edX: A List of Free Training Courses For Business Analysts

Ready to get started in 2015 with this list of free courses?  

edX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners, Harvard and MIT, for providing interactive online classes offered by some of the world’s best universities. It has courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other renowned universities.

This post is a compilation of free courses from edX that anyone wearing the BA hat stands to benefit from. Though these courses are open to all, you can obtain a verified certificate of achievement for some of the courses (this comes with a fee) as proof of your new knowledge. You may choose to update your CV/LinkedIn profile with the details of any course you complete successfully.

Please note that archived courses can still be accessed in a self-paced mode where you will be able to watch the videos and work with the study materials. Where a course has been archived, check for repeat dates or enroll for the course to receive updates.

1. Data analysis to the MAX(): Business Analysts are involved in data analysis to a considerable degree; it is one of the major skills required for performing well on the job. BAs support organizations in making decisions based on available data and can only achieve this by mastering the skills needed for effective data analysis. This edX course will teach you how to improve your data analysis skills using spreadsheets and data visualisation tools. 

An excerpt from edX:

EX101x is for all of those struggling with data analysis. That crazy spreadsheet from your boss? Megabytes of data to analyze? Looking for a smart way to visualize your data in order to make sense of it? We’ve got you covered! 

This course teaches how to use Pivot Tables, Vlookups, named ranges, what-if analysis, graphs and other data analysis tools with the potential to make you stand out as the office superstar. The course recognises that Excel is not for all situations and so examines other data analysis tools you can make use of.

2. The Science of Everyday Thinking course delivers insight into how to think better in order to improve decision-making.

An excerpt from edX:

You will begin to rely on slow, effortful, deliberate, analytic, and logical thinking rather than fast, automatic, instinctive, emotional, and stereotypical thinking. The course provides tools for learning how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience through insight gleaned from 21 leading thinkers from across the world.

3. The Innovation and Commercialization course teaches about the process of innovation and how to jumpstart it within your organization. It explores the process of innovation from research to development till the final product is created in market. Business Analysts involved in new product development will certainly benefit from this course.

4. Communicating StrategicallyThis course is offered by Purdue Univeristy via edX and provides insights into communicating effectively in order to better support organizational decision-making. 

An excerpt from edX:

This five-week refresher course is designed to attempt to boil down essential components of communication strategy and is geared toward improving professional presentations.

5. Business Analysts are often required to take the lead on business initiatives. Whether you’re leading a small business analyst team or directing large project efforts, take a look at Inclusive Leadership Training: Becoming a Successful Leader course from EDX

An excerpt from edX:

In this course, you will learn what successful 21st-century leaders look like and how you can adopt their inclusive leadership style…you will meet people like yourself who want to be the best leaders they possibly can by incorporating inclusive leadership into their everyday lives.

At the end of this course, you will be able to create a Personal Leadership Plan to help you continue to develop the skills and knowledge you need to become a successful leader.

6. Financial Analysis and Decision Making: With this course, you will understand the basics of financial statements and understand the impact of financial information on a firm’s strategic positioning and execution.

An excerpt from edX:

This course will help you understand how businesses create value, how to think with financials in mind and how to apply financial information to business decision-making.

Course videos are presented in Mandarin with English subtitles.

7. Solving Complex ProblemsBusiness Analysts are often involved in situations where they have to tackle complex problems with multiple actors involved.

An excerpt from edX:

How do you solve problems in ‘spaghetti situations’, where everything is connected to everything, and everything influences everything? In most cases, its often hard to identify what the problem is and come up with the right solutions...In this course, you will learn to use techniques like actor analysis, causal modelling, means-end diagrams, problem diagrams, decision support tools and score cards to deal with complex problems.

Professional development should not be seen as a one-time event. These free training courses will help you develop both personally and professionally.

Related Post: Coursera: A List of Courses For Business Analysts and edX: A New List of Free Training Courses For Business Analysts

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