Is It All About The Data Scientist?

The answer is no. It is a holistic, team effort that involves expanding the mind and skill set of executives, business users, IT implementers, data scientists, and application developers to all work collectively to define a strategy and derive newer insight from big data.

And that is why EMC is so heavily focused on breaking down organizational silos and training professionals to become data scientists or at least think like data scientists, transforming these individuals into data savvy professionals working towards the same goal – competitive advantage.

I spoke to Louis Frolio, Advisory Technical Ed Consultant for EMC Big Data Solutions, how as part of a team in EMC Education Services is creating a massive professional transformation through a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course. Data Lakes for Big Data MOOC gives you an opportunity to become a data savvy professional and take on a big data or data science role in your organization at absolutely no cost.

The course kicked off May 11, but you still have plenty of time to enroll and complete the course to earn a certificate before June 8. The top 500 students (based on cumulative grade for the MOOC) will receive an electronic copy of the Data Science book just released by EMC Education Services.

1.  What is a MOOC and what is the goal of this education format? Why was it used for this course?

Over the past several years, a new trend in Education Delivery has slowly gained traction. “Classroom Flipping”, aka MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), involves delivering courses to very large numbers of students (upwards of 40,000), all at once via the internet. The term “flipping” is used because the students consume the lectures and materials at their leisure and use the MOOC platform to do homework, assignments, and interact with other students and instructors – The opposite of a traditional classroom experience.

In a MOOC, instructors develop the curriculum but do not teach it live. The educational material can be video, interactive eLearnings, literature, plus much more. The content is delivered asynchronously, meaning the students can consume the material at their convenience. What makes a MOOC so great is that it provides a place for students to engage and learn from each other.

My role as an instructor in the “Data Lakes for Big Data” MOOC is to engage students in the forums, answer questions, and foster collaboration between the students. The Emerging Technology Education group within EMC Education Services chose a MOOC for its “Data Lake for Big Data” course because it fits into a blended learning model approach to technical education and training.

2.  Who should attend this course and what value will this education bring to the organization after the 4 week course?

This course was designed with a single demographic in mind – Anyone who wants to know more about Big Data and Data Lakes. There are no pre-requisites for this course outside of a genuine interest in these emerging technologies and a desire to learn.

At the conclusion of this course students will have a solid foundation of knowledge to build upon which can include the EMC Certified Data Science and Big Data Analytics track. More importantly, students will be fully equipped to recognize and speak to big data challenges within their organizations. We fully expect that students completing this course will be able to demonstrate the value of big data and data science to their management teams.

3.  What is your role at EMC and what other EMC Education is available for burgeoning data scientists and professionals looking to expand their skill set for big data?

I have a pretty cool job. I am part of EMC’s Big Data Solution’s team where my primary objective is to distill and impart the seemingly complex subjects of Big Data Analytics and Data Science to both technical and non-technical audiences. This is made easier for me because I am also embedded in the Data Science team in the Emerging Technologies Education group within EMC Education Services. There I help develop technical training material for EMC’s Certified Data Science curriculum. If I could sum up what I love and do best it is this: I craft and narrate the story of Big Data Analytics and Data Science for everyone.

EMC Education Services has a full complement of courses for Big Data Analytics and Data Science. This includes certification in data science at the Associate level and, most recently, at the Specialist level. There is also training on Hadoop administration, Hadoop programming, and much more.

4.  Week 3 of the MOOC dives into the EMC Federation Business Data Lake. Explain to the readers what value this solution brings to Data Scientists, IT Implementers, and Executives.

The EMC Federation Business Data Lake (FBDL) is leading the vanguard in Big Data Analytics enablement, bringing together data, analytics, and applications into a fully-engineered solution. IT can deploy faster, data scientists gain insights faster, and executives see value faster.

With the rise of Big Data, we are seeing more and more software applications being defined by data and data analytics. With FBDL, it is possible to quickly build the data driven applications needed to empower organizations to extract more insights and realize more revenue from the data that is already in their data centers.

5.  What feedback have you received so far from the MOOC? Is it too late to enroll?

The feedback from the “Data Lakes for Big Data” MOOC has been nothing short of extraordinary! The overwhelming sentiment from the students has been extremely positive. A common thread amongst the feedback is that the material is extremely interesting and that the students are learning things about big data of which they were unaware. They are thrilled that this course is being offered now and that it is free. It is the right course at the right time.

It is not too late to join the MOOC. Students can complete the required tasks at any time during the four week period. The only caveat is that all the tasks have to be completed by the close of the course. Although, we are now in Week 2 and new students may feel that they may not be able to catch up, I can assure you that this is not the case. Week 1 can be completed in as little as 2-3 hours. We purposely kept week 1 light in material to give students time to familiarize themselves with the MOOC environment.

I strongly recommend that you sign up today at:!

About the Author: Mona Patel