In this review of Udacity’s data product manager nanodegree, I am going to share my personal experience of learning with Udacity along with its pros and cons.
Who’s Frederick Zoreta? A Brief background about me:
You can call me Eric for short. I’ve been living in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, Ontario. My work experience covers far and wide: from computer tech to business development, from network support to digital marketing, college IT lecturer to UX researcher, from emergency management/security & investigations to data analysis.
I have tried a lot of learning modalities even way before online learning started. Once online learning started to flourish around a few years ago, I noticed that Udacity has a main advantage over all other platforms: PROJECTS. LOTS of PROJECTS. Most of the other platforms does provide excellent content but there’s no way to prove your skill sets.
Up until a few years ago, Udacity has pioneered in making capstone projects a requirement, no need for quizzes nor multiple choice guess work.
My motivation to enroll in Udacity Nanodegree
I only started hearing about nanodegrees back in 2017. Some of my friends kept on mentioning the top nanodegrees such as ‘Machine Learning’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’.
Fast forward to the ‘covid era’, I decided that I really needed to further improve my ‘career fighting shape’. This ‘covid era’ has seen a lot of free and discounted courses and certifications. As I have initially mentioned, Udacity stood out because of the almost ‘real world’ academic projects than it’s main competitors like EDX, Coursera and Simplilearn.
So to completely summarize this, great content and real-world projects. This what made me enroll and eventually finish 8 nanodegrees and 2 courses as of this writing (April 4, 2021).
In this Udacity Data Product Manager Nanodegree Review, I will walk you through entire syllabus to see if its worth it.
Also Read: Udacity Product Manager Review
Syllabus of Udacity Data Product Manager Nanodegree
Lesson1: Applying Data Science to Product Management
This first module gave a very good introduction into how data is utilized in the realm of product management. The module consists of 6 lessons plus the ‘project module’.
Also Read: Udacity Data Scientist Nanodegree review
Module #1: Introduction to Data Product Management
This focused on the product roadmap, feature prioritization, identification of feature requirements and how data granularity and visualization create an over all impact on the results. This part also discussed an overview into the project what was going to be the standard all throughout the entire nanodegree: ‘Flyber’. A hypothetical flying taxi company that operates out of the US’ tri-state area (NY-NJ-CN).
The module also gave an overview of the main tools to be used: Tableau, Excel and PostGreSQL.
Module #2: Granularity, Distribution & Data Modelling
Tackles the fundamentals of relational data modelling, data levels of granularity created a more effective insight. Majority of the focus is on using average, median & mode with regards to how tabular/relational data is being processed. Since majority of data processed and analyzed would still be in a ‘fact – dimensional’ model, it does make sense that there was a heavy emphasis on data that is SQL compatible.
Module #3 : Trends, Enrichment & Visualization
This part was extremely straight forward. It discusses how visualizations creates an over-all impact on the analysis and eventual decision making. Topics touched were: line graph, donut chart, chloropleth map, density map, bar chart, histogram and even touched on how valuable geospatial data is.
Module #4 : Setting Product Objectives & Strategies
This part focused on ‘OKR’ -> Objectives & Key Results. It further drills down into setting up the proper metrics and KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. The use of ‘instrumentation strategies’ in measuring KPIs and gathering qualitative data in providing more context on why and how KPIs ‘move and flow’ the way they are.
Module #5: Proposal Synthesis & Design
This module tackles the main key points to focus on, while creating a product presentation to stakeholders. It focused on an overview of exploratory data analysis, data visualizations in product proposals, utilizing the ‘UX research’ team to aid in the qualitative data and identifying the main ‘pain points’ of the users.
User impacts and proposed solutions were also discussed.
Project1: Develop a Data-Backed Product Proposal
The project was basically divided into 2. The first part (midterm) focused mainly on the quantitative data analysis. When I say “A LOT OF TABLEAU & SQL” was being used, this is definitely an understatement.
The first part was actually titled “Data Exploration”.
This part were focused on answering questions such as:
- What are the flying taxis used for?
- What were the characteristics of the users the use our product & service.
- What were the existing pain points?
- What were the existing pain points in a digital ride sharing company like ours?
The midterm also utilized the fundamental geospatial capabilities of Tableau.
My immediate reaction upon submitting the midterm:
TOTALLY IMPRESSED! It gave me a very realistic viewpoint on how data is being utilized in terms of product management’s different iteration cycles. It also gave me the ‘Aha Moment!’. The methods were also very highly applicable to traditional digital marketing and business analysis tasks (based on my experience).
The second part was more focused on qualitative data and project synthesis.
The final part of this project was called “Proposal Synthesis”. Objectives of this part was:
Identify a product objective for Flyber’s launch. Your product objective will guide your KPIs, so identify what Flyber should optimize for. Your objective should be centered around one the following focus areas:
- User Acquisition
- User Engagement
- User Retention
** The final part of this project focused on how qualitative data, market research and UX research are all being utilized and eventually synthesized in making any product or service more ‘marketable’ and ‘viable’. This part aims to inform the researcher that qualitative data and research synthesis makes all the quantitative research MORE MEANINGFUL.
My reaction to the 2nd part of the project: AMAZED indeed! Since my skills and experience is an intersection of BA, UX and digital marketing, by simply finishing the first project, it gave me a very wholistic view of how data is truly utilized in product management. I was also impressed at how even the simple functionalities of Tableau can make a big difference.
Cost and Duration
Now coming to the Cost and Duration of the Nanodegree in this Udacity Data Product Manager Nanodegree Review, well the cost of this course depends on the time period in which you will complete the course.
The fee is charged on a monthly basis. The fee for one month is $359. If you take the course for 4 months as Udacity suggests then it will give you a discount of 15 percent at the end of the degree.
This way the monthly fee will be reduced to $309. There is another deal offered by Udacity that if you choose to pay the fee on monthly basis then you will pay the full fee but if you will pay by the above deal your monthly fee will reduce to $232.
The time given by Udacity is 4 months when the enroller spends 10 hours every week for the course.
Pros and Cons
In this Udacity Data Product Manager Nanodegree Review has also reviewed some of the pros and cons of the course. Have a look:
- The course teaches you the skills to apply on practical grounds rather than to confine them to the theoretical basis merely for the purpose of getting grades
- The projects are reviewed personally by your mentor and you get the customized reviews and corrections for your project
- It helps in preparing you for the interview as well as helps you in making your CV and resume
- Some of the courses at Udacity have high fees but this problem is sort out by the scholarships and discounts they give
- The course requires a lot of hard work and there are a number of projects to complete for getting a certificate
The Final Verdict- Product Manager Nanodegree
Udacity Data Product Manager Nanodegree polishes your skill to the extent that you become able to lead the well – known industries of your time.
There are a number of reasons for which you can join the Udacity platforms the foremost of which is a recognized certificate, mentor, and project reviews.
You can learn professional skills while sitting at home. This was a short review of the Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review. Good Luck!
In this Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review, we will tell you how Udacity can help you in mastering the skills of a Product Manager.
So, have a look at this Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review.
Also Read: Udacity Review