Data Science Principles

Are you prepared for our data-driven world?

Data Science Principles is a Harvard Online course that gives you an overview of data science with a code- and math-free introduction to prediction, causality, data wrangling, privacy, and ethics.

Featuring faculty from:
February 2023
4 weeks
4-5 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
Apply today for Data Science Principles

What You'll Learn

Data science is at the core of modern business, from healthcare to government to advertising. Data Science Principles makes the fundamental topics in data science approachable and relevant by using real-world examples and prompts you to think critically about applying these new understandings to your workplace. Get an overview of data science with a nearly code- and math-free introduction to prediction, causality, visualization, data wrangling, privacy, and ethics. 

Geared toward managers, Data Science Principles prepares you to speak the language of data science and contribute to data-oriented discussions within your company and daily life. This isn’t a course for data scientists—it’s for everyone around them. 

Data Science Principles is part of our Driving Digital Success series.

Driving Digital Success courses provide the frameworks and methodologies to turn data into insight, technologies into strategy, and opportunities into value and responsibility.

Explore More Courses in this Series

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the modern data science landscape and technical terminology for a data-driven world
  • Recognize major concepts and tools in the field of data science and determine where they can be appropriately applied
  • Appreciate the importance of curating, organizing, and wrangling data
  • Explain uncertainty, causality, and data quality—and the ways they relate to each other
  • Predict the consequences of data use and misuse and know when more data may be needed or when to change approaches

Your Instructor


Dustin Tingley is a data scientist at Harvard University. He is Professor of Government and Deputy Vice Provost for Advances in Learning and helps to direct Harvard's education focused data science and technology team. Professor Tingley has helped a variety of organizations use the tools of data science and he has helped to develop machine learning algorithms and accompanying software for the social sciences. He has written on a variety of topics using data science techniques, including education, politics, and economics.

Real World Case Studies

Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

Mauricio Santillana

Mauricio Santillana

Listen to Harvard Professor and faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital analyze Google Flu, its failures, and lessons learned.

Latanya Sweeney

Latanya Sweeney

Explore the difficulties faced in keeping data anonymous and private with Harvard Professor and Director of the Data Privacy Lab in IQSS at Harvard.

Dan Restuccia

Dan Restuccia

Learn how Burning Glass Technologies uses text analysis to recommend job openings, skill development, and labor market trends.

Who Will Benefit

Student Icon

Students and Recent Graduates

Prepare for your career by building a foundation of the essential concepts, vocabulary, skills, and intuition necessary for business.

Team Leader Icon

Early- and Mid-Career Professionals

Recognize how data is changing industries and think critically about how to develop a data-driven mindset to prepare you for your next opportunity.

Presenter Icon

Marketing and Project Management Professionals

Learn how data science techniques can be essential to your industry and how to contribute to cross-functional, data-oriented discussions.

Learner Testimonials

"This is a topic that people in any industry should have at least basic knowledge of in order to create more efficient and competitive businesses, tools, and resources."

Carlos E. Sapene
CEO, Chief Strategy Officer

"I found value in the real-world examples in Data Science Principles. With complicated topics and new terms, it's especially beneficial for learnings to be able to tie back new or abstract concepts to ideas that we understand. This course helped me understand data in this context and what algorithms are actually trying to solve."

Alejandro D.
Financial Services Analyst

"Data Science Principles applies to many aspects of our daily lives. The course helps guide people in everyday life through decision making and process thinking."

Jared D.
Senior Director of Sales

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Data Science Principles course.

Apply Now

Still Have Questions?

Are there discounts available for this course? What are the learning requirements? How do I list my certificate on my resume? Learn the answers to these and more in our FAQs.


Data Science Principles Certificate

Learn More

Explore and connect to our courses via articles, webinars, and more.

What do Chick-fil-A and Stitch Fix have in common?

How can data science benefit your business decisions? By combining knowledge and analysis of data with business acumen, modern companies can become experts in data science execution.

Building Data Science into your Strategy

Watch a webinar about how to rethink your business strategy for data-driven decisions.

Putting Data to Work

What does data readiness for the modern business professional require? Watch a webinar about how data science can be used by non-technical managers.

Related Courses

Read More

Data Privacy and Technology

Explore the risks and rewards of data privacy and collection

Explore legal and ethical implications of one’s personal data, the risks and rewards of data collection and surveillance, and the needs for policy, advocacy, and privacy monitoring.

Read More

Big Data for Social Good

Professional Certificate Program

This Harvard Online series teaches core concepts in data science, economics, and statistics and equips you to tackle the pressing challenges of our time.

Read More

Data Science for Business

Move beyond the spreadsheet

Designed for managers, this course provides a hands-on approach for demystifying the data science ecosystem and making you a more conscientious consumer of information.