8 Best Big Data Online Courses for Everyone (Updated)


In this age of globalization, everyone is connected. A vast amount of data is generated knowingly and unknowingly by every individual and organization in the world today. Big Data Online Courses are very new subjects to this.

As if that were not enough, the Internet of Things (IoT) means everything we own such as a smart TV, Wi-Fi and vehicles will generate data as well.

In fact, it can be said that the world runs on data. Multibillion-dollar businesses such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have used user data collection and analysis as the backbone of their operations.

This is different from the decades past when models used to analyze data were more straightforward because the data itself was not very complex.

All that has changed. The data generated today has a new name – Big Data.

Big data refers to monumentally large and complex data sets. It may be structured or unstructured but is always heterogeneous.

To analyze such data and identify and understand patterns and connections, advanced algorithms are put in place.

Traditional data processing software has no chance of success with Big Data, and worse, can generate incorrect associations.

To understand the implications of the patterns, Big Data Analysts are required.

Big Data analysts are in huge demand right now. It is a job profile tailor-made for the future. Big Data Analytics already employs millions of professionals worldwide.

As per research by IBM, this industry is expected to be worth billions of dollars in the near future. The demand for Big Data analysts will also rise exponentially.

For those who wish to make a career in this cutting-edge field, there is no time like the present. Whether you are a fresher or looking for a career change, the internet offers some excellent courses to bring you in-depth knowledge in this field.

Let’s Explore Some of the Best Online Courses to Learn Big Data Effectively!

1. Data Science Specialization

The entire course consists of ten parts and includes specialization in areas such as practical applications of machine learning, statistical programming in R, natural language processing and cluster analysis.

As a final test, you will be expected to produce a data algorithm that can solve an existing problem in the real world.

This course is one of the longest-running and most recommended courses on this subject on the platform. It is offered by the prestigious John Hopkins University in the United States.

It requires both a course fee and a certification. Financial aid is available for needy students.

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2. Data-Driven Decision Making

The course requires a time investment of four weeks. It focuses on the range of tools and methods used by businesses at present to solve data-related problems. It is a business-friendly course and explains what data specialists are expected to do in the modern business environment. It is a very practical-oriented course and puts more emphasis on application than theoretical matters.

Students learn how to choose the most appropriate processes and algorithms to solve issues with data. As a final test, you will be expected to apply your course knowledge to solve a data-related problem in a sample business environment.

The course is offered by the multinational professional services network PriceWaterHouse Coopers.

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3. KD Nuggets Data Mining Course

This course is offered by a reputed and recognized data science website and business. The syllabus is uniquely put together to include both theory and practical applications.

The various parts teach regression, clustering and classification, decision trees and machine learning.

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4. EdX – Data Science Essentials

This course covers subjects such as probability, visualization, data exploration, statistics, and machine learning. Students will benefit more from this course if they have a firm foundation in Python or R programming languages.

The course is offered by Microsoft. All the topics covered use Microsoft Azure Framework. The course is part of Microsoft’s Professional Program Certificate in Data Science, and it is recommended that students take the entire course for maximum benefits.

To receive an official certificate on completion, students must pay $90. The course materials, however, are available free of cost.

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5. Dataquest

The course stands out for being recommended by industry giants such as Spotify, Uber, and Amazon. It offers specialization in three fields – data engineering, data analysis, and data science.

The option is good for freshers, who want to experiment before making a choice. All the course materials are provided free of cost.

This way you can test the water without investing any money. There is also the option of paid tutoring.

Dataquest is not associated with any university but has made its mark as an online training resource.

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6. IBM: Data Science Fundamentals

IBM has its own online resource website called “Cognitive Class” which provides a range of resources to both beginners as well as computer science students.

The online course materials are free. The course requires a time investment of twenty hours. The coverage is more about breadth rather than depth.

Some topics studied are open source tools, data science 101, programming in R, and hands-on applications, among others.

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7. Udacity – Intro to Machine Learning

This paid course comprises a nano degree in the data analysis field. The course coverage extends from choosing appropriate data sources to identifying which algorithms can best solve a real-world problem.

Since machine learning is one of the most sought-after knowledge at present, this course is invaluable. It provides both theoretical and practical exposure to this field.

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8. University of California, San Diego: Big Data Specialization

These big data online courses require a time investment of seven to eight months, with a spread of three to six hours per week. This course is an excellent starting point for a fresher.

No prior experience in data science is expected. It is comprised of six courses. The student is however expected to provide his own hardware and software.

Course coverage includes – open-source software tools, Apache Hadoop, modelling, processing, machine learning, integration, management systems, and graph analytics.

The course is very highly recommended by previous students.

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9. Duke University – Statistics with R

This course requires a time investment of six to six and a half weeks with a spread of five to seven hours per week.

The course is very highly recommended by previous students. In total, it has five modules. It focuses on R programming, an open-source software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

This specialization will teach you – Bayesian statistical inference and modelling, analyzing and visualizing data in R, gaining a conceptual understanding of statistical inference, performing frequentist modelling and creating data analysis reports.

These are some of the freely available yet most comprehensive and knowledge-rich courses on the internet.

Of course, there are many more paid alternatives such as those offered by Amazon Web Services, Cloudera and Columbia University.

However, if you want to add a computer science dimension to your CV, these online courses are more than sufficient.

Employers already expect you to have a foundation-level knowledge of computer science. You don’t have to become an expert; rather you just need to be able to apply data analytics to solve problems in innovative and refreshing ways.

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