Want data to make an impact in your work?
This comprehensive online course is for people who want to work strategically with data, but don’t need or want to learn complex programming.
You can now start this course when you want, work at your own pace, and get access to the content for 12-months.
Complete and submit your assignments within 3-months of starting and you will be eligible for your Certificate of Achievement from the Open Data Institute.
“This has been an eye-opening journey for me. Looking at data over the last six weeks I learned to understand it’s value, different ways of looking at it, the impact it can have on people’s lives and the value of predicting the future” – Gretl M.
What do you get from the course?
Strategic Data Skills will equip you with the theoretical knowledge, practical skills and technical know-how to make good decisions using data. The course emphasises a hands-on approach to learning data skills, offering a number of interactive, online exercises that will let you try out many of the techniques and concepts covered in the taught material against real examples.
The course gives you the flexibility to manage your learning to your own schedule. Completing all of the learning activities and assignments will take five to eight hours, depending on the module and your pace of learning. You will be able to access guidance, feedback and support from your course tutor for assignments.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone working in organisations, who wants to make better decisions with data, or who is leading, or commissioning, data analysis and data-informed decision-making work.
Detailed course content
Taking place online, each of the six modules you will study contains a mix of taught material, self-study, activities and practical exercises all carried out online.
This course equips you with the theoretical knowledge, practical skills and technical know-how to make better decisions using data. The course emphasises a hands-on approach to learning data skills, offering a number of interactive, online exercises that will let you try out many of the techniques and concepts covered in the taught material against real examples.
What is open data and what impact can it have? We will assess successful case studies of open data projects and look at how risk can be minimised through licensing and certificates.
- What is open data?
- Unlocking value from open data
- Open data and open standards
- Understanding your rights to use data
- The data spectrum
- Discussion activity: how is data used in your organisation?
- Discussion activity: favourite open data case studies
- Discussion activity: your own data spectrum
You will begin your hands-on experience of data management with the first assignment, based upon a real case study of hospital performance data in Tanzania. This module focuses on how 80% of your time can be saved if data is collected, organised and cleaned in a consistent fashion.
- The four step process of data science/journalism
- Organising data
- Cleaning data
- Choosing & designing schemas
- Annotating and describing data
- Open data and open standards
- Data formats and structures
- Practical assignment: data cleaning
In this module the major case study of the course is introduced. You will begin looking at a large piece of data analysis using real incident records from the London Fire Brigade, to review the decision to close several stations. This module looks at the data processing and analysis that can help reveal the impact.
- Gathering data from a number of different sources
- Evaluate the quality and usability of data
- Establishing trust in data
- Filtering & pivot tables
- Introduction to quantitative data analysis
- Introduction to qualitative data analysis
- Practical assignment: data analysis
Module 4 takes the result of the analysis and challenges you addressed in module 3, to tell a compelling story from data, that includes at least one visualisation. This module introduces the theory of data visualisation and how to create a compelling story where the message pops off your screen/page.
- Data visualization formats
- Data visualisation best practice
- Mapping open data
- Narrating your story
- Practical data visualisation
- Visual deception
- Practical assignment: telling a story from data
Module 5 looks at the future of open data. We look at how data standards and open APIs enable services to talk intelligently to each other and how these are already in widespread use with cloud services and big data. We discover how Transport for London has used open data and the cloud to deliver £130m of economic benefit a year and look at how an industry has grown around this open data. In a rapidly changing data landscape we examine the role for open data in business evolution. By creating a personalised travel planner, you will explore the area of business development from a management perspective whilst also considering the potential implications of data futures.
- APIs and open data
- Working with live data
- Recognising and working with big data
- Discussion activity: transport route planning, applications and data services
How do we ensure that data is used strategically? What does the future hold? How are you going to create value from data for your organisation while avoiding harmful impacts?
The final module of the course takes a holistic view at data use and examines the key role of data ethics.
Participants will also be asked to share their own experiences and next steps following the course.
- A theory of change for data
- Data ethics
- Threats and opportunities
- The ODI data skills framework
- Discussion activity: your next steps
Certificate of achievement
Course participants who complete the course assignments to the required level will receive a certificate of achievement from the Open Data Institute.
“It’s a really good course, really well designed, the people are good. I can’t really fault it. The people running it are very good, very passionate. For an online course it was very interactive.” CRM Analyst, British Gas
“This course has been awesome and a great stepping stone to build confidence in using data no matter which industry you are from.” Director, Qina Consulting
“The assignments were the highlight of the course. They were well designed – it’s good to use real live data from a different sphere than I’m used to working in. And I really liked how they built on the previous assignment learnings.” Digital Analyst, Boots
No previous experience of data or programming is required. However, a good level of computer literacy is necessary. In particular, you need to be comfortable using spreadsheets programmes, such as Excel.
You’ll need an internet-enabled laptop or PC with Google Chrome installed. You will need internet access. And, you’ll ideally need to be able to install new software.
About ODI courses
Co-founded by the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI offers courses that are friendly, supportive and fun. No question is a silly question in our classrooms, and our expert teachers will arm you with all the practical skills you need for applying what you’ve learnt to the real world.
All slides and exercises are made available for anyone to access, use and share under an open licence.
Terms and conditions
By booking a course with the ODI, you agree to the following terms and conditions.
All tickets include:
- End of course certificate (if all assessments successfully completed within 3-months).
- Access to interactive online content for 12-months.
- Ability to view video content.
- Ability to interact through the course forums.
- Written feedback from tutors on your assessments (within first 3-months).
- Access to weekly live Q&A sessions with course tutors.
- Up to 6 one-to-one sessions with a tutor.