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data analysis courses

Free math courses for analysts and data engineers

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Nowadays, the Internet offers a huge number of paid courses that promise to make you a data analyst. Some of them are really great and you get a valuable set of skills upon completion. However, most of them don’t focus on fundamental math and programming skills that are crucial to make it in the field.

Some people believe that an analyst doesn’t need SQL or Python. Others argue that an analyst can solve problems without deep knowledge in math using only hard skills. In my opinion, that’s a big delusion. Apart from hard skills, a good data analyst should have a strong background in math and computer science. If you think that’s a big deal, read on as I have a solution for you.

In my opinion, it’s difficult to reflect on the probability of the outflow without understanding the probability theory. It’s difficult to discuss the mean and the normal distribution without understanding statistics. It’s impossible to grasp SVD without knowledge in linear algebra or to find a gradient without understanding calculus. Some people may argue that an analyst doesn’t need this. Tools like Python / R / Matlab allow building models without taking care of the math. In the beginning, this might even work. You can use a ready-made algorithm, add a couple of commands, and voila, you have built a regression model. But what do you do next? How do you change specific parameters of the model without understanding the math behind it?

Nowadays, the Internet provides us with an incredible opportunity to get an ivy league level education free of charge. A beginner data analyst should benefit from this opportunity before buying online data analysis courses. Just recently, I have completed university-level math and programming courses and I want to share them with you. Although I took advanced math 15 years ago at the university, it was still worth revising (we tend to forget a great deal in 15 years). An additional benefit of such courses is the development of the highly desired analytical thinking skills.

Here is the list of the free online courses from the eminent US universities that I want to share with you. These courses will definitely help you to start your learning journey in data analytics.

Calculus (M.I.T.)

This is an amazing set of courses both by content and interpretation offered by MIT in three parts:

  1. Differentiation
  2. Integration
  3. Coordinate systems and infinite series

Linear Algebra (Georgia Tech)

A course in four parts from one of the leading world universities in Computer Science: Georgia Tech.

  1. Linear equations
  2. Matrix algebra
  3. Determinants and eigenvalues
  4. Orthogonality, symmetric matrices and SVD

Probability theory and mathematical statistics (Georgia Tech)

A course in four parts from one of the leading world universities in Computer Science: Georgia Tech. (в русскоязычной версии тоже эта строчка полностью совпадает с курсом выше)

  1. A gentle introduction to probability
  2. Random variables
  3. A gentle introduction to statistics
  4. Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests

Calculations in Python (Harvard)

A course in 7 parts from a Harvard professor

  1. R basics
  2. Visualization
  3. Probability theory
  4. Inference and modeling
  5. Productivity tools
  6. Wrangling
  7. Linear regression
  8. Machine learning
  9. Capstone
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