its actually a good course as it starts from fundamentals of visualization to the data visualization,the assignments this course provide are exciting and full of knowledge that you learn in course ..
I am going for the specialization and I know this is just the second course in it and I haven't even seen the further courses yet, but this is already my most favourite course in the specialization.
by Ron M•
Ideally, would be 2 1/2 stars if that was possible. Again, like Course 1 in the series, the time required is VERY underestimated, especially since the course is little more than a series of exercises that require extensive external research to learn how to complete. The instructor seems more interested in this subject matter than the first course, but the discussions are such high-level overview, much pouring through Stack Overflow is needed just to learn the topics. The best pieces, as in Course 1, are the extra reading that one might never otherwise be pointed towards, but other than those, a $10 web course that simply gave exercises and pointed to Google searches and Stack Overflow to learn the detailed material would accomplish 80+% of what this course does. And many find the assignments confusing which adds time or results in the wrong work product (some of that I believe is especially true for non-native language speakers) - lots of comments to that effect in the forums. Students grade each others' work product, and it is clear from doing so there are many interpretations of the exercises.
And, some students doing the evaluation of others are clearly not qualified to do so - if one does not really understand basic Python or statistics, they should not be indicating the calculations are wrong... And with three reviews required - it seems the grader uses the lowest grade of the three. If 2 reviewers give full marks, and another gives a 0, the 0 is what is recorded. This is especially annoying in tandem with the lack of value in the instruction - just getting some assignments from off the web and forcing yourself to do them would be far more satisfying.
I don't see continuing with the Michigan courses beyond this point - there are better options.
by Thomas M S•
A fundamental issue after this course is that it still takes me hours to prepare an appealing data visualization using what I learned here whereas with Excel it takes me minutes to draw and pretty a graph. So the course doesn't fulfill the practicality criterion yet.
by Vivian Y Q•
very much disappointed.so much less content than the first one and it is not self-contained. A lot of things left unexplained and kind of assumed that you knew a lot about python already. I literally took another course in python before finishing up this one.
by Nicolau G•
I registered to the whole specialization mainly to take the first three courses. I got stuck in the second (this one about data visualisation) because a file I need for assignment in week 2 is missing. There are many complaints in the forum from those affected (the file is supposed to contain weather data around your location, and it seems to affect some of us in Europe). I jumped to course 3.
I'm very happy with courses 1 and 3, but this one is extremely bad, with poor material, confusing data and wrong instructions. On top of that, there is no one in the forums to answer questions or fix the errors. I finished courses 1 and 2 (those are great, really) and I will drop this specialisation right now leaving this course unfinished.
by Abu S•
Very helpful to understand what it takes to make a scientific and sensible visual. Recommended for someone who is interested in learning data visualization and does not have a background.
by Karol S•
Great course, great instructor! I think for me the more difficult was lack of simple practice tasks during course - it will much improve to understand material. Regards, and thanks!
by Ramon S•
Pretty good course! The only reason I didn't give 5/5 is because the 3rd assignment required you to know quite a lot about custom colours and how to change the colours based on values. This was not covered in the lectures and was a high pain point for me. I understand that there is a level of finding the information yourself in this course but this really did take me a very long time as the matplotlib documents are quite dense.
by Ravindra S•
It would have been better if lectures were of more length and covered relatively harder problems. Support of course staff on forums is very poor. These things can be improved.
by Sebastián M•
Too many peer reviewed assignments.
by Jun-Hoe L•
I have taken several courses on Coursera, including Data Science with R, Statistics etc. The first course on this Specialization (Pandas) was ok, I'll rate that 4 stars.
However, this course seems like a downgrade. Lectures are either too shallow or too deep. Too shallow as in there are only several short videos on Matplotlib that are very introductory and doesn't show much. Too deep as in Professor Brooks went dove deep into the architecture of Matplotlib, which I think could have been simplified and delivered in a better way.
The assignment for Week 2 and 3 are ok - but I'm starting to hate how vague the instructions are and everyone turns to the forums to figure it out. Assignment Week 4 is a disappointment, as the allocated topic is almost impossible to draw up information on and in the end everyone just pick their own 2 dataasets, which is another challenge. I feel a better way would be offer several sets of data to choose from.
this course is not entirely bad, I just feel that i didn't learn as much and what I learn comes from googling Stack Overflow or other websites while doingthe assignments. Thus I feel that this course is not really worth its price, other than gaining a certificate and advancing the Specialisation.
by Brian L•
A good course that could be better.
I think that this course provided a reasonable introduction to Matplotlib, but the lectures need to go a bit deeper and provide more examples. The course left too much of the work to the student. [For your reference, I have a PhD in Mathematics, taught for several years at a highly selective undergraduate college, and have extensive experience in industry as a Matlab and SAS user.] The homework assignments were substantial, and I enjoyed doing the final assignment which required merging two or more datasets using Pandas and then Matplotlib to plot relationships. The course website provides estimates of the number of hours required to complete the assignments, but these were gross underestimates because so much about Matplotlib was left to the student. I would have preferred a bit more lecture time, more examples, and a few side tutorials on using Jupyter and notebooks (how to download and upload), especially since we were grading the code of our fellow students.
by Robert S•
The course began well, with a focus on the elements that make for good visual presentations. When it came to applying Python and Pandas to attain those design goals, however, I found the course lectures to be superficial and mostly unhelpful. I ended up having to teach myself the basics of merging dataframes, generating interactive charts, and applying Matplotlib. Even now I don't feel that I have a good handle on the concepts. The lectures could benefit from the use of more graphics, ironically, and not just have a talking head or code sections. For example, should we use the backend to generate Matplotlib plots or the plt.plot function? There was too little guidance on these points, forcing me to invest in my own separate reading materials just to try to figure out how to make things work.
by Jáchym D•
It does teach you matplotlib in a way but really misses the whole figure, axes, axis differentiation. I had to read a lot that was not a part of this course. Some things are outdated and the assignments are good (the last one was superb!), but they really are not suited for a beginner. The first one was trivial (no coding), second was great but had bad instructions and third exercise was too difficult. You don't learn half of it during the short vids and then they expect you to pull of something like that.
I would not recommend this course and would regret buying it if I didn't get it for free. However, it does the job and teaches you matplotlib basics.
It's a poorly managed course. The videos, though informative, are extremely short and only provide one use case for a function. The rest is "left to the student to hunt around in the documentation". I wouldn't have taken the course if all I had to do was read the documentation.
The third assignment is extremely poorly worded. It's not a difficult assignment, but it took me 2 hrs to figure out what the hell the question actually meant. It's like someone from grade 7 wrote the instructions for the question.
Week 4 doesn't really provide any new information, but introduces a completely new package when the first three weeks didn't even conclude Matplotlib correctly.
by Amandeep S•
I personally struggled a lot through the course. I thought the video lecture did not go into enough depth on how to manipulate matplotlib (eg. ax objects and ticks markers are still not clear) and even in general, the explanations were lacking.I feel the pace was a bit too fast as well and the topics were not in sync. Even after completion, I am nowhere confident in my matplotlib abilities.
The Assignments should not be peer-graded, as there's no uniformity to the evaluation process, rather the instructors can share their thoughts on the candidates plots.
by Valeriya P•
Didn't like peer grading as it introduces delays in grade and peers don't have competency to judge my work.
Also, the course should be more focused on technical matters. I really would love on the completion of the course to be guru in matplotlib (or some other plot utility) and know by hand all the tricks and methods the data can be plotted.
by Cameron F•
I really dislike the peer-graded assignments
Too much of the course is unstructured
I dislike being assigned a region and topic for the final project
I would prefer to dive less into interactivity and focus more on practicing essential plotting skills over and over again.
by Maxim P•
The only advantage are the assignments and the certificate. But there are better alternatives for information and learning matierals for pandas or matplotlib on youtube or so one. But this course isnt 50 bucks worth it.
by Michael A•
Course coordinators don't monitor the forums enough, so obtaining help from them is next to impossible. Aside from that good course, would be nicer if it focused on more modern plotting frameworks (Plotly, etc...)
by George N•
instructor advice is primarily to 'use stack overflow'.
by Nikolai T•
I was very disappointed by this course.
This course has very little learning materials since the professor just gives a brief overview of certain topics alongside a couple of examples and even explicitly states that google/stack overflow are likely to be required for students to be able to complete the exercises. I admit that learning how to look up how to do certain things is important to learning programming, however I don't think this course strikes the right balance here at all, which can be extremely frustrating considering how much you pay to enroll.
The week 1 learning materials are the most detailed but also essentially useless - there is not a single line of Python code at all. Instead, you have to make your way through the "principles" of data visualisation - most of which are painfully obvious (for example - the visualisation should not mislead the reader). Perhaps for some people with certain backgrounds this may be useful but I personally think section could be significantly shorter or even skipped entirely, even for an introductory course.
From speaking to friends who are much more skilled in Python than I am, it seems that matplotlib is fairly outdated and other reviews mention that this course is quite old and the content has not been updated. I got the sense that this professor is quite stuck in his ways and I often found myself thinking "surely there's an easier way to do this". I was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent younger teacher briefly cover plotting in Pandas and Seaborn, which produced significantly better plots with significantly fewer lines of code, however you have to use matplotlib for all the assignments.
The assignments, especially 2 and 3, are one of the best things about the course and provide interesting challenges. However, it felt like you pretty much have to teach yourself how to do them from scratch. I found that the discussion forums had some useful hints to help get started since assigment 2 is a little bit unclear. The peer review system is OK - the mark schemes are very easy to follow but also not well thought out. On the other hand, I received great feedback within a day or so for each assignment.
Overall, I think it's clear that the course could do with some improvements. Unfortunately, it feels like the primary aim of this course is to make as much money with as little effort as possible, so I'm not sure how likely this is.
by Darien M•
This course is anbalagous to taking a creative writing course, but all lessons are on vocabulary and grammar. Once again the lectures are unhelpful. The discussion forum in this course does not provide much help (unlike the first course in the sequence). I suppose they are applying the graduate school mentality to teaching: you want to learn it, figure it out. I myself am definitely not at that level right now.
The assignments are challenging, and you will learn from them, but you won't learn deeply. It seems all very superficial. Just look things up to get them done. Type in any question you have and a solution will certainly appear on SO. Why not give students the tools necessary to solve challenging problems on their own (like in Python for Everybody and Python 3 Programming)?
Professor Brooks is clearly passionate about programming and is very accomplished/intelligent. Unfortunately the teaching in this course is of low quality.
by Adam S•
The explanations are horrible. You either see the profesor talking which is difficult to grasp when you don't really see the code. Once you see the code it goes too fast with hardly no explanation. I understand the point to encourage students to learn how to get extra information online, but this is just too much. 95% of the knowledge I'm getting is not from the course. Waste of time and money.
by Ben A•
A better use of your time is watching youtube videos on MatPlotLIb and practicing charting with w3reasource exercises. The strength of this class is independent learning (reading library documentation and StackOverflow), which you can do without the class.
by Devansh K•
Awful course. What a waste of time! No proper explanation of the different functions used. Half the time, I'm confused. This is the pattern that Prof. Brooks follows. I'm done. I'm not enrolling in any more courses offered by him.