I decided to write this detailed DataCamp Review on the behest of so many of my friends who know that I have been a DataCamp user for the last so many years.
Not just DataCamp but I have often recommended my friends a few other Data Science courses that I took for my learning. Therefore, I bring to you my analysis of what makes DataCamp a good or bad choice of Data Science learners.
With the number of resources out there for learning Data Science, and the pressure I was subjected to being an MBA student to do the same, I was so confused about the right direction to turn to.
This pressure wasn’t from the school system, but from within me. I wanted to do something tangible being an MBA student that could make me stand apart from the rest.
I had to chart the course of my career, you have to do that yourself too. The best way to do this (which I did too) is to combine my MBA course with quite a few other online courses, including those from DataCamp.
Talking about the different courses that I had an option to go for, when you look at the DataCamp website, you will come across the various courses that it offers. DataCamp Python, DataCamp R, DataCamp SQL and DataCamp Spreadsheet are those courses.
But then DataCamp solved this confusion for me quite well with the help of the DataCamp Career Tracks (will let you know about it later in the article).
Now, there is something different about DataCamp that I think you will like too, it is the fact that, even as an MBA aspirant or MBA student, all of the courses there are relevant to you.
Why? Well, because of the many real-world DataCamp projects you will be exposed to.
However, there are also a few things that you will not really appreciate about DataCamp. And I will be addressing those points too.
In this piece, you will get to know everything you can learn from DataCamp (majorly Data Science) and how it will be benefit you as an MBA student. By the end of this article, you will be able to make a decision as to whether you should go and buy DataCamp or not.
For proof, I will include a screenshot of my dashboard as well as pictures of my certificates in this DataCamp review.
What is DataCamp?
DataCamp is an online learning platform that offers interactive R, Python, Sheets, SQL and Shell courses. All are topics in Data Science, Statistics or Machine Learning. Their instructors have compiled the knowledge and experience they have gained over the years into comprehensive courses that can be applied in real life scenarios.
These courses are available for you to learn in the comfort of your browser with video lessons and fun coding challenges and DataCamp projects.
Now, these are not some 10 or 20 courses that we are talking about. 250+ DataCamp courses that we are talking about!
DataCamp is different from the rest because, unlike other online learning platforms, you are not required to pay for every course you take.
Instead, you subscribe to any of the plans and get full access to all of the courses at no extra cost. So you could see DataCamp as a college where you pay the fees and have a choice of the elective you would like to take.
While you are learning from DataCamp it is advisable that you make the most important choice that every Data Scientist encounters in the beginning.
Which is better, R or Python, for Data Science?
I know so many people who have gone into analysis-paralysis and have not begun their Data Science journey only because they are not able to decide which language to learn.
That is a really sad situation to be in. I was in the same situation. And therefore to help you out in this decision making process, I will give you a simple heuristic.
If you are an MBA student or a Data Science beginner who has some level of familiarity with anyone language, either R or Python, please stick with that language. It makes absolutely no sense to switch language just on the basis of some hearsay that one language is better than the other.
However, if you are someone who is just beginning his journey, you can choose Python.
Moreover, here's the reason why I love DataCamp. Provided that there are over 250+ courses and that there is a chance for you to get confused, DataCamp divides its courses into Career Tracks and Skill Tracks.
DataCamp Login - Insider's View
In this section I will show you what does it look like to use DataCamp and will give you an Insider's View of the DataCamp dashboard. This will help you make an informed choice of whether you want to learn from DataCamp or not.
Each course has certain videos and a few practice exercises where in you need to code in their inbuilt console. Here is how the DataCamp videos look like.
But here is what is the best part of the DataCamp courses. It is the inbuilt console where in you actually get to code everything that is given in the exercises. This inbuilt console is a smart coding console which will tell you when you code is incorrect.
If your code is incorrect, you can take hints and get help. Effectively, it is like a friend helping you how to code step by step.
DataCamp Career Track Review
Like I mentioned, there are over 250 courses that DataCamp offers. And naturally, newbies at Data Science (like you and I) can get confused as to what are the courses that one must take to reach our eventual goals.
Therefore, DataCamp has created learning paths known as DataCamp Career Tracks. There are 7 Career Tracks in DataCamp right now when I am writing this article. In these 7 Career Tracks, there are 4 Career Tracks for R language as shown below.
And 3 Career Tracks for Python Language as shown below.
Now, how do these Career Tracks really help you?
Most of us, MBA students, are sure of the fact that we need to be good at various fields of Data Science. Some of us are also clear that we want jobs as Data Scientists.
And if you want to be a Data Scientist, you need to be good at not just Python or R but a few other Data tools as well. Therefore, joining a career track is crucial. Because it already lists out all the courses that you need to do (from different technologies) that will make you a complete Data Scientist.
In my journey, I chose the Career Track of Data Scientist with R which has 23 DataCamp courses. Let me also tell you about what are the DataCamp Skill Tracks, which is quite similar in terms of the idea to the Career Tracks.
DataCamp Skill Track Review
So on one hand where DataCamp has split its courses in Career Tracks to help you choose your career path and start learning, on the other hand it has DataCamp Skill Tracks.
These are learning paths for you if you want to master only a particular skill. For example, if you wish to master Statistics as a skill (which all the MBAs should be good at) go for DataCamp's Statistics Skill track which as 5 courses in it.
Therefore, the choice of the courses should be simple. If you want to stick to your domain of Marketing or Finance, you can choose their skill tracks. Whereas, if you wish to make mark as a full-fledged Data Scientist then the Data Science Career Tracks are what you should go for.
How DataCamp will benefit you?
If you are searching for any MBA student that was (and still is) a student at DataCamp, then there is no other perfect example other than yours truly (smiles!). Hence, in this DataCamp review, I will tell you how DataCamp benefited me as a student.
1. Experienced Instructors: All of the DataCamp instructors are one of the best data science instructors out there. Oh yes, I said it! I took the pain of checking the profile of some of my tutors and they were mind-blowing.
2. Visual Learning: You will have the opportunity of learning with instructor videos and interactive exercises. But isn't that something that every course offers? Tons and tons of videos? The next point will tell you why I like DataCamp as a good learning portal.
3. Inbuilt Console for Coding: The DataCamp course platform has an inbuilt console where you need to code the exercises. Therefore, you don't just watch the videos, you actually get to code whatever you learned (without which you can't move ahead).
Simply put, DataCamp is a cure for your laziness!
4. DataCamp Skill track: As i mentioned above, it is a feature of DataCamp that helps you select combination of different courses that will give you full knowledge on the particular skill you want to learn. It guides you to proficiency in a specific technology, as a result, you will only take the courses that are relevant to the skill you want to learn.
5. Data Science Career Track: Unlike skill track, you will have access to a number of courses carefully selected by experts that are combined to teach you everything you need to know to have a successful career in a particular field.
For example, if you want to become a Data Scientist using Python, there are 22 relevant courses tailored specifically for this, and you can complete them in 84 hours. Cool!
6. Interactive Platform: There is an online platform you can chat and share knowledge with more than 10,000 peers and experts in your field.
Some of the DataCamp instructors are staffs based in DataCamp as tutors but, there are other instructors too that are not from DataCamp. However, they are experts (Professors and Assistant professors) and authorities in their fields.
Instructors from universities like Newcastle university, Oregon State University, University of Washington, etc.
Others are consultants and founders or co-founders of tech companies. The diversity of the tutors means that you get to experience different styles of learning all through your journey in DataCamp.
The 250+ DataCamp courses are taught focusing on how to use 6 technologies for data science; DataCamp R language, DataCamp Python, DataCamp SQL, Git, Shell, Spreadsheets. It concentrates on how to use these technologies perfectly well for data science. The courses combine short expert videos with immediate hands-on keyboard exercises.
I will still write a short note on each topic in this DataCamp review.
The courses are segmented into 10 topics;
- Importing and Cleaning Data
- Data Manipulation
- Data Visualization
- Probability and Statistics
- Machine Learning
- Applied Finance
- Case Studies
All the DataCamp Career Tracks and DataCamp Skill Tracks a combination of these underlying segments of courses. So, let me tell you a little more about these courses.
Programming DataCamp Courses
This comprises 41 courses which get you going with the basic coding. I am sure a few eye brows would have raised and a few hearts would have skipped a beat.
"Coding? How are we supposed to do that?"
"I am not someone who is supposed to do coding, I am a Manager!"
"Programming has never been my cup of tea"
Fret not. This is not the complex coding that you think it is. Because what makes it really simple is DataCamp's pedagogy. Wherein you learn to code, even the relatively difficult things, bit by bit on their in build console.
Importing and Cleaning Data Courses
There are 8 topics under this that will teach you how to import data in R and Python and how to clean it using R and Python.
Data Manipulation DataCamp Courses
Data manipulation, in simple words, is the process of working on data to change it to become organized and easier to analyse. This is what this topic having 31 courses is all about, using R, Python, SQL and Spreadsheets.
Data Visualization DataCamp Courses
Here is where your skill should lie as an MBA. To group and present your report, which would include the graphical representation of data and information using visual elements like graphs, charts, maps, etc.
26 courses are under this topic to give you full insight into how to go about this.
Probability and Statistics DataCamp Courses
MBAs looking to make a career in the field of Analytics and Marketing should geek over these courses.
Here, it contains 58 courses that will walk you through statistical modelling and how to draw inferences and make forecasts from this analysis using R, Python, Spreadsheets.
Machine Learning DataCamp Course
You will learn how to build, train and assess machine learning tasks like classification and clustering. It also goes as far as teaching you the fundamentals neural networks and building deep learning models.
This course has 47 courses handled by different experts.
Applied Finance DataCamp Courses
It covers financial trading, credit risk, bond valuation, equity valuation, analysis of financial data, etc. These courses will teach you everything on how to use data science for analyzing financial data and making predictions based on the result gotten.
The 19 courses are taught by well experienced finance experts with abundant knowledge on data science.
You will learn how to create automated reports to build interactive web apps. Also, it features courses on how to build an interactive dashboards for reporting. There are 6 courses here using mainly R language and Python.
Case Study Courses
The 12 courses in this topic contains case studies like analyzing election and polling data, designing and analyzing clinical trials, predicting employee turnover, analyzing US census data, etc.
Other DataCamp Courses
There are 14 courses that contain lessons on other extra knowledge you may be interested in. E.g. Web scraping (retrieving and parsing information from the internet), how DataCamp built the platform they use to teach data skills.
DataCamp Plans and Pricing
Most of the times I tell people about DataCamp, I always hear one question. And this comes across as a big point of confusion. This question is.
Are courses in DataCamp free?
The answer is only the first chapters of all the courses are free. To proceed to the next chapter you need to buy their subscription. Now, the question is, how much does DataCamp cost?
DataCamp Free Plan
For this plan, you will get free access to;
- Only the first chapters of all the premium courses on DataCamp
- Basic level practice challenges
- Real-world projects
How much does DataCamp cost?
If you are paying monthly, it is $29/month, which is ₹2021 per month. But, yearly payment will cost you around $25/month = $300/year, that is about ₹1735 per month.
This is $48 lesser than what you will pay if you opt for monthly payment. This plan will give you access to all the content and materials.
DataCamp is subscription comes at $25 per month, if you pay for the year. The subscription allow you access to all the 260+ courses of DataCamp on R, Python, SQL, Spreadsheets etc. So, you don't have to buy each course separately and you can do all-rounded preparation in one year. Check the DataCamp pricing page to see if the discount is available for you.
Will I get a certificate from DataCamp?
Yes, you will. And here is what a DataCamp certificate looks like. This is my certificate from the past from one of the beginner level courses in R.
You are not required to pay any additional fee to get the certificate, as long as you have completed a course, you will be able to download your certificate free of charge.
DataCamp certificate value is good, because the certificates issued by DataCamp can be uploaded to your Linkedin profile and used for other official purposes. But as I always say, the certificate does not matter. It is the knowledge that you posses that matters.
If you don't have the knowledge even after doing these DataCamp courses, the DataCamp certificate won't matter at all.
What I didn't like about DataCamp
So, while I did tell you about all the things that I liked in DataCamp, here are some really important things that you must consider when opting for DataCamp. These are some of the things that made me feel slightly uncomfortable about DataCamp.
1. If you find it difficult to learn from a platform that one of its lead executive is accused of sexual harassment, then DataCamp is not the right place for you.
2. The tutorial videos are short when compared with the written part of the tutorial. So, it seems the video does not cover all that has been written. Hence, watching the video will never give you a complete experience.
3. The practical aspect may not resonate well with someone who likes to learn without being giving too many clues. The inbuilt console is already pre-loaded with some codes and you only have to do less of the hard work to complete the work.
DataCamp courses are comprehensive and well-detailed, but they are presented in an easy to understand format for you.
As stated in this DataCamp review, you don’t need to know anything about data science before you can get started. There are introductory courses for beginners to intimate you with everything you are required to know along the journey.
The major thing I liked about DataCamp (which is actually one of the reasons why I compiled this DataCamp review) are the Career tracks and Skill tracks features that generate relevant courses that can set me on the right path to a successful career.
You should definitely try it out too!