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Johns Hopkins University

Data Science in Real Life

Johns Hopkins University via Coursera


Have you ever had the perfect data science experience? The data pull went perfectly. There were no merging errors or missing data. Hypotheses were clearly defined prior to analyses. Randomization was performed for the treatment of interest. The analytic plan was outlined prior to analysis and followed exactly. The conclusions were clear and actionable decisions were obvious. Has that every happened to you? Of course not. Data analysis in real life is messy. How does one manage a team facing real data analyses? In this one-week course, we contrast the ideal with what happens in real life. By contrasting the ideal, you will learn key concepts that will help you manage real life analyses. This is a focused course designed to rapidly get you up to speed on doing data science in real life. Our goal was to make this as convenient as possible for you without sacrificing any essential content. We've left the technical information aside so that you can focus on managing your team and moving it forward. After completing this course you will know how to: 1, Describe the “perfect” data science experience 2. Identify strengths and weaknesses in experimental designs 3. Describe possible pitfalls when pulling / assembling data and learn solutions for managing data pulls. 4. Challenge statistical modeling assumptions and drive feedback to data analysts 5. Describe common pitfalls in communicating data analyses 6. Get a glimpse into a day in the life of a data analysis manager. The course will be taught at a conceptual level for active managers of data scientists and statisticians. Some key concepts being discussed include: 1. Experimental design, randomization, A/B testing 2. Causal inference, counterfactuals, 3. Strategies for managing data quality. 4. Bias and confounding 5. Contrasting machine learning versus classical statistical inference Course promo: Course cover image by Jonathan Gross. Creative Commons BY-ND


  • Introduction, the perfect data science experience
    • This course is one module, intended to be taken in one week. Please do the course roughly in the order presented. Each lecture has reading and videos. Except for the introductory lecture, every lecture has a 5 question quiz; get 4 out of 5 or better on the quiz.

Taught by

Jeff Leek, Brian Caffo and Roger Peng


3.2 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 2351 ratings

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  • Data Science in Real Life is the fourth and final course in the “Executive Data Science” specialization offered by John Hopkins University on Coursera. The one-week course examines various steps in the data analysis process and contrasts ideal outco…
  • Shows some pitfalls and risks of making data science and data analysis, however I'm not sure if the course is informative enough.
  • I enjoyed taking this course and I think that it delivers on what it promises on the title. I recommend taking this course after the first three recommended titles in the Coursera Specialization where it belongs.
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