Data Science

Data Science: Inference and Modeling

Provided by Harvard University (HarvardX)
$49 USD
for a certificate
Study for free
See Prerequisites

Learn inference and modeling: two of the most widely used statistical tools in data analysis.

Part of Professional Certificate: Data Science
Course Format:Instructor-Led
Start Date:Apr 24, 2018

What you will learn

  • The concepts necessary to define estimates and margins of errors of populations, parameters, estimates and standard errors in order to make predictions about data
  • How to use models to aggregate data from different sources
  • The very basics of Bayesian statistics and predictive modeling


Statistical inference and modeling are indispensable for analyzing data affected by chance, and thus essential for data scientists. In this course, you will learn these key concepts through a motivating case study on election forecasting. 

This course will show you how inference and modeling can be applied to develop the statistical approaches that make polls an effective tool and we'll show you how to do this using R. You will learn concepts necessary to define estimates and margins of errors and learn how you can use these to make predictions relatively well and also provide an estimate of the precision of your forecast.

Once you learn this you will be able to understand two concepts that are ubiquitous in data science: confidence intervals, and p-values.

Finally, to understand statements about the probability of a candidate winning, you will learn about Bayesian modeling. At the end of the course, we will put it all together to recreate a simplified version of an election forecast model and apply it to 2016 election.

HarvardX has partnered with DataCamp for all assignments. This allows students to program directly in a browser-based interface. You will not need to download any special software, but an up-to-date browser is recommended.

Note that this course builds upon probability, the previous course in this series.

Before you start

Recommend Data Science: Probability (link to course) or basic knowledge of probability theory
  • Instructor-Led: course contains assignments and exams that have specific due dates, and you complete the course within a defined time period.
  • Course ends: Nov 9, 2018

Meet Your Instructors

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