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Instructor: Mark Clancy
Office: TBA
Office Hours: 7:30-8 pm Mon&Wed
Class Schedule: Jan 9 to Feb 17


Mon and Wed: 6-7:30pm


Wed: 4:30-5:30pm

Classroom: MCML 154
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion


Mark Clancy

Contact Information:


Office location: classroom

Office hours: after each class

Class Schedule

Lecture: Jan 9 - Feb 17

Mondays and Wednesdays: 6-7:30 pm.


Wednesdays: 4:30-5:30 pm

Classroom: MCML 154

Course Description

The primary objective of analytics is to find useful patterns in data. Data science leverages math and programming to find these patterns. This course is designed to help you find patterns through both data science and visualization. The course will begin by providing an overview of the in-demand field of analytics / data science and then will move into specific data analysis techniques and tools. We’ll cover the emerging field of data visualization and will study the fundamentals of computing as a prelude to hands-on coding. We’ll study various types of databases, data structures, data modelling as well as data querying using both SQL and NoSQL queries. Programmatic techniques will be covered, primarly with Python (and some R), and we’ll develop simple models. Topics in both machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) will be included. In-class activities and group projects will provide an opportunity to work directly with data including the collection, analysis, manipulation and visualization of small and large datasets. Finally, we’ll look at some of the more business-related aspects of analytics including data governance, dashboards, performance metrics (KPIs), data security/privacy and effective presentations.

Learning Objectives

Module Upon completion of this course, students should be able to complete the following:
Intro to Data Analytics
  • Describe different types of data
  • Know how to approach gathering the right data
  • Data science or Analytics?
  • Explain the importance of data hygiene
  • Assess small vs big data sets  (3 Vs – velocity, variety, volume)
  • Describe principles of good data visualization with respect to colour, chart types, information density, etc.
  • Review and use various software solutions --- e.g. Tableau, R Studio, Excel
Fundamentals – Databases & Platforms
  • Explain the differences between databases, data warehouses, data lakes
  • Review various types of databases --- object / NoSQL,  relational, blockchain
  • Describe various “cloud” offerings --- applications (e.g. Google Analytics), machine learning, sentiment analysis,  etc.
Design – Databases & Data Structures
  • Basic understanding of data modeling techniques --- both relational and NoSQL
  • Use of data query languages (SQL and NoSQL)
  • Designing data structures --- objects, arrays, stacks, queues
  • How data structures relate to databases and coding
  • Fundamentals of data warehousing (modelling, columnar data stores)
Techniques – Programming / Coding
  • What is an algorithm? What is a model?
  • Create basic algorithms using Python programming language
  • Explain the role of APIs and libraries
  • Describe role of machine learning
Business aspects
  • Gain familiarity with business-related aspects of analytics including data governance, dashboards, performance metrics (KPIs), data security/privacy and effective presentations
Group Project – public data
  • Apply techniques to a public data set
Other Topics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Guest Speaker

Learning Materials

  • Data Science from Scratch (second edition) – ($52, Kindle edition) First Principles with Python
  • Data Science for Economics and Finance (free, Kindle edition)
  • HBR Guide to Data Analytics Basics for Managers ($15, Kindle edition)
  • Data Science in Economics and Finance for Decision Makers (FYI - no need to purchase, I may discuss portions of this book in class)


Exams and Assignments % of Grade
Assignments / Labs 25%
Group Project & Presentation 25%
Quizzes 20%
Participation 15%
Midterm 15%
Total 100%

Course Schedule

*The schedule may be subject to change.

Course Policies: (Applicable to UBC MFRE Courses)

Respectfulness in the Classroom

Students are expected to be respectful of their colleagues at all times, including faculty, staff and peers. This means being attentive and conscious of words and actions and their impact on others, listening to people with an open mind, treating all MFRE community members equally and understanding diversity. Students who act disrespectfully toward others will be asked to leave the class and be marked as absent for the day. They may also be removed from a team, lose credit for in‐class assessments and activities, or be asked to complete a group assignment individually.

Respect for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The MFRE Program strives to promote an intellectual community that is enhanced by diversity along various dimensions including status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, social class, and/or disability. It is critical that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be valued in and well‐served by their courses. Furthermore, the diversity that students bring to the classroom should be viewed as a resource, benefit, and source of strength for your learning experience. It is expected that all students and members of our community conduct themselves with empathy and respect for others.

COVID‐19 Considerations

All students must assess themselves daily for COVID‐19 symptoms prior to coming to class. Please stay home if you exhibit symptoms or have tested positive for COVID‐19. A list of COVID‐19 symptoms can be found here . Use the BC Ministry of Health’s self‐assessment tool), to help determine whether further assessment or testing for COVID‐19 is recommended. Full UBC COVID‐19 Campus Rules can be found here . Note: Please stay home if you exhibit symptoms or have tested positive for COVID‐19 and immediately contact Olivier Ntwali, Academic Program Coordinator, your Course Instructor, and your Course Assistant.

Recordings and In‐Class Attendance

There is no required distribution of recordings of class. Recording will be provided based upon on the decision of the course instructor. Classes are designed as and are intended to be in‐person. Your attendance is expected. If you are unable to attend, the policy regarding missed classes described in the MFRE code of conduct and syllabus applies. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the materials you need for missed classes.

Writing Exams

All exams will be in-person and will follow MFRE exam protocol (See Student Portal). Exams may be online, e.g., in Canvas, but students must be physically present and invigilated. If a student is unable to write an exam, they must have a verifiable doctor’s note and must contact the Course Instructor, Course Assistant, and MFRE Program Coordinator before the scheduled exam date/time. Documentation must be provided to explain your absence. If the documentation is considered legitimate, the Course Instructor will let you know how to proceed.

Plagiarism Penalties

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are taken very seriously in the MFRE program. All incidences of plagiarism will be escalated to the MFRE Academic Director. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a reduction of grade, a mark of zero on the assignment/exams of concern, failing the course or program, escalation/referral to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline, and/or expulsion from UBC. Note: If a MFRE student is required to extend his/her program due to failed course or unsatisfactory progress, they will need to pay the full MFRE tuition fees for that term(s) regardless of the number of courses that need to be retaken. It is each student’s responsibility to review and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and how to avoid them. Review MFRE Code of Conduct, UBC academic dishonesty policies/penalties and course‐specific policies.

Turn it In Access for MFRE Courses: Internet‐based plagiarism detection service

Turn it in has been set up for MFRE courses. Submit all assignments/papers to this service and review similarity index reports. Turn it in Login (website). For instructions: See the Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website.). Use provided Class ID and Enrollment Key to access MFRE course folder, submit assignments/papers, and review similarity index reports.

Working with Others on an Assignment

You are encouraged to work with other students, but you must turn in your own individual assignment. If you have an answer that is too close to another student’s answer, this will be considered academic dishonest, and this will be managed according to the MFRE and UBC policies.

Missing Classes

Students are expected to attend all classes, labs, or workshops. If you cannot make it to a class, lab, or workshop due to a medical or personal emergency, please email your instructor, your course assistant, and Olivier Ntwali, MFRE Program Coordinator ahead of time to let them know. Students who miss classes regularly without a reasonable excuse may be subject to MFRE‐imposed penalties at the discretion of the Academic Director.

Centre for Accessibility

The Centre for Accessibility (CFA) facilitates disability‐related accommodations and programming initiatives designed to remove barriers for students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions. If you are registered with the CfA and are eligible for exam accommodations, it is your responsibility to let Olivier Ntwali, Academic Program Coordinator, and each of your Course Instructors know. You should book your exam writing with the CFA using its exam reservation system: for midterm exams or quizzes, at least 7 days in advance; and final exams, 7 days before the start of the formal exam period.


All materials of this course (i.e., course handouts, lecture slides, assessments, course readings) are the intellectual property of the instructor or licensed to be used in this course by the copyright owner. Redistribution of these materials by any means without permission of the copyright holder(s) constitutes a breach of copyright and may lead to academic discipline and could be subject to legal action. Any lecture recordings are for the sole use of the instructor and students enrolled in the class. In no case may the lecture recording, or part of the recording be used by students for any other purpose, either personal or commercial. Further, audio or video recording of classes are not permitted without the prior consent of the instructor.

Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are taken very seriously in the MFRE program and can result in a range of punitive measures, which could include failing the program. It is each student’s responsibility to review and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and how to avoid them.

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of UBC as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. In many UBC courses, you will be required to submit material in electronic form. The electronic material will be submitted to a service which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This service checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. For more information, review TurnItIn website online.
  • Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, unauthorized collaborative work; or use of unauthorized means to complete an examination.
  • Submitting others work as your own, may include but not limited to i. using, or attempting to use, another student’s answers; ii. providing answers to other students; iii.  failing to take reasonable measures to protect answers from use by other students; or iv. in the case of students who study together, submitting identical or virtually identical assignments for evaluation unless permitted by the course instructor.
  • Resubmission of Material, submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  • Use of academic ghostwriting services, including hiring of writing or research services and submitting papers or assignments as his or her own.

Student Responsibility: Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and non-acceptable conduct for examinations and graded assignments as presented via FRE code of conduct guidelines; course syllabus and instructors; and UBC academic misconduct policies, Review the following web sites for details:

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty: The integrity of academic work depends on the honesty of all those who work in this environment and the observance of accepted conventions. Academic misconduct is treated as a serious offence at UBC and within the MFRE program. Penalties for academic dishonesty are applied at the discretion of the course instructor. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a reduction of grade or a mark of zero on the assignment or examination with more serious consequences being applied if the matter is referred to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Note: If a student needs to extend his/her program due to a failed course or unsatisfactory progress, they will have to pay the full MFRE tuition fees for that term/s.

Resources: Review the following:

UBC Policies of Academic Honesty:

  • UBC Academic Misconduct and Discipline (website.)
  • UBC Learning Commons web‐based Academic Integrity (website)

Turn it In Access for MFRE Courses:

  • Turn it in Login (website) and Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website)

Citing Sources:

  • UBC Learning Commons Citation Resource (website)
  • Purdue Lab How to Cite Sources (website)


  • Purdue University Plagiarism Overview (website)
  • SFU Avoiding plagiarism (website)