What you'll learn

  • Move beyond the spreadsheet with a foundational understanding of data science tools, processes, and models, to understand the importance of data science and how it relates to business decisions and organizational success


  • Leverage data science to hone your decision-making skills and learn how to identify and avoid common mistakes while interpreting datasets, metrics, and visualizations

  • Create a data-driven framework for your organization and for yourself; develop hypotheses and insights; identify data and missing components; and speak a common language with your data teams to lead to actionable recommendations

  • Understand key techniques such as data curation, regression models, prediction and analyses, and visualization, and learn how to read basic code, such as R, in order to comprehend the syntax that informs data requests

  • Assess applicable methodologies in statistics, data analytics, and data science by hearing from real-world examples across industries, topics, and business challenges

Course description

Do you trust your data? Can you use data to tell a compelling story and motivate or inform your business decision-making?

Yesterday’s data is tomorrow’s prediction. Today we are faced with countless questions that can be solved using data: Should you invest in this new product? Is your employee incentive program working? Are your sales projections accurate? Using bad or incomplete data can lead you in the wrong direction. Data Science for Business will teach you how to think beyond the spreadsheet, and effectively use data to tackle your business decisions, becoming a stronger manager.  

This course provides a hands-on approach for demystifying the data science ecosystem and making you a more conscientious consumer of information. Starting with the questions you need to ask when using data for decision-making, this course will help you know when to trust your data and how to interpret the results. By the end of the course, you should understand how to create a data-driven framework for your organization or yourself; develop hypotheses and insights from visualization; identify data mistakes or missing components; and, speak the language of data science across themes such as forecasting, linear regressions, and machine learning to better lead your team to long-term success. You will learn how to create a compelling story that uses proven, collected data to make core business decisions, and explore coding environments such as R and visualization software. 

Data Science for Business is a Harvard Online course in collaboration with Harvard Business School Online that's designed for managers and individual contributors who want to use data to improve their decision-making abilities, and how they communicate those decisions to others. The first course from Harvard Online, Data Science Ready, covers the foundational data science principles, and Data Science for Business goes a step further, giving you the tools to know if you are using data to make the most effective decisions.


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