Course Syllabus

Welcome to PRDV200: Communicating with Data

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Get a competitive edge in the marketplace by understanding data visualization, performing quantitative and qualitative data analysis, crafting data visualizations, and presenting results.


Course Introduction

A 2022 McKinsey Report predicts that by 2025, most business problems will be resolved in hours or days instead of months and years, like we see today. This prediction relies on organizations applying more data-driven approaches to problem-solving. To achieve this goal, data must be analyzed and presented in a readily usable form. Data visualization provides a means to simplify data, which lets us tell a story. In this course, we will explore how people process visual information and how to create useful visualizations of data. We will also learn the terminology used in data science, the principles of data dashboard design, and ways to effectively present data.

This course is designed to help industry professionals gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by understanding data visualization. We will analyze quantitative and qualitative data, craft visualizations, and present results. We will also learn how to manage data, perform analytics with a set of charts, and organize information into visualizations to tell a story. By developing your knowledge of creating and presenting data-driven insights, you can solve applied problems better.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Data Visualization
  • Unit 2: Understanding Data
  • Unit 3: Crafting Visualizations
  • Unit 4: Telling the Story


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • identify the foundations of dashboard design theory;
  • summarize the benefits of data visualization practices in industry;
  • create basic charts;
  • scan dashboards for misleading content;
  • select an appropriate visualization method for a particular application; and
  • build a presentable data visualization that tells a story.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

This course's primary learning materials are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource and will help you understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. To pass this course, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.

Tips for Success

PRDV200: Communicating with Data is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 9 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a comfortable pace that allows you to make regular progress. It's also a good idea to schedule your study time in advance and try to stick to that schedule as best as you can.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory and will make you more likely to retain information over time.

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course, including assessments and the final exam, you will need to log in to your Saylor Academy account and enroll in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access the course materials without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 12:17 PM