Jumping into Data Analytics can seem as though you’re walking into a whirlpool. There are so many options, websites and courses  that it can be tough to figure out which direction to go in.  However as long as you approach it smartly there’s no reason to get overwhelmed. In today’s open digital economy you can get a top science education for free or for almost free. How do you do that? 

First things first – 

       1. Don’t try to string it out on your own

It might be tempting to just learn as you go along especially if you come from a mathematics or programming background. However, regardless of your background, it’s better to build your skills through a structured course. The danger of a do-it-yourself approach lies not in the chance of failure but rather in appearing to succeed. Unless you’re careful it’s easy to develop relations or derive insights from data where none exists. This could easily lead to catastrophic problems, especially if you plan to take business decisions on these data insights. Don’t try to be a cowboy. Go learn from the pros.

      2. Consider your goals

Ok you want to learn Data Analytics, but to what end? Are you looking for a career change? Do you want to polish your resume? Do you want to utilize the data that your business generates, in a better way?  

These are important questions to consider. Depending on what your answer is, your learning path will  differ vastly. For those considering a career change, a micro masters package might be ideal, while a simple 3-week course could do for a business owner looking to get savvy. 

Once you’ve done that you can browse through the thousands of courses available on Coursera, Udemy and  Edx. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of options, you might just want to use something like elite.io to find the most appropriate course for you. 

      3. Avoid buying stuff

I cannot emphasize this enough. There are loads of free resources available from both the top companies and colleges across the world. Stanford,Google and IBM are just some of the top organizations in the world offering free data analytics courses. Don’t pay astronomical prices when you can get great content for free.

However, this doesn’t mean don’t buy material. If you’re sure about the path you’re pursuing and are confident you’re getting the best results for your money, then it might make sense to go for paid courses. Make sure you’re fully aware of certification type and criteria before you start. 

     4. Slog it out no matter what

An education half-done is worse than no education at all, especially when it comes to data analytics. No matter how tough it gets, slog it out till the end. There’s terabytes of data waiting for you at the other end!