Data Science Executive track at Johns Hopkins

Next to their regular Data Science track, Johns Hopkins also offers a course that focuses on the management part of the data science world: Executive Data Science Specialization. The course is on Coursera and if you wish you can opt for the paid version that offers a verified certificate. In an earlier post we wrote about the regular track that is quite a challenge. This one is a bit different.
The Executive track is created and presented by the same people in the Data Science Specialization course and targets a management audience.

We did the test… we won’t go too much into details because most of the tracks are rather short, for more info you should take a look for yourself. Also, there are no practical exercises apart from the weekly quizzes.

The tracks…

There are 5 parts:

A crash course in data science

As the name already suggests this is a very quick and basic introduction to the matter, simple and easy.

Building a data science team

In this part you learn about the different roles and responsibilities you need to start and keep a data science team up and running. Most of the content appears to be logic but it is good that people from the data science world confirm this.

Managing data analysis

This is the most interesting part as it touches things such as asking the correct questions, the cycles of the analysis and a some ideas on when to stop.

Data science in real life

This is the chapter with the most content and touches a bit deeper on the analysis and reporting part and how to deal with it in the real world. This would rather be a crash course in data science.

The capstone project

It took a long time before we got information on what to do in the capstone. A few months after the announced date we were informed about the assignment. This was a real disappointment as you had to go through parts of the course again months later.

But it was worth it, the assignment was fresh and exiting, but short…
Very short, and that is real pity because the idea was very good. In order to avoid spoilers you should go and check yourself. I kind of liked it but I know that some of the students weren’t that enthusiast.


This is a quick and easy way to get a management overview of the Data Science world. I would suggest taking this one before the Data Science track and not the other way around as I did. It is worth the money but you won’t learn a lot of new things. Managers with an ICT background will recognize a lot of things that are common sense in ICT: good communication, decent tool set and guidelines. The quizzes are not hard but require you to have paid attention during the lectures. The whole track can easily be done in a few days.

A nice track, but a pity about the capstone that was too short but still a lot of fun.