The array of available data analysis and visualization tools, coupled with the rate of change and innovation in this field, can be daunting. Within the framework of the Certificate in Community Data Science, this course is a survey of available data analysis tools. You will be introduced to various data analysis and visualization software packages through demonstrations of, and exercises using, introductory functions. In doing so, you will learn of the relative strengths and challenges of a given tool. This survey approach will acquaint you with options upon which you can independently develop your professional practice. The objective for this course is to enhance your curiosity about, and confidence with, new software rather than develop mastery with any given tool.
Acknowledging that you may not have access to advanced data analysis software, Microsoft Excel will be a fundamental software package for this course, and you will learn how to conduct advanced analysis functions with this program. With Excel as a cornerstone, you will learn how to choose the right software for the task at hand, and how to migrate data between analysis tools. Class time will be set aside for participant-led, collaborative, and experiential learning oriented towards exploration of the skills needed for applied research problems relevant to your professional practice.
You will work independently or in teams, collaborate with instructors and colleagues in using online resources to answer procedural software questions, and produce methodologies that show the processes through which you conduct analysis.