This is a more advanced program, as compared to the Business Analytics Nanodegree. Though however, you can still walk in without any prior knowledge (basic stats and maths would do). The main program you’ll be using throughout this course is Alteryx (windows only, so you’ll need to bootcamp or virtualbox on mac), a data analytics platform, and you’ll touch on Tableau for your final project. The recommended hours to spend on this course is around 130 hours, including time for your own readings.
The pricing model have recently changed, and that means if you can complete a program faster, you’ll save more money. Previously its $1200 over 3/4 months with deadlines, now its $400 a month without deadline. You can access most of the same course on Udacity for free, but at the expense of mentorship, career services, student hub, alumni portal, projects and feedback and the certificate. I really like the structure of how the Nanodegree is set up, and you do learn quite a lot from the projects and videos. The structure of Nanodegree is videos -> mini quiz -> videos etc, and then a bigger project at the end of each section.
The Predictive Analytics nanodegree is suggested to be completed over 3 months, separated into 8 sections, with 2 bonus section. There are 5 projects to submit, alongside a bonus LinkedIn Profile review. The sections are broken down into:
- Introduction – Brief welcome to the program, with a mini project on regression modelling.
- Problem Solving with Analytics – We delve deeper into the analytical framework and building linear regression modelling. A more advanced regression modelling project that requires deeper insights.
- Data Wrangling – Understanding data types, data issues, how to format data appropriately to prepare datasets for analysis. You’ll be cleaning and formatting data to create a dataset to use later on for your predictive model.
- Classification model – You’ll learn to build logistics regression, decision tree, forest & boosted models to score and predict results. The project will allow you to build and apply a classification model.
- Career Support – Optional LinkedIn review by the Udacity career’s team. You also get a resume, Github and cover letter view as part of your purchase (this is outside the program, so you can access it anytime.)
- A/B Testing – You’ll learn the fundamentals of A/B Testing, how to randomized design tests & matched pair design tests. The project will require you to design and analyst an A/B Test, where you’ll need to utilise majority of Alteryx A/B testing and tool.
- Time Series Forecasting – You’ll learn the fundamentals of time series forecasting (why it’s important and what’s its used for), you’ll also learn about the different models (ETS and ARIMA) and you’ll get to use Tableau to analyse and visualise your data. (Assessed Project is merged with next section)
- Segmentation and Clustering – Much longer section where you’ll learn how to prepare data for clustering and the basic of clustering models (K-centroid). You’ll also learn how to visualize the results onto Tableau. (The final project is in 3 sections using what you learnt in section 4,7 & 8.)
- Bonus Section 1 (SQL) – Basic SQL, SQL Joins, SQL Aggregations, SQL Subqueries & Temporary Tables, SQL Data Cleaning, Advanced SQL Window Functions & Advanced SQL Joins & Performance Tuning.
- Bonus Section 2 (Tableau) – Good Design practice, making dashboards & stories & Data visualizations in Tableau.
I didn’t need to use any mentor’s help until section 6, where if you haven’t got any prior knowledge in Alteryx or the topic itself, you might find it slightly more difficult. The mentor’s response time is quick and they provide succinct explanation to the problems you maybe facing. Also, the feedback received for projects is quite detailed (most of the time), even if you pass the project, they’ll provide detailed recommendations and analysis on each part of the project and how you can improve your overall project.
To get the most out of your nanodegree, I highly suggest you do external readings related to the topics at the same time as you are going through the course (they’ll be recommended external readings – but always good to go out on your own). Play around with Alteryx or Tableau at the same time and create mini projects of your own outside of the course. You get access to the software for 6 months. Overall, you’ll learn a lot during this Nanodegree program, particularly if you come in with no knowledge in predictive/business/data analytics, you might struggle in the later projects, but your fellow students and mentors will provide you with all the help you need to ensure you pass the project. The price is steep, and you can get majority of the course for free on Udacity itself, but if you are getting sponsored by a company, like I was, or if you can complete within a month, then this is worth checking out if you want to get into data/business analytics.