Is the Advanced Analytics Course from IIT-Bombay effective enough

This post was originally published on Himanshu Manroa’s blog.


Hello Friends,

I keep coming across this question from a lot of Analytics aspirants – “Is the Advanced Analytics Course from IIT-Bombay effective enough?”
Infact, I have lost count of the number of mailers and phone calls I must have responded to for this key question. These aspirants have probably been reaching out to me through my LinkedIn credentials. To standardize my response (and thus make it easier for myself and all the aspirants), allow me to share my detailed thoughts and feedback. Allow me to discuss about all the pros and cons, which’ll allow all ye’ Analytic dreamers make an informed and well-thought of decision. Well, it’s a significant investment in terms of time, money and committment. So why not take the plunge with a deeper analysis – your key objectives, setting the precise expectations from the course…and net-net the all essential, “How will it benefit me?”

The Immense Positives:

  1. Most importantly, the IIT Bombay brand, which will be a big boost to your resume. Recruiters will take your Analytics ‘aspirations’ much more seriously.
  2. An elite, diversified and enthusiastic bunch of ‘like-minded’ professionals as your peer group. It does wonders for your network within the industry. Also the fact that most of them are very gung-ho about analytics makes it an exciting and eclectic batch to interact with. Infact, I can confidently say that you’ll learn much more from your peers than the curriculum or the IIT Profs.
  3. The course content is pretty wide in terms of all the relevant topics that it covers. Very comprehensive indeed!
  4. The IIT profs are most helpful (and needless to say, knowledgeable) and will do all that they can to resolve your doubts/queries. The chat option during the virtual classrooms/webinars makes it a very interactive education mode – where you’re continuously raising queries and brainstorming with your peers.
  5. The IIT campus session of 3 full days at the fag-end of the course is the most exciting part of the deal! There are live training sessions on analytic tools, guest lectures from industry experts and ofcourse, live interaction with the IIT profs. Nothing to beat the aura of being on the esteemed IIT campus.

And now, here are the inherent negatives, which all of us felt right throughout our course –

  1. The Hughes service and communication. Be it in terms of lecture coordination, material distribution/circulation or a lot of instances of technical glitches (during the webinars/virtual classrooms).
  2. While the course content is wide and comprehensive, it tends to be a bit too technical. The focus is more on the derivation of formulae and the alpha, beta and gama bit of it, rather than the real-world business applications. For e.g. I would be more interested in the application of the Gini co-efficient, ARIMA model  and Bootstrapping methodology, rather than knowing minute technical details about these.
  3. So after the course, you’ll definitely feel a vacuum in terms of “Ok, so now I know it all. But how do I apply it in my job/career?” The content is too theoretical, very ineffective in terms of real-world business case studies and applications.
  4. For all non-statistic based students, the going was pretty tough. So if you haven’t heard of regression before, never dealt with Standard deviation earlier, the proceedings may sound Latin. IIT believes that all students who have enrolled are there for ‘Advanced’ analytics. Don’t expect them to hand-hold you through the basics of Analytics.
  5. Net-net: In terms of intangible professional gains (the impact on your resume), the course will continue to benefit you in the long run. However, don’t expect immediate gains in your current job or your value in the ‘Analytics’ job market. However, it’ll definitely improve your credibility and the probability of your CV getting short-listed by analytic firms.

However, if you are more keen on Learning, Knowledge and Application, you may find this course a bit shallow. In fact, please visit the following site for a much more well-structured and actionable course content. It teaches you the tricks of the trade, how and when to use the tools and how to interpret your results. It is led by business folks who have actually practiced analytics in reputed organizations. It has dedicated modules of sectors like BFSI and retail.

To simplify the comparison: While IIT will give you that halo of being an IITian, the theoretical history of various concepts; Jigsaw Academy will straightaway get down to business and tell how to build, analyze and apply analytical models in various situations/industries. IIT will make you knowledgeable, Jigsaw will increase your ability to execute. IIT could increase your job prospects, Jigsaw will increase your ability to succeed in analytic-based assignments. IIT is much easy-paced and spread out (3 hours every Sunday for a year) and won’t demand much in terms of beyond-classroom assignments. Jigsaw promises to be much compact in duration, but much rigorous and intensive (6 hours every week, Sat and Sun, for 3 months). It’ll also take a lot from you in terms of weekly assignments. As they say, IIT is typical ‘Mile wide, Inch deep’ and Jigsaw is ‘Half a mile wide, 2 Miles deep’.  IIT will cost you 1.25 lacs, Jigsaw starts at about 40 thousand. Take your pick!

Just to caution: Hope you understand, both the courses are not your sure-shot entry ticket to a successful analytic career. Both will demand immense commitment, involvement and passion from you. If you ain’t supporting these courses through immense reading and practice, it’ll end up being a glorious affiliation on your CV. And now, before you ask, Why on earth am I endorsing Jigsaw so much? Have I been a Jigsaw student as well? Well, unfortunately not. Despite my deep respect for Jigsaw, I haven’t been able to bring myself to commit 3 months of intensive Jigsaw training. However, quite a few of my batchmates from IIT, who were not satiated with the learning at IIT, went ahead and pursued Jigsaw as well. While you’ll find their detailed testimonials on the Jigsaw site, the feedback they had for this course was simply superlative! They could now understand, practice and implement complex analytic models, which were no more the intimidating theories they were at IIT. I too am very keen on pursuing Jigsaw, to put my IIT knowledge to good use, avoid rapid evaporation of the knowledge gained and most importantly, learn to solve the Smart Analytics ‘Jigsaw’!

To sum it up, IIT will make you feel good, earn some adulation. Jigsaw will make you more effective, entrench your reputation and earn some real Respect!

Click here too read more about SAS training courses.

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Interested in a career in Data Science?
To learn more about Jigsaw’s Data Science with SAS Course – click here.
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To learn more about Jigsaw’s Big Data Course – click here.

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