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A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analytics

Discover how to transform data into amplified intelligence and implement technical solutions as a data-led innovator.

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Explore the components of a successful data analytics ecosystem

Organisations with a data-led culture benefit from greater transparency, faster decision making, and higher revenue, thanks to innovative approaches to data analytics.

On this three-week course, you’ll be introduced to key concepts used in data analytics processes. You’ll define a data-led organisation, identifying how infrastructures, types of analytics, and people combine to make an effective ecosystem.

Examine the benefits of diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics

When used effectively, data analytics gives meaningful answers to questions about the past, present, and future of business organisations.

Using business cases to contextualise your learning, you’ll examine each step of the data analytics journey, learning to identify where your organisation currently sits and develop your own data optimisation strategy.

Learn how to spot digital innovation opportunities and data skill gaps

You’ll explore a variety of analytics strategies and gain an overview of different data skill sets and roles in data engineering, analysis, and science.

Equipped with this understanding, you’ll be able to identify any gaps in your current structure, explaining what business needs are fulfilled by each role and the technical solutions they can offer.

Develop real-world decision making skills, driven by data analysis

Driven by your organisation’s operational and strategic goals, you’ll learn how data analytics can deliver new information and insights to inform future strategies.

With insights and experiences delivered by world-leading experts in data analytics, you’ll finish this course having developed a data analytics mindset to help inform your business decisions and a data strategy that aligns with your organisation’s goals.


  • Week 1

    Data analytics — an overview

    • Introduction to data analytics

      Introduction to the course and defining key terms related to data analytics, with an opportunity for learners to identify what they already know.

    • Integrating data analytics into business

      Exploring how data analytics can be helpful and applicable for business decisions by creating and implementing an effective data strategy. Looking at what a data ecosystem is and how past data can help predict future trends.

    • What are the four main types of data analytics?

      Taking a much more detailed look at the four types of data analytics, and how to merge the past and present aspects of data analytics to get a clear picture of what needs to be done in the present.

    • What are the main skills and roles in data analytics?

      A look at the various skills needed for effective data analytics, and the roles that correspond to these skills.

    • How can data analytics be implemented in my organization?

      A look at the practical implementation of data analytics, with a breakdown of how this can best be achieved for small, medium and large organizations.

  • Week 2

    Data analytics types

    • What is descriptive analytics?

      By the end of this activity, learners will be better able to explain the principles, benefits and challenges of descriptive analytics.

    • Implementing technical solutions

      This activity examines various technical aspects of the initial stages of data analytics, such as the data pipeline, warehousing, data protection, and visualization. It gives expert perspectives on each aspect.

    • What is diagnostic analytics?

      By the end of this activity, learners will be better able to explain the principles, benefits and challenges of diagnostic analytics.

    • What is predictive analytics?

      By the end of this activity, learners will be better able to explain the principles, benefits and challenges of predictive analytics.

  • Week 3

    Digital transformation and competitive advantage with data analytics

    • What is prescriptive analytics?

      By the end of this activity, learners will be better able to explain the principles, benefits and challenges of prescriptive analytics.

    • Data analytics and digital transformation

      This activity allows the learners to explore the principles of using data analytics to transform organizations and gain advantage.

    • Gain and sustain a competitive advantage using data analytics

      This activity gives learners the opportunity to apply the skills and steps required to gain a competitive advantage using data analytics.

    • Evalulating data analytics projects

      By the end of this activity, learners will be better able to identify the decisions and factors involved in evaluating data analytics projects.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the four types of data analytics and how they interact.
  • Identify the purpose and value of the different types of data analytics and the way that these each contribute to the effective use of BI.
  • Explore the challenges and opportunities of DA implementation in businesses of all sizes.
  • Identify various aspects of technical solutions within data analytics.
  • Explain the principles, benefits and challenges of diagnostic, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.
  • Explore the principles of using DA to transform and improve organisations.
  • Apply the skills and steps required to gain a competitive advantage using DA.
  • Identify the decisions and factors involved in evaluating DA projects.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone wanting to make the move into a career in data science and analytics.

It’s also suitable for business leaders wanting to improve their understanding of data analytics to improve decision making, technical innovation, and business strategy.

Who developed the course?


BoxPlay is democratizing career success by making learning a new habit and trade through creating the most compelling, relevant, and engaging streaming educational content to help with employability and career success. Our products combine education and entertainment. We create immersive, bingeable experiences with characters, narratives, and moving visuals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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