This course is taught in person on Mondays and Wednesdays 4–5.20pm in Alter Hall A607.
Organizations are drowning in data regardless of the sector or type of business. An increasing amount of data are produced by a host of sources such as social media services, customer loyalty programs, smartphones and other gadgets, sensor networks, credit card transactions, open data repositories, etc. The important question is, who can make sense of all these new kinds of data and turn them into valuable insights? Successful leaders resort increasingly to data-driven decisions, solve problems, and communicate by skillfully combining large amounts of heterogenous data. This course teaches you to make sense of the world through data and to do data analysis in practice.
The course will teach you how to harness the power of data by mastering the ways it is stored, organized, and analyzed to enable better decisions. You will get hands-on experience by solving problems using a variety of powerful, software-based tools virtually every organization uses nowadays. You will also learn to make impactful and persuasive presentations by learning the key principles of presenting data visually.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to…
- Describe how advances in technology support the field of data science
- Locate sources of data relevant to a field of study
- Identify and correct problems in data sets
- Combine data sets from different sources
- Assess the quality of a data source
- Convey meaningful insights from a data analysis through visualizations
- Create and use key performance indicators
- Build scorecards and dashboards
- Analyze a data set using pivot tables
- Determine sentiment in textual data using text analysis
There is no required textbook for this course. However, there are a set of required readings available for free either online or from the bookstore. Refer to Schedule and Readings for more details.
Class structure and participation
You are expected to be an active part of the learning process.
Prepare for each class
Carefully read the assigned materials prior to each class. You may find it helpful to take notes on the major points of each reading, noting how the readings for that session relate to each other.
Most Mondays there will be a short pre-class quiz, taken online according to the course schedule. The quiz will cover all readings to be discussed that week. Your instructor will provide the link to the quiz through a post on the course website.
You must complete the quiz by yourself strictly before the start of class. It is ‘open book’ – you can use the readings to take the quiz.
Participate during classes
We will typically start each session with ‘opening’ questions about the assigned readings.
Students called on to answer should be able to summarize the key issues, opportunities, and challenges in the reading. All students should be prepared to be answer these questions. While you’re not expected to say something in every single class meeting, simply showing up for a class does not qualify as participation.
Attendance protocol and your health
To achieve course learning goals, students must attend and participate in classes, according to your instructors’ requirements. However, if you feel unwell or if you are under quarantine or in isolation because you have been exposed to the virus or tested positive for it, you should not come to campus or attend in-person classes or activities. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructors to create a plan for participation and engagement in the course as soon as they are able to do so, and to make a plan to complete all assignments in a timely fashion, when illness delays their completion.
Submission deadlines and grading
Weekly quizzes are due strictly before the session starts on Monday. Submissions after the session has started receive no credit.
All other assignments are due by the end of the day.
See Grading for more information.
The environment you and your fellow students create in class directly impacts the value gained from the course. To that end, the following are my expectation of your conduct in this class:
- Arrive on time and stay until the end of class.
- Turn off cell phones and alarms while in class.
- During class time speak to the entire class (or breakout group) and let each person take their turn.
- Be fully present and remain present for the entirety of each class meeting.
Technology requirements for this course
The course uses extensively Microsoft Excel and Tableau software, and resources from the internet. During the classes you can use laptop computers in Alter Hall 607, but you also need to have a computer you can use to work on the exercises on your own. If you do not have such a computer available, please contact the instructor immediately.
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty can take many forms. The most obvious is copying from another student’s exam, but the following are also forms of misconduct:
- Copying material directly, word-for-word, from a source (including the Internet)
- Using material from a source without a proper citation
- Turning in an assignment from a previous semester as if it were your own
- Having someone else complete your homework or project and submitting it as if it were your own
- Using material from another student’s assignment in your own assignment
If you use text, figures, and data in reports that were created by someone other than yourself, you must identify the source and clearly differentiate your work from the material that you are referencing. There are many different acceptable formats that you can use to cite the work of others (see some of the resources below). You must clearly show the reader what is your work and what is a reference to somebody else’s work.
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses. Penalties for such actions are given at my discretion, and can range from a failing grade for the individual assignment, to a failing grade for the entire course, to expulsion from the program.
Video recording and sharing policy
Videos posted by the instructor and students of this course are for this course only. Content shared is for this class is meant for academic purposes only and should not be re-recorded or distributed to any other parties. This includes but is not limited to: assignment video submissions, faculty recorded lectures or reviews, class meetings (live or recorded), breakout session meetings, and more. Any unauthorized redistribution of video content is subject to review by the Dean’s office, and the University Disciplinary Committee. Penalties can include receiving an F in the course and possible expulsion from the university.
Student and faculty academic rights and responsibilities
The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link: