Data Visualization and D3.js

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5/10 stars
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FREE

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  • On demand

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Udacity online courses
Udacity gives students the opportunity to create hands-on projects that can be put into their portfolios and used to demonstrate their skills to future employers. You'll have a personal coach who helps provide feedback on your assignments and projects to assist you in reaching your goals and staying on track in your online classes. Throughout your education experience, you'll be able to track your development, complete in-class projects, have access to interactive exercises and videos and ...
Udacity gives students the opportunity to create hands-on projects that can be put into their portfolios and used to demonstrate their skills to future employers. You'll have a personal coach who helps provide feedback on your assignments and projects to assist you in reaching your goals and staying on track in your online classes. Throughout your education experience, you'll be able to track your development, complete in-class projects, have access to interactive exercises and videos and earn a verified certificate at the end of the course as proof of all that you've learned. You'll be learning from knowledgeable professors across various schools and parts of the globe. Learn about computer science from Dave Evans, an instructor at the University of Virginia, or delve into app development with Samantha Ready, a Developer Evangelist at Salesforce.com.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
104 reviews

Course Description

Learn the fundamentals of data visualization and practice communicating with data. This course covers how to apply design principles, human perception, color theory, and effective storytelling to data visualization. If you present data to others, aspire to be an analyst or data scientist, or if you’d like to become more technical with visualization tools, then you can grow your skills with this course. The course does not cover exploratory approaches to discover insights about data. Instead, the course focuses on how to visually encode and present data to an audience once an insight has been found. This course is part of the Data Analyst Nanodegree.
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Reviews 5/10 stars
2 Reviews for Data Visualization and D3.js

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Greg Hamel profile image
Greg Hamel profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 115 reviews
  • 106 completed
5 years, 7 months ago
Udacity's Data Visualization and D3.js is one of two new intermediate data science courses Udacity released this month (Nov 2014), the other being an introduction machine learning. This course consists of 4 lessons covering visualization and D3.js basics, design principles and dimple.js, narrative structures and interaction/animation. Each lesson spends some time discussing general visualization design principles and considerations followed by technical information such as combing through D3.js code. Since D3.js is a Javascript library, it is useful to have some exposure to Javascript, HTML and CSS before taking this course. Data Visualization with D3.js has the same polished and streamlined content structure as Udacity's other courses, with each lesson taking the form of a series of short videos interspersed with quizzes. The content focused on visualization design and principles is well done. On the other hand, the meat of the co... Udacity's Data Visualization and D3.js is one of two new intermediate data science courses Udacity released this month (Nov 2014), the other being an introduction machine learning. This course consists of 4 lessons covering visualization and D3.js basics, design principles and dimple.js, narrative structures and interaction/animation. Each lesson spends some time discussing general visualization design principles and considerations followed by technical information such as combing through D3.js code. Since D3.js is a Javascript library, it is useful to have some exposure to Javascript, HTML and CSS before taking this course. Data Visualization with D3.js has the same polished and streamlined content structure as Udacity's other courses, with each lesson taking the form of a series of short videos interspersed with quizzes. The content focused on visualization design and principles is well done. On the other hand, the meat of the course--the sections focused on coding and creating visualizations-- were not as engaging as I'd hoped. D3.js is a low level Javascript library, so it takes a lot of code to generate graphs and a lot of time to explain the code and learn what it is doing. Too many videos consist of talking students through large chunks of somewhat cryptic code without much interactivity and it takes too long to get to the point where you make visualizations. I didn't feel like I was really learning how to make visualization myself so much as understanding bits and pieces of the instructor's code. The course doesn't give students enough opportunity and direction for writing D3.js code themselves: lessons 3 and 4 don't have problem sets. I think it was probably a mistake to use D3.js for such a short course. It might have been better to use a higher level visualization package that gets students making their own visualizations faster with less code. Data Visualization with D3.js is not a bad course and I could see other student liking more than I did, but after taking Udacity's excellent Exploratory Data Analysis course, it was a disappointment. In the EDA course, you jump in and start generating tons of plots in R and actually get to the point where you are reasonably comfortable using ggplot2 to make plots by the end. If are looking to learn D3.js specifically, this course could be a great starting point, but for learning data visualization in general, D3.js seemed to be more of a barrier to learning than an asset. I'd liken this course to an introductory programming course that uses C. Starting with a lower level language like C can be a bit painful and it takes longer to get to the point where you are doing interesting things--time you don't have in a 4 lesson course.
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4/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 2 months ago
For starters, I have several years experience in data analysis. I took this course to pick up pointers on how presenting data has changed, and to learn some best practice approaches to communicating more complicated data driven messages. The content about visualization best practices is very good with adequate examples, however, that's where the course shine stops. The massive amount of external links that are referenced (some already broken) makes this feel like a narrated Google search as more than an organized course. As for D3.js content, I found the capability demonstration to be enlightening. I have a strong programming background, so seeing how the library works was moderately interesting, but it felt very out of place to be in this course. It was a distraction that felt somehow incomplete. The assessment questions were also poorly designed often requesting obscure verbatim citations from the material rather than genera... For starters, I have several years experience in data analysis. I took this course to pick up pointers on how presenting data has changed, and to learn some best practice approaches to communicating more complicated data driven messages. The content about visualization best practices is very good with adequate examples, however, that's where the course shine stops. The massive amount of external links that are referenced (some already broken) makes this feel like a narrated Google search as more than an organized course. As for D3.js content, I found the capability demonstration to be enlightening. I have a strong programming background, so seeing how the library works was moderately interesting, but it felt very out of place to be in this course. It was a distraction that felt somehow incomplete. The assessment questions were also poorly designed often requesting obscure verbatim citations from the material rather than generally checking that the key point of the lesson came across. Finally, I clearly understand that the course is D3.js inclusive, so I expected it to be part of the material. The teaching approach, however, wasn't engaging; it was too deep for a demo of capabilities and too shallow to pick up real skill with the library. I have completed several courses on Udacity, I consider this one to be one of the more painful and tedious to complete, while providing me only a limited amount of benefit. The material could use some work and leverage learning styles. The instructor could also loosen up so his commentary feels more natural. His speech feels forced and mechanical with popping "P's" and stressed syllables for ev-er-y word...which becomes difficult to endure for more than a short sitting.
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