Learning New Things: Data Analytics

In Coursera  Google offers a chance to learn how to analyze data. It’s a growing and high demand field.  Coursera is an online platform offering classes from universities and companies.  (It is not accredited and there can be a small fee.)  I learned how to ask questions and, I learned how to prepare data, deciding what kind of tools I needed to prepare my data and how to clean the data through processing and making sure that the data is inclusive and free of any bias or error, then, when it is truly clean, I am able to analyze the data and share that data and what I found out.
Well, after a crazy month of March, and you know that’s why they call it March madness,  I was at the case study part of my course project to finish the final.  It’s the Bossfight, and it was time to level up: time to complete my case study.

The case study is actually optional, but I saw it as a means of weeding out the less committed. The less committed would choose to skip the project which really serves to demonstrate one’s skills and showcase them in a LinkedIn profile  portfolio.

I had a moment when I was 23 to do my internship when I majored in graphic design, and I didn’t do it, and I’ve kicked myself ever since. So with this Coursera project, it’s very important for me to complete and showcase my portfolio.  Hopefully somebody on LinkedIn, a recruiter, or who knows will check out my work, and perhaps an opportunity to find a good job as a data analytics specialist.

Sharing the data requires creating data, visualizations through bar, charts and scatterplots and any other pertinent graphics. It’s been an experience for me. I have worked really hard, but around the fifth course of the program, which was the data visualization, I really enjoyed it.The final step in the process of this certification is acting on the data based on the insights that I discover through my data analysis, it allows me to determine whether the question was answered, and whether the company I would work for would be able to go forward, or decide to go in a completely new different direction or to hold off on something.

One thing I learned in this program is that data is everywhere we see it; we touch it and it’s very tactile and sensory.

I learned something about myself through this program. Some things I didn’t realize I could do and it gave me confidence and a new way to look at life and things. It brought me in a positive direction where I had felt stuck for a very long time.

I’m hoping to find a government job or something where I could do data using historical data. I’m interested in the United States, geological survey, or the California Fish and wildlife, or California, water conservation or working in a college university doing people operations those are just a few things.

My goal is to keep learning the things I’ve learned over the course of eight months. I don’t consider myself an expert in everything, because the program went very quickly and I feel like I still have much to learn even though I’ve developed some pretty ninja like skills.

I’ve learned how to use a program called Tableau, which is used for data visualization, and it’s kind of a WYSIWYG, drag, and drop operation, but it does require some thinking, and common sense. I’ve learned that there are communities out there online where I can ask questions and reach out when I need help. I’ve learned how to program in a language, called R, which is a fabulous program, and is meant to solve large amounts of data, for example, trillions of lines of data in a matter of minutes.

I’ve learned how to use an application called SQL, which means (structured query language), and it is similar to R in the sense that it can manage really large amounts of data. I learned the frustration of trying to clean data in a spreadsheet for Excel, and found it was a lesson in futility. Excel is better for short and smaller programs that could be updated regularly and more localized.

Whatever the case, I worked really hard and discovered that I can do something new and maybe it’s a next step in the evolution of my skills and abilities from being a graphic design, education, background and civil engineering drafter, and a potential librarian, which I still want to pursue, the skills will be invaluable for whomever I work for, and whoever I decide to work for will have a very valuable asset.

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