MSc student in Human Resource Management, Chandralekha Chanda, shares the four key resources that have helped her to better understand the daunting world of data.
A beginner’s guide to Big Data Analytics at the University of Edinburgh Business School
Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.
Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research

In an age where data is being recorded everywhere, it is essential to use analysis to make insightful conclusions about the information provided. At its heart, data analytics is all about solving problems and it’s the holy grail of today’s professional world: According to the Economic Times, 96% of businesses who recognise the value of Big Data plan to employ specialists in the field. So how can we begin to understand this topic from a base level at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

It can seem daunting when just starting out in the field of Data Analytics or Data Science. Some fear that it’s a mysterious world of coding and large number sets. However, there’s more to it than that. Yes, an interest in numbers is needed but other skills like critical thinking, communication, and problem solving are equally important.

At the University of Edinburgh Business School, we can stay reassured that there are a wealth of resources to help us on our journey into the realm of Big Data. For example, within the Big Data and Numeracy Edinburgh Award, the following resources are available to strengthen your skills:

Centre for Data, Culture and Society (CDCS)

The CDCS conducts a variety of online and in-person workshops related to Data Literacy. From Excel to Artificial Intelligence and Data Ethics, there are a wide range of events and workshops happening every month that you can book into. The workshops are informative, insightful and innovative. You can sign up to the CDCS newsletter too, which provides information about all upcoming events relating to Data Science or Data Analytics. The events often include free refreshments and a chance to mix with other University students, making them social as well as informative sessions.

Find more information on the CDCS website.

Centre for Data, Culture and Society

Developing your Data Skills Programme

This six-month, self-paced programme is designed for staff and students who would potentially benefit from data skills. This programme rates highly across the University and is recommended to any data enthusiasts looking for guidance on their learning journey. It has three capability pathways, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, which makes it suitable for all, irrespective of your job function or prior knowledge. During the programme, you will undertake a project which highlights your developed data skills and at the end of the six months, you will earn a certificate – a great addition to your CV!

Sign up for Developing Your Data Skills in 2023

Digital skills and training

The Digital Skills Framework helps you to upskill your digital abilities using a Discovery Tool which stores resources on a range of topics. One of which is Data Literacy where you’ll be directed to ample resources through the provided Resource List.

Discover the Digital Skills Framework

Micro-Methods Workshops

The Micro-Methods Workshops offer introductory training within a broad range of social science research methods and software packages. These come highly recommended for PhD candidates. There are 15 workshops available and each one is developed by experts, typically including three to five hours of content focused on research-based data skills to help with your future dissertation.

Micro-Methods Workshops

Of course this is just a starting point for the data learning and resources you can access at the University of Edinburgh Business School. You may also find useful information on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and Udemy. The important thing to note is that our understanding of data is evolving fast – better to jump on the data train than watch it pass you by!

Chandralekha Chanda is an MSc Human Resource Management student (2022-23).