Online Microcredential in IT & Computer Science

Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making

Discover storytelling with data and make better business decisions using data wrangling, modelling, and visualisations in R.

Created by

Monash UniversityMonash University

Learn more

Develop your own interactive dashboard that tells a data-driven story

Data becomes valuable when it allows us to make a decision or take action in the real world.

On this microcredential, you’ll work through practical programming exercises in R language to learn the process of tidying, harvesting and wrangling data and applying statistical models to simulate complex functions that solve a broad range of problems.

You will learn how to develop effective data visualisations for decision-making, and communicating your message to others, by utilising principles of cognitive perception and the grammar of graphics.

You’ll also explore the essential ethical, legal and organisational issues of data collection and management.

You’ll gain the skills you need to apply for roles as a data scientist or use the knowledge you’ve gained to enhance your current organisation.

The data science and data analytics industry is expected to grow by seven times in the next few years, reaching a value of $103 billion by 2023.

This microcredential meets the standards set by the Common Microcredential Framework.

Learner Testimonials

headshot of Matt McInnes ‘This course is the right mix of data science ‘sweet spot’ of technical knowledge, mathematics and the ability to apply deep context on the projects. It was indeed difficult, but I think appropriately so. It was an excellent experience and will make a really big difference to people who work alongside data scientists, or those who are considering a career but just want to try it out first.’

Matt McInnes (Managing Director, Lynxx Asia Pacific.)

‘I highly recommend this course to anyone who a) has a solid foundation in statistics and b) is interested in becoming a data scientist. The course covers a wide range of topics in data science with plenty of interesting datasets and detailed instructions for hands-on practice in R programming. Helpful resources are also provided if one wants to dig deeper into any particular topics.’ Headshot of Mena

Mena Ning Wang (Data Scientist, Partners Wealth Group)

Industry Insight

headshot of Hadley ‘We must give students the skills to dive into the data ocean. Yes, there are sharks and jellyfish and rip tides, but we can not be paralyzed by all the potential dangers. Students will go swimming with or without us, and all we can do is prepare them as best we are able. Monash’s Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making is a start on learning to swim with data.’

Hadley Wickham (Chief Scientist, RStudio)

Industry statistics

  • Median base salary

  • UK job openings/month

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds MICHAEL NIEMANN: What makes a data scientist?

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds DIANNE COOK: What can data tell us about our world?

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds MICHAEL NIEMANN: What underpins data-driven decisions?

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds DIANNE COOK: These are the questions at the heart of the field of data science.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds MICHAEL NIEMANN: Hi, I’m Michael Niemann. I’m a lecturer in data science in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 seconds DIANNE COOK: I’m Dianne Cook, Professor of Business Analytics in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at Monash University. In this course, you’ll be introduced to the fundamental techniques used by professionals in the field of data science. You’ll learn data analysis workflow, data wrangling, and plotting data, which lay the foundation for more advanced techniques like statistical modelling, regression, and decision trees, sentiment analysis, and working with big data.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds MICHAEL NIEMANN: Being able to effectively work with a variety of data types and sources and then tell a story that informs decision making is crucial. In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your data science skills alongside other learners as you complete practical programming exercises that reflect scenarios from the world around us. You’ll gain the expertise needed to develop your own interactive dashboard that tells a data-driven story about a topic that matters to you.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds DIANNE COOK: This course is jointly offered by the Monash School of Business and the Faculty of Information Technology. Learners who successfully complete the course and meet the Monash entry criteria can receive one unit or six credit points of academic credit towards a relevant Monash Master’s Degree in Business Analytics or IT.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds MICHAEL NIEMANN: This course is intended for anyone interested in developing skills in the industry standard tools and techniques and enhancing their ability to use data to inform decision making. That said, we’d highly recommend that you’ve studied an undergraduate unit in statistics.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds DIANNE COOK: So if you’re ready to complete further study with a university that is ranked among the best in the world, then we encourage you to join us in this course from Monash University.

What skills will you learn?

  • Data wrangling
  • R programming
  • Developing data analysis workflows
  • Work with and visualise spatial and temporal data
  • Developing statistical models
  • Harvesting data
  • Tidying data
  • Data collection methods
  • Data visualisation
  • Data analysis

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Compile information and communicate as a data story
  • Read different data formats and utilise web scraping to collect data
  • Apply effective techniques to wrangle and visualise data
  • Design solutions for the challenges of big data
  • Apply modelling techniques and effective visualisation to make decisions with data
  • Compare and contrast a range of statistical and machine-learning tools
  • Assess and interpret the results of an analysis
  • Wrangle data into tidy format in preparation for visualisation and modelling
  • Identify and assess ethical, legal, social and organisational issues in data science

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This data science microcredential is designed for anyone interested in developing skills in industry-standard tools and techniques, and enhancing their ability to use data to inform real-world decision-making.

Monash strongly recommends that you’ve studied maths or statistics at a first-year undergraduate level before joining this microcredential. To complete the programming exercises, you’ll need a computer to install and run RStudio and install R packages.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This is a practical microcredential and the application of the skills you’ll learn will benefit a wide range of professional contexts.

From manufacturing to healthcare, tourism to transportation, and media to government, if data or business intelligence is essential to the success of your organisation, this course will ensure you can use your data to make effective business decisions.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to start conversations with fellow learners and read any additional information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course 1

    From 16 Aug 2021

    Wrangling and Workflow

    Get an introduction to data science and learn how to make the most of your data through effective data wrangling and storytelling.

    4 weeks

    12 hours per week

  • Course 2

    From 20 Sep 2021

    Modelling and Visualisation

    Explore the role of data visualisation in data science, and learn how to use and apply data modelling techniques.

    4 weeks

    12 hours per week

  • Course 3

    From 25 Oct 2021

    Formats, Ethics, and Storytelling

    Evaluate the challenges of data variety, ethics, and privacy on this course in Monash University's data science microcredential.

    4 weeks

    12 hours per week

  • After learning

    Once you have successfully completed the microcredential, you’ll receive your certificate of completion from Monash University.

What you will receive

6 credit points at Postgraduate level from Monash University

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

A Certificate of Completion from Monash University

Learn more about this organisation

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Delivered by experts

Di Cook is Professor of Business Analytics at Monash University. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and elected Member of the R Foundation.

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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

What are our learners saying?

Add a new skill or forge a new path

"I recommend Futurelearn to anyone looking to learn and upskill...If you are in the job market, you might want to add a new skill or forge a new path."

They bring the classroom right to you

"FutureLearn courses are always interesting and informative. They bring the classroom right to you and send you on a journey to explore new ideas and offer interesting topics."

When would you like to start?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

    Find out more

    Not sure if microcredentials are right for you? Fill in your details below and we will send you more information to help you make a decision.

    By clicking submit, I agree to FutureLearn's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


    We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

    You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

    Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

    There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

    No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

    Learners who successfully complete this microcredential and who meet course entry requirements are eligible to receive the following academic credit:

    • ETC5510 Introduction to data analysis in the Master of Business Analytics; or
    • FIT5145 Introduction to data science in the Graduate Diploma or Master of Data Science

    For further information on these courses, see the Monash University Handbook at

    Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.