A Plethora of Microsoft Training Options on AI, Machine Learning & Data Science, including MOOCs

This post is authored by Kristin M. Tolle, Director of Program Management for Advanced Analytics Ecosystem Development and Training at Microsoft.

Cortana Intelligence, Microsoft's end-to-end platform for Advanced Analytics, offers a suite of services to solve real world customer problems. The suite has many moving parts – Data Lake, HDInsight (Hadoop), Event Hub, Machine Learning and R – just to name a few, and we realize it may be challenging for some of you to experience first-hand how all these services work together in concert.

My team, which is tasked with training our partners to use these services to address their customers' needs, is keenly aware of the breadth of that knowledge surface area. In this blog post, I outline some of the best ways for you to learn about all things Big Data and Advanced Analytics from Microsoft, including many hands-on training options, and also how to stay in the loop on our future offerings.

Online Training

Our training offerings take many forms. Overviews can be found on Channel 9. For example, we published two new series recently, one on Azure SQL Data Warehousing by Chris Testa-O'Neill of SQLBits fame and another on Operationalizing Solutions with Azure Data Factory, by Ryan Swanstrom who, when he's not training people for the Data Science team, runs Data Science 101, one of the most popular blogs for aspirant data scientists.

We're also spending a lot of time working on massively open online courses (MOOCs).

Microsoft partners can take Practical Data Analytics with Cortana Intelligence through the Cloud Platform University Online (CPO), with our very own Buck Woody.

If you're looking for a deep dive into Microsoft R there's an EdX.org course, Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server, presented by Data Scientist Seth Mottaghinejad.

Our MOOCs are not for the faint of heart – they're close to the metal, the objective being to prepare you to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert or a Microsoft Certified Professional on our platform. In fact, we recently launched (currently in beta) a certification called Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (Exam 70-773).

If you're just getting started in Data Science, Microsoft Learning has an entire series of online classes, including ours, which teach you how to do real world data science using Microsoft platforms through the Data science track in the Microsoft Professional Program.

Training Materials, and Becoming a Training Partner

If you're that type who just wants to figure it all out for yourself, we publish our training materials to a public GitHub repository where you're welcome to access firsthand all the materials we use when we do in-person instruction. You can find us under Azure here: https://github.com/Azure/learnAnalytics-public.

These materials are open source and free for you to use to teach others about Advanced Analytics.

To become an Advanced Analytics training partner, please reach out to us here: http://learnanalytics.microsoft.com/home/trainingpartners – before long you'll be publishing your classes on our LearnAnalytics@MS website!

In-Person Training

You'll often find our team running classes at data science and machine learning events all over world – for instance at PASS, the Data Science Summit and many, many others.

We also deliver in-person "capstone" style classes around the world called the LearnAnalytics Series. These classes are very hands-on deep dives. You can learn Microsoft R with Spark and HDInsight, develop solutions using Cortana Intelligence and Microsoft R, and learn how to put Cognitive Services, Bot Framework and Deep Learning to use in the real world, just to cite some examples.

If Bots are your thing, register today for four upcoming classes on this topic in Houston, Chicago, Munich, and Madrid.

We've got an offering titled "Cortana Intelligence Suite Workshop – Foundations and SQL Data Warehousing" coming up in Copenhagen, with events in Madrid (Spain), Reading (UK), Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong to be scheduled soon after.

For those of you interested in a deep dive into Microsoft R, our course on "Microsoft R Server for Data Science with Spark and HDInsight" will be offered in Belgrade, Reading, Budapest, Istanbul and Dubai.

Stay in the Know

As you can tell, there's just a lot going on in this space! Be sure to regularly visit the LearnAnalytics@MS portal to stay on top of everything Advanced Analytics from Microsoft.

What's more, you may just find us offering a class in your own backyard in the near future!