Weekly study5 hours
Learn to Code for Data Analysis
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Learn to code in Python and analyse real, open data
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 produce visualisations. You will also learn how to write up and share your analyses, privately or publicly.
You will install free software to learn to code in Python, a widely used programming language. You will write up analyses and do coding exercises using the popular Jupyter Notebook platform. And you will look at real data from the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and other organisations.
- 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
Learning on this course
You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. 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...
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic programming concepts.
- Using a programming environment to develop programs.
- Develop an awareness of open data sources as a public resource.
- 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.
What software or tools do you need?
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 developed the course?
As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.
LocationMilton Keynes, UK
World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020