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Online course

Learn to Code for Data Analysis

Software and data make the world go round. Learn programming, to analyse and visualise open data, with this free online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Learn to Code for Data Analysis

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Why join the course?

This hands-on course will teach you how to write your own computer programs, one line of code at a time. You’ll learn how to access open data, clean it and analyse it and to produce visualisations. You will also learn how to write up and share your analyses, privately or publicly.

You will install free software (see Requirements below) to learn to code in Python, a widely used programming language across all disciplines, due to its support for scientific and engineering libraries and visualisation tools, and wide range of development tools.

You will write up analyses and do coding exercises using the popular Jupyter Notebooks platform, which allows you to see immediately the result of running your code and helps you identify – and fix – any errors more easily.

You will look at real data from the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and other organisations. You’ll be encouraged to discuss the data and your analyses with your fellow learners, and to build a community of researchers around these and other datasets.

What topics will you cover?

  • Python: variables, assignments, expressions, basic data types, if-statement, functions
  • Programming: using Jupyter Notebooks, writing readable and documented code, testing code
  • Data analysis: using pandas to read CSV and Excel files, to clean, filter, partition, aggregate and summarise data, and to produce simple charts

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic programming concepts.
  • Develop an awareness of open data sources as a public resource.
  • Using a programming environment to develop programs.
  • Produce and write simple programs to analyse large bodies of data and produce useful results.

Who is the course for?

The course does not assume prior experience in programming or data analysis. Basic familiarity with a spreadsheet application will be an advantage.

The course does not require any knowledge of statistics, but you need to have basic numeracy skills, like writing arithmetic expressions, using percentages and understanding scientific notation. If you wish to brush up on your numeracy skills, we recommend the FutureLearn course Basic Science: Understanding Numbers from The Open University.

To study this course you will use specialist software. You can use the software online, via a free account on a website, or offline, by downloading and installing a free software package. You will receive instructions about both options via email before the course starts. The online solution requires a good internet connection and has some limitations.

The offline software has no limitations and is the recommended option. However, you will need access to a desktop or laptop computer on which you can install software. The software is free and there are versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. You will need about 3 GB of free disk space to download and install the software, and to store datasets that will be provided in the course.

Whether you choose the online or offline software option, you will need to be proficient in basic computer tasks, like creating folders, downloading files and copying them to specific folders, etc. In terms of accessibility, you will be asked to use your web browser and to type code.

Who will you learn with?

Michel Wermelinger

Michel does research on software maintenance. He likes producing OERs (www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/mw4687), looking at data visualisations and playing German-style board games.

Rob Griffiths

My research is on designing integrated programming / learning environments for students new to programming.

Tony Hirst

Open University academic and open data geek, with interests in data visualisation, data journalism and open education. Regular blogger at blog.ouseful.info

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


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