ECN4181 is an introductory course in the area of the so-called “Big Data". It focuses on essential technologies that are underlying collection, storage, and processing of data. The biggest and most important of these is analyzing and visualizing data. 

21st century has been called by many “The Century of Data.” We see more and more data collected with the expectation (justified by empirical evidence!) that analyzing these data will give organizations a competitive edge and will help them to excel. The amount of data collected is enormous and growing. In many cases, analyzing these data lags behind. Mark Twain wrote once “A man who does not read has no advantage over a man who cannot read.” A similar sentence is most certainly true: “ A man who does not analyze his data has no advantage over a man who has no data.” Methods for analyzing data, called collectively “data analytics” are, therefore, crucial in this business.

The goal of this course is to simplify and present the most relevant material that you would otherwise have to learn in traditional disciplines and to point out the commonalities between these disciplines. The course is not designed to teach you the formal details of statistical procedures used in data analysis or to make you an expert practitioner of the specific analysis tools that you can and should get in other courses, typically in Statistics, Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining. The point of this class is to develop broad critical abilities to approach collection, visualization, and analysis of very large data sets. The course aims at improving your ability to think about data and information and to choose ways of extracting information and knowledge from data.