Mar 6th 2017

Exploratory Data Analysis (Coursera)

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This course covers the essential exploratory techniques for summarizing data. These techniques are typically applied before formal modeling commences and can help inform the development of more complex statistical models. Exploratory techniques are also important for eliminating or sharpening potential hypotheses about the world that can be addressed by the data. We will cover in detail the plotting systems in R as well as some of the basic principles of constructing data graphics. We will also cover some of the common multivariate statistical techniques used to visualize high-dimensional data.

Exploratory Data Analysis is course 4 of 10 in the Data Science Specialization..

Ask the right questions, manipulate data sets, and create visualizations to communicate results. This Specialization covers the concepts and tools you'll need throughout the entire data science pipeline, from asking the right kinds of questions to making inferences and publishing results. In the final Capstone Project, you’ll apply the skills learned by building a data product using real-world data. At completion, students will have a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of the material.



This week covers the basics of analytic graphics and the base plotting system in R. We've also included some background material to help you install R if you haven't done so already.

Graded: Week 1 Quiz

Graded: Course Project 1 - Peer Review


This week covers some of the more advanced graphing systems available in R: the Lattice system and the ggplot2 system. While the base graphics system provides many important tools for visualizing data, it was part of the original R system and lacks many features that may be desirable in a plotting system, particularly when visualizing high dimensional data. The Lattice and ggplot2 systems also simplify the laying out of plots making it a much less tedious process.

Graded: Week 2 Quiz


This week covers some of the workhorse statistical methods for exploratory analysis. These methods include clustering and dimension reduction techniques that allow you to make graphical displays of very high dimensional data (many many variables). We also cover novel ways to specify colors in R so that you can use color as an important and useful dimension when making data graphics. All of this material is covered in chapters 9-12 of my book Exploratory Data Analysis with R.


This week, we'll look at two case studies in exploratory data analysis. The first involves the use of cluster analysis techniques, and the second is a more involved analysis of some air pollution data. How one goes about doing EDA is often personal, but I'm providing these videos to give you a sense of how you might proceed with a specific type of dataset.

Graded: Course Project 2 - Peer Review