Data-skills by The Open University

Started DataSkills by The Open University (OU), leading to Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900) and Data Associate (DA-100) certification.

The quality of OU material and instruction is typically high but administration can be disorganised on initial presentations. For example, the first tutorial couldn’t be booked until allocated a coach which wasn’t done until a few hours before. Also Microsoft Teams is being used for tutorials and despite providing Microsoft 365, Teams has not been enabled. For anyone new to distance learning or returning to education after a long break these sort of administrative issues can be very stressful.

With coaches assigned and everyone booked on, Wednesday’s seminar explained course layout and introduced the Learn platform before covering this week’s material, exploring core data concepts. The lecturer was knowledgeable and had great delivery, but it felt disconnected because we were reviewing a module that we had not had time to work through. Having had time to complete this week’s module, identified any questions, and had time to read further the second seminar should be better.

This week’s module covered:

  • Core data concepts (data solution needs; types of data and data storage; differences batch and streamed data).
  • Roles and responsibilities (database administration; data engineering; data visualisation and reporting).
  • Relational data (characteristics; data structures and selection).
  • Non-relational data (characteristics; types; description).
  • Data analytics concepts (data ingestion; processing; visualisation; analytics)

Later in the week we got details on accessing our course resources, including our $100 (£74) Azure credit. Our coaches got in touch and introduced themselves and students set up a Discord channel (forums, although provided, seem to have fallen out of favour due to lack of immediacy). I’ve not had time to have a good look around the Azure Education Portal yet, so that’s for a later post. Looking forward to next week as I’ve some free time and can hopefully get ahead.

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