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Archive for November 29th, 2018


Sabbatical 2018 Week 14: Starting the Capstone Project

I successfully completed the first five courses of the Big Data Specialization through Coursera, and I’ll have to say it was crazy. I never knew there was so much to learn about data analysis. My mind is still spinning. Now I’m expected to put it all together and actually do a project. Whew! Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

The Capstone project is a 5-week project where I’ll be doing some data exploration, aggregation, and filtering using Splunk. Then in the following week, I will perform classification on the fictional game data using a decision tree in KNIME. Next, I will learn how to use Spark MLlib to do cluster analysis on the simulated game data. This is then followed by exploring a somewhat different dataset, simulated chat data, and performing some graph analytics using Neo4j in the 4th week. Then I will be gathering results together and preparing a presentation and report. I will complete the project by¬†submitting my presentation and final report in the final week.

At this point, I am not confident I will be able to complete this, but I said that about my doctorate dissertation too, and I completed that. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you just try. So try I will.

I will have to say, however, that prior to signing up for this specialization, they make it sound like anyone with no prior experience could learn how to be a data analyst by just completing this specialization. These people are high. You really need a background in coding to be a data analyst. Learning how to use all the many programs was a challenge and impossible to memorize the coding needed to run the programs. It was fun, however, copying and pasting the code and watching it do stuff.

The specialization did give me insight into all that goes into data analysis and trust me, there is a lot. The capstone course doesn’t officially begin until February, but I was able to enroll and get started. I’ll probably stop and take a break for the holiday and finish this in February.