Report Card: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel on edX

I had been pursuing the Microsoft Professional Program for Data Science, the curriculum for which is hosted on the edX on-line service.  I have taken the first two courses, and was until yesterday taking the course on Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel.  However, I ran into a roadblock yesterday which has highlighted some deeper issues with the course, the curriculum, and the edX platform.  I will be continuing my course of study using other materials.

The immediate roadblock was a mismatch between the course instruction and the current state of Microsoft Excel.  As far as I can tell, there are twelve current distributions of Excel for the Windows desktop.  Excel 2016 has distributions named Home, Standard, Business, Pro, and ProPlus.  Excel 365 has distributions named Home, Personal, Business, ProPlus, Enterprise E1, E3, and E5.  (I’m not counting the student, mobile, and on-line versions.  Mac is another story entirely.)  The course requires some of the more advanced distributions, but was unable to make clear which it required among Microsoft’s flagship Excel 365 distributions.

I still look forward to building deeper visualization skills with Excel and other tools.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

Microsoft and edX!  If you are reading this, feel free to contact me directly for some more specific constructive feedback.


(Image courtesy of jarmoluk at Pixabay)

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