users of the Internet becoming available as a byproduct of online system. This is referred to as "Information analysis" (INAN) in the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) Category: Strategy and architecture, Subcategory: Information Strategy at skill levels 3 to 7 :
"The validation and analysis of information, including the ability to discover and quantify patterns in data of any kind, including numbers, symbols, text, sound and image. The relevant techniques include statistical and data mining or machine learning methods such as rule induction, artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms and automated indexing systems." From SFIA Skill Descriptions, BCS, 2011
SAS sponsored a UK report on "Big Data Analytics: Assessment of Demand for Labour and Skills, 2013-2020" (November 2014). Some universities have assembled whole degrees around analytics, but these are largely repackaging of existing university IT courses (Voorhis, Trovati, & Self, 2014). Deakin, La Trobe and other universities are offering Masters and diplomas in data analytics (mostly "business analytics").

Many university courses involve the analysis of large amounts of data, but usually not using the term "Data Analytics". The R Programming Language is popular for these. There are specialized courses and packages for specific disciplines (I attending a short course today on the analysis of learning management system data from Moodle).

UCSD offer an online "Introduction to Big Data Analytics" as part of their Big Data Certificate, through Coursera.

ANU offers "Engineering Data Analytics" (ENGN8535), as a full semester masters course. There is also a two day Professional Development short course "How to communicate your data story.


Voorhis, D., Trovati, M., & Self, R. (2014). Designing Big Data Analytics Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes for Employability. http://computing.derby.ac.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Designing-Big-Data-Analytics-Programmes-for-Undergraduate-and-Masters-Students.pdf

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