Is Data Science Hard to Learn? Explore My Data Science Journey

Is Data Science Hard to Learn?

Do you want to learn Data Science but have a doubt “Is Data Science Hard to Learn?“, If yes, then I am here to help you. In this blog, I will share my Data Science Journey with you. I will share what obstacles I faced, what resources I used, and the mistakes I made during my data science journey. And most importantly I will answer your doubt “Is Data Science Hard to Learn?“.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started-

Is Data Science Hard to Learn?

So, let’s start from scratch and understand the required skills for data science-

Skills Required for Data Science

  1. Mathematical Foundation: A strong understanding of basic math, such as algebra and statistics, serves as a solid base for analyzing data effectively.
  2. Programming Proficiency: Learning a programming language like Python or SQL is essential for manipulating and extracting insights from data.
  3. Data Cleansing Skills: Before diving into analysis, it’s crucial to clean and organize the data to ensure accuracy and reliability.
  4. Analytical Thinking: Developing analytical skills and critical thinking abilities enables you to interpret complex data sets and derive meaningful conclusions.
  5. Basic Machine Learning Knowledge: Familiarity with machine learning concepts equips you with the tools to build predictive models and uncover patterns within data.
  6. Data Visualization: Creating clear and concise visual representations of data through charts and graphs facilitates communication and understanding of key insights.
  7. Industry Expertise: Understanding the specific nuances of the industry you’re working in provides context for data analysis and informs decision-making processes.

So, these are the required skills. Data Science is Hard or not depends upon the background you come from. For example, in my case, I came from a Computer Science background, so learning a programming language was much easier for me than math and statistics.

Now, I would like to share my Data Science Learning Journey with you-

My Data Science Learning Journey/ Is Data Science Hard to Learn?

When I started learning Data Science, I wondered if it was tough. Well, the answer is a bit yes and a bit no. Let me explain.

At first, Data Science seemed like a big, confusing world. There were lots of things to learn, like programming in Python, math stuff like algebra and stats, and fancy things like machine learning.

Some parts felt okay to me. I was already good with computers, so learning to code in Python wasn’t too hard. But then came the tough part – math and statistics.

I’ve never been great at math, and learning algebra and probability was tough. I had to really buckle down and spend hours studying, doing practice problems, and sometimes feeling frustrated. But slowly, with lots of practice and patience, I started to get the hang of it.

After that came machine learning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe because I already knew programming, or maybe because ML algorithms just kind of made sense to me. It felt more like solving puzzles than climbing a mountain.

Then came the messy part – cleaning up data. Even though I knew Python and SQL, dealing with messy data was a whole different ball game. Sometimes data was missing, sometimes it was in weird formats – it was like trying to untangle a knot. But finding the hidden gems in all that mess was pretty satisfying.

One of the interesting things I learned was data visualization. Turning boring numbers into cool charts and graphs was a game-changer. Using tools like Tableau made it super fun and easy to tell stories with data.

But let me tell you about some of the projects I worked on during my journey. One of my favorites was analyzing customer data for a retail company. I used Python to clean and analyze the data, then created visualizations to identify patterns in customer behavior. Another project involved building a machine learning model to predict housing prices based on various features like location and square footage. It was challenging but incredibly rewarding to see the model make accurate predictions.

These projects not only helped me apply what I learned but also gave me a taste of the real-world applications of Data Science.

So, is Data Science hard to learn? Yeah, it can be tricky. But if you stick with it and don’t give up, you’ll find that it’s also pretty amazing. Just take it one step at a time, and you’ll get there

If I summarized the topics I found the toughest and easiest, so this is my list-

Toughest Topics in My Data Science Learning Journey

  1. Math and Stats: Algebra and probability were hard to grasp at first.
  2. Advanced ML: Deep learning and neural networks were tough.
  3. Data Cleaning: Dealing with messy data was a headache.
  4. Big Data: Understanding Hadoop and Spark took time.
  5. Time Series Analysis: Predicting trends in data was challenging.

Easiest Topics in My Data Science Learning Journey

  1. Python: Easy to understand and work with.
  2. SQL: Querying databases felt straightforward.
  3. Basic ML: Linear regression and decision trees were simple.
  4. Data Visualization: Simple charts and graphs were easy to create.
  5. Basic Stats: Mean, median, and standard deviation were easy to grasp.

Now, I would like to tell you the mistakes I made which I would not suggest you to do during your data science journey.

Mistakes I Made in My Data Science Journey

1. Inadequate Data Cleaning

I didn’t pay enough attention to thorough data cleaning, resulting in inaccurate analyses and flawed insights.

My Suggestion: Make sure to thoroughly clean your data by handling missing values, making formats consistent, and removing any unusual data points. This ensures that your analyses are accurate and dependable.

2. Ignoring the Importance of Mathematics

I underestimated the significance of mathematics in data science and didn’t dedicate sufficient time to strengthening my mathematical foundation, leading to difficulties in understanding and applying advanced concepts.

My Suggestion: Spend enough time practicing math skills, especially in areas like basic algebra and probability. This will help you better understand the core concepts of data science.

3. Limited Experimentation with Big Data Technologies

I didn’t explore big data technologies such as Hadoop and Spark extensively, missing out on opportunities to efficiently handle large-scale datasets.

My Suggestion: Learn about big data tools like Hadoop and Spark. Try them out on projects or take online courses to understand how they can help handle large datasets more efficiently.

4. Neglecting Model Evaluation

I didn’t prioritize thorough evaluation of machine learning models, leading to inaccurate predictions and unreliable results.

My Suggestion: Always evaluate your models thoroughly. Use techniques like cross-validation and confusion matrices to make sure your predictions are reliable.

I would not suggest you to make these mistakes.

Now, let’s see what resources I used during my Data Science Journey-

Resources I Used in My Data Science Journey

Online Courses & Tutorials:

  1. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate– Coursera
  2. Become a Data Scientist– Udacity
  3. Data Science Specialization– Coursera
  4. Applied Data Science with Python Specialization– Coursera
  5. Programming for Data Science with Python– Udacity

Statistics & Probability:

  1. Statistics with R Specialization– Coursera
  2. Statistics and probability– Khan Academy
  3. Statistics with Python Specialization– Coursera

My Suggestion:

Programming Language:

  1. The Python Tutorial– PYTHON.ORG
  2. Python for Everybody – University of Michigan
  3. Introduction To Python Programming– Udemy

My Suggestion:

  • Start with the Python Tutorial on PYTHON.ORG for a beginner-friendly introduction to Python.
  • Enroll in the “Python for Everybody” course by the University of Michigan on Coursera to build practical Python skills.
  • For more comprehensive Python training, consider Udemy’s “Introduction To Python Programming” course.


  1. Mathematics for Machine Learning Specialization– Imperial College London
  2. Mathematics for Data Science Specialization– Coursera
  3. Data Science Math Skills– Duke University

My Suggestion:

Data Wrangling:

  1. Python – Data Wrangling– TutorialsPoint
  2. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization– Duke University
  3. Learn SQL Basics for Data Science Specialization– University of California, Davis

My Suggestion:

Data Visualization:

  1. Tableau Tutorial–
  2. Data Visualisation with Tableau– DataCamp
  3. Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization– University of California, Davis

My Suggestion:

These resources have been instrumental in my Data Science journey, providing a solid foundation and practical skills. I recommend starting with a few courses or tutorials that align with your interests and learning goals and don’t forget to practice regularly and apply what you learn to real-world projects.

FREE Resources That Helped Me in My Data Science Journey

  1. Data Science Tutorial– Great Learning
  2. Data Science Full Course– Edureka
  3. Data Science Full Course For Beginners– codebasics
  4. Data Science Full Course Simplilearn
  5. Learn Data Science Tutorial– freeCodeCamp
  6. R Programming Tutorial– freeCodeCamp
  7. Statistics for Data Science– Great Learning
  8. Statistics – A Full University Course on Data Science BasicsfreeCodeCamp
  9. Data Visualization Tutorial– by Krish Naik
  11. Edwin Chen’s Blog
  12. The Shape of Data
  13. Machine Learning Mastery
  14. Data Science 101
  15. MLTUT
  16. Planet Big Data
  17. Big Data Blog 
  18. Data36
  19. Towards Data Science
  20. Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw (download PDF here)
  21. R for Data Science by Hadley Wickham (download PDF here)
  22.  An Introduction to Statistical Learning by Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie, and Robert Tibshirani (download the pdf version of this book from here)


So, I have shared everything related to my Data Science journey with you. I hope it will help you and clear your doubts “Is Data Science Hard to Learn?“. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to ask me in the comment section. I am here to help you.

All the Best for your Career!

Happy Learning!


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Thank YOU!

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Though of the Day…

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’

John Wooden

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Written By Aqsa Zafar

Founder of MLTUT, Machine Learning Ph.D. scholar at Dayananda Sagar University. Research on social media depression detection. Create tutorials on ML and data science for diverse applications. Passionate about sharing knowledge through website and social media.

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