Dr. Jim Brau and Dr. Mark Keith, professors at Brigham Young University, together with Jim’s son Heber Brau, wrote an innovative article about how to teach data analytics using Python software. This paper, titled “A Pedagogical Model for Teaching Data Analytics in an Introductory Information Systems Python Course,” combines Mark’s skill in data analytics and information systems with Jim’s excellence in teaching and both of their experience with Python. The authors put all that knowledge together to provide a pedagogically sound course structure for how to teach data analytics using Python to students with no background in statistics or computer code.
MyEducator has a long-time relationship with both Jim and Mark, and we’re excited to share their exciting success and talk about how to access their expertise through the MyEducator platform.
Jim and Mark: Experts in Their Fields
Jim Brau is a West Point graduate, a PhD graduate from the Florida State University in business administration and finance, a certified financial planner, and a professor of finance at Brigham Young University. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and coauthored 9 textbooks, including Financial Analysis in Python. In addition to his accomplishments in writing, Jim has been recognized several times for his teaching skills—he has received three FSU teaching awards and eight BYU teaching awards.
Mark Keith is a professor of information systems at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from Arizona State University in the field of business administration, and he has taught at ASU, West Texas A&M University, the University of Alabama, and BYU. Mark has authored almost 60 peer-reviewed articles in research areas such as data and machine learning, video gaming, and privacy. He is also passionate about teaching data analytics and machine learning using Python.
A New Way to Teach Data Analytics
The 2020 article by Mark, Jim, and Heber outlines the pedagogy and success of an introductory data analytics course implemented at a large university in the western US. The course is split into two parts. It starts with an introduction to Python computer programming to give the students a solid foundation for using Python for data analysis. The second part of the course focuses on applying the skills learned in the first part to the process of data analysis.
The pedagogy employed in the course the authors describe uses an active learning strategy. It approaches the lessons from a beginner level, assuming that learners have no background knowledge in Python, code, or data analytics; the active learning approach ensures that students internalize the skills they are learning so they can apply the skills in future career settings.
Data analytics is an ever-growing field. The demand for workers skilled in this area is not likely to decrease any time soon. In fact, the authors created the course outlined in the article “in response to employers who have expressed increasing demand that students be trained in data analytics.” By taking a beginner approach to data analytics, educators can teach data analytics to a much broader range of students. Many who may have never considered obtaining a basic working knowledge of code and data will have access to those highly desired skills, which can set them apart in an increasingly competitive job market.
Connection to MyEducator
Jim Brau and Mark Keith have both already contributed their significant knowledge to MyEducator’s collection of educational resources. Jim has authored and coauthored several resources, including Financial Analysis in Python, Principles of Finance, and Financial Markets, Institutions, and Instruments. Mark has authored and coauthored many resources as well, including Data Analytics and Machine Learning, Data-Mining Projects and Database Essentials, and Introduction to Python Data Analytics.
In addition to these resources, MyEducator has several more great resources created and designed to help learners build their skill set in data sciences and information systems. For example, Introduction to Programming with Python by Dr. Greg Anderson teaches foundational Python programming skills, and Data Mining for the Masses by Dr. Matt North approaches data mining concepts and practices in such a way that anyone can gain the skills it teaches, even without a background in statistics, machine learning, or data management.
How Can We Help You?
MyEducator thinks this method of teaching data analytics is game changing. We are so excited about the steps Mark and Jim are taking to make this highly sought-after skillset more accessible to people who might not consider themselves coders or statisticians, and we’re excited to help Mark and Jim share their expertise with learners worldwide.