Also, not surprisingly, we teach R programming in our Bootcamp for all the reasons I mention above. However, per our mission of “data science for everyone,” most of our students do not have extensive programming backgrounds. Even with our students that code, R language skills are quite rare. Fortunately, our students universally share skills in using Microsoft Excel for various analytical scenarios. It is my belief that Excel skills are an excellent foundation for learning R. Some example of this include:
- The core concept of working with data in Excel is the use of tables – this is exactly the same in R.
- Another core Excel concept is the application of functions to subsets of data in a table – again, this is exactly the same in R.
I have a hypothesis that our experiences teaching Data Science around the world are indicative of the market at large. That is, there are many, many Business Analysts, Data Analysts, Product Managers, etc. looking to expand their analytical skills beyond Excel, but do not have extensive programming backgrounds.