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Certificate in Big Data Analytics

The demand for big data experts is exploding.


Representing one of the largest talent shortages in Canada, big data opportunities are exploding in every sector from marketing to financial services to professional sports. The Greater Toronto Area is at the epi-centre of this talent gap. Employers frequently report that they cannot find qualified candidates and are heavily investing in re-training their workforce.



Did you know?


The demand will continue to grow with open access to data sets, the introduction of new big data software applications, and the increased applicability of big data to new market segments.


Harness big data to achieve your organizational goals.


We have access to more data than ever before. But that information is meaningless without people who know how to properly analyze it.  This is why both public and private sector organizations now rely on big data experts and predictive analysts to help them make informed decisions.

If you are currently working in analytics or a related field, the Big Data Analytics Program can train you to identify and leverage key opportunities to support your organization’s strategic objectives. And once you know how to turn your findings into actionable insights, you will be indispensable to any employer.

Even if you aren’t working in the analytics field, becoming an expert in data analysis is invaluable in many industries. Specialists in areas such as marketing, insurance, finance, human resources, and policy deal with big data every day. These certificates will help set you apart from the rest of the pack and enable you to grow your career options.

The program provides a comprehensive education in contemporary data analytics. You will learn data analytics foundations, basic and advanced methods, and relevant big data analytics toolsets. In addition to online coursework, you will also attend bi-weekly computer labs to access the leading software applications with which many employers require familiarity. For a list of the software used in each course, please see the “Software” drop-down section below.

“Today more than ever, analytics play a crucial role in creating a positive customer experience. As a member of the program’s advisory council, I look forward to working with York University to help establish an analytics program that will set students up for success and close the skills gap for employers.”

Roland Merbis - layer mask


Roland Merbis, Director of Customer Insights & Analytics at Scotiabank.


Program delivery.


The part-time Big Data Analytics Program is delivered online on a part-time basis with on-campus evening computer lab time. Comprised of two unique certificates—the Certificate in Big Data Analytics and the Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics— the program covers the domains identified by the INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) Program. You can choose to take one certificate or both. However, if you want to pursue INFORM’s CAP® designation, you should plan to complete both.

Each course is only eight weeks long and you can earn your first certificate in just six months. That means in under a year you will be able to add two highly valuable credentials to your resume. A full-time, fast-track option will be introduced in the summer of 2018 for those who wish to complete both certificates in just four months.

Prepare for your
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) designation.

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The Certified Analytics Profession (CAP®) designation is the premier global professional certification for analytics practitioners. The CAP® designation is offered through the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics. If you are interested in pursuing the CAP® designation, see the INFORMS (visit https://www.certifiedanalytics.org/ for full details.)



Who should take this program?

Current analytics professionals who are pursuing the Certified Analytics Professional designation or seeking a university credential for career advancement.
Specialists in other fields (such as marketing, insurance, finance, human resources, and policy) who want to confidently leverage big data to excel in their sector.
Any professional who wants to enter the quickly growing field of big data analytics.


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Admission Requirements.


The Certificate in Big Data Analytics is a direct registration program. No application process is required; simply enrol in the session of your choice to get started.

To enrol in the Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics, you must either complete the Certificate in Big Data Analytics or be able to demonstrate equivalent education/work experience.

Not sure if you have the necessary skills and knowledge to take this program?

Take our prep course to find out. When you register for the Certificate in Big Data Analytics, the cost of the prep course will be deducted from your program fee. Please contact us for more details.

Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Senior executives from many of Toronto’s leading organizations help us ensure that our graduates have the skills and knowledge that employers value most, including the following:

  • Hashmat Rohian, Senior Director, Architecture, IT Strategy & Applied Innovation, The Co-operators
  • Tarun Dhot, Director, Advanced Analytics, Measurement & Insights, Client Experience and Client Care, CIBC
  • Duncan Rowe, Manager, Analytics and Visualization, Corporate Services Department, Regional Municipality of York
  • Roland Merbis, Director, Customer Insights & Analytics, Scotiabank
  • Brent Fagan, Consultant, Data & Analytics, KPMG
  • Rachel Soloman, Executive Director, Performance Improvement, CAMH
  • Ian Scott, Partner and Chief Data Scientist , Strategic Analytics and Modelling, Deloitte Analytics
  • Jason Garay, Vice President, Analytics and Informatics, Cancer Care Ontario
  • Boris Kralj, Chief Information and Analytics Officer, Ontario Medical Association
  • Deepak Sharma, Director, Health Information Management, Business Intelligence, North York General Hospital


Mustafa Ahmed, B.Eng, MMA

Mustafa has been in the analytics field for over 5 years, and loves what he does every day. He is currently working as a consulting and analytics manager at Precima –a customer centric advanced analytic solutions company, where his directive is to grow the company’ s analytic footprint while yielding targeted results. In his current role, Mustafa is responsible for delivering targeted marketing, price optimization and promotional optimization solutions. Mustafa holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from Ryerson University and a Master of Management Analytics from Queen’s University.

Hashmat Rohian,MSc, FnEng, CISSP, PMP, CFE, ACP, TOGAF, Lean Six Sigma

Hashmat is the Senior Director and Managing Enterprise Architect at The Co-operators Group. For over 10 years he has effectively led initiatives that have involved rapid advancement in data, analytics, digital, and business leadership. As a technology enthusiast and lean startup evangelist, he is renowned for building a “never rest, kill complexity and care more” culture that manages existing technical debt and prepares the organization for future disruptions by leveraging emerging business models and digital ecosystems. Hashmat is a published data science, IT, and agile delivery practitioner and academician with over 5 years teaching and curriculum development experience at colleges and universities in Canada. He has also organized conferences and workshops, and been interviewed on print, radio, social media and TV as an analytics expert.

Leotis Buchanan, MPhil

Leotis is currently a Data Engineer at RBC. In this role, he builds big data applications that transform, store and analyze large quantities of data in a performant manner.  Previously Leotis was the owner and co-founder of a startup that focused on developing applications for farmers. He also has worked as an electrical power engineer before coming to Canada, and has been teaching for the last 10 years. Currently his focus is on designing and building big data processing systems. In his spare time he studies deep learning and its application to self-driving cars.


Certificate in Big Data Analytics


Introduction to Big Data

Growing opportunities to collect and leverage digital information has given birth to various new areas of data analytics. Gain an introduction to the exciting world of data analytics with emphasis on preparing you for the INFORMS CAP® designation.

Basic Methods of Data Analytics

Exploratory analysis and prediction are among the most common tasks performed people new to the field of big data. Learn the basic components of exploration, visualization, feature engineering and building and applying basic prediction models with an emphasis on practical applications.

Big Data Analytics Tools

The potential insights that big data can provide can be very valuable for organizations. However storing, transforming and analyzing big data can be challenging. Explore the analytics tools that will allow you to apply traditional data analytics and business intelligence skills to big data.

Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics


Data Organization for Analysis

Study the evolution of approaches to data provision and extensions that support big data. Learn data provisioning techniques to support new types of big data and the related analytic demands and workloads applied to it. You will capture, store and understand how to provide metadata to processes and analysts who require it.

Advanced Methods of Data Analytics

Discover the complete process of building prediction functions, including data collection, feature creation, algorithms, and evaluation in this advanced course.  A range of machine learning model based and algorithmic machine learning methods will be introduced.  You’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to mining social media and network (sentiment, influence), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), database mining, and other areas.

Advanced Analytics Capstone Course

Exercise the skills acquired in the previous five courses as you analyse a case study with data sets.  This hands-on course requires analyzing a real-life scenario, including data collection, preparation, integrating, modelling and analyzing and will result in a practical example that you can use to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers.


Please note: As our program keeps up to date with current industry software demands, the below software listing is subject to change.

Certificate in Big Data Analytics

Introduction to Big Data

  • Excel (power query)
  • SQL
  • Tableau

Basic Methods of Data Analytics

  • Python
  • R
  • RapidMiner
  • Rodeo
  • Rstudio
  • Tableau
  • Weka

Big Data Analytics Tools

  • Apache Cassandra
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Apache Hive
  • Apache Spark
  • Elastic Search

Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics

Data Organization for Analysis

  • Apache Hadoop
  • Apache Spark
  • Denodo Express
  • Excel (power query)
  • MongoDB
  • MySQL (standard edition)
  • Neo4j
  • Redis
  • Qlik Connectors
  • Qlik Sense
  • Qlik View
  • Tableau
  • Talend Data Prep
  • Talend Open Studio for Data Integration

Advanced Methods of Data Analytics

  • Python
  • R
  • RapidMiner
  • Rodeo
  • Rstudio
  • Tableau
  • Weka

Advanced Analytics Capstone Course

  • Your choice of any software

Computer Requirements

All students will require access to a personal computer while in the Data Analytics program.  If the program has its in-class sessions held in a computer lab, a desktop computer is sufficient.  However, if you are registered in a program that has its in-class sessions held in a classroom, a laptop computer is required.

Students will have access to a pre-installed server environment where they can utilize the software and datasets required for the program. In order to connect to the server, students will need to install free Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Virtual Network Computing (VNC) software. We recommend the following minimum specifications:

  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 / Mac OSX 10.9 or above / Linux operating system
  • Intel / AMD 1.8GHz or higher CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 500 MB disk space

If students wish to install the course software on their own computers, we recommend the following minimum specifications:

  • Latest or recent version of Microsoft Windows (7 or 10) or Linux operating system
  • Dual or Quad-core CPU (Intel Core i3 or better or AMD equivalent)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 20 GB disk space

Confidentiality and Financial Security

Given the experiential and practical nature of the courses and the application of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to York University, The School of Continuing Studies works to ensure that instructors and participants acknowledge and respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information that may be presented in the context of instruction. Instructors will limit the amount of personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in their sessions, and will ensure that all identifying personal information (including proper name, address, etc.) is omitted from all written documents in order to protect personal privacy and confidentiality. Instructors should not bring or share personal or other confidential files or records with the class or allow students to do so.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and your financial security, and we do this in several ways:

  • Your credit card information is never received or stored by our system. Only your financial institution has access to your credit card information.
  • Your Student Portal is password-protected. To access any personal and academic information, you must enter your username and portal password.

York University Privacy Policy

How to Register

Online – Visit our website at continue.yorku.ca to register in any course or program offered by the School of Continuing Studies.

All registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to alter fees, other charges, instructors and course dates/locations described in this brochure.


Instalment Plan Policy

The School of Continuing Studies allows students in certificate programs the option of paying in two or more instalments. You must pay the initial payment as stated below and then you can create a payment schedule that works for you, as long as the balance is paid before the stated due date.

The instalment plan comes with a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $125 due at the time of registration. The following are the details of the instalment plan policy according to the program you have registered for:

  • Certificate in Big Data Analytics– The first payment of $1299.00 (CAD) is due upon registration with the balance due by program start date.
  • Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics– The first payment of 1599.00 (CAD) is due upon registration with the balance due by program start date.
  • Bundle package for both programs (Certificate in Big Data Analytics + Certificate in Advanced Data Science and Predictive Analytics) – The first payment of 2475.00 (CAD) is due upon registration with the balance due by the program start date.
  • Customized payment plans are available to align to employer policies, but are not available for individuals. For further information please contact the Registration and Student Records Coordinator at 416-736-5616.
  • A student that fails to make instalment payments as required will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Mailing Address and Changes in Personal Status

All correspondence, including your registration confirmation, will be sent to the email address provided at the time of registration.
To maintain accurate student records, notification of any changes to your name, address and contact information are required. To update your personal information:

  • Log in to the Student Portal with your student ID and password and update your personal information



  • submit a written request to the Registration and Student Records Coordinator at continue@yorku.ca

All name-change requests must be accompanied by official documentation justifying such a change.

We will not accept telephone requests to change a name or address.

Education and Amount Certificates (Income Tax Receipts) (T2202A)

Income Tax receipts will be available online in February of the following year. Please refer to the income tax guide for allowable deductions.

Session Transfer

Students must contact the Program Manager for permission to transfer to another session.

Transfer requests are only granted for documented medical reasons. Please contact the program manager for information on the required documentation.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students registered in a part-time program that is less than 1 year in length may withdraw from the program. However, they are strongly advised to consult with the Program Manager before a final decision is made. A full refund is granted only when the School of Continuing Studies cancels a program. Refunds will be issued using the initial method of payment or by cheque, if original payment was made by money order. Withdrawal requests must be submitted on the official School of Continuing Studies Withdrawal Request Form to the School of Continuing Studies and subject to the terms listed below.

  • If you withdraw 7 calendar days prior to the start of the program, you will receive a 75% refund of program tuition instalment and no academic penalty.
  • If you withdraw between 6 calendar days prior to the start of the program to 7 calendar days after the start of the program, you will receive a 50% refund of program tuition instalment and a $50 administrative fee and no academic penalty.
  • No refunds will be issued after the first 7 days of the program.

Notification of change or cancellation of classes

When necessary, the School of Continuing Studies may alter, postpone or cancel classes. In these instances, students will be notified by email, based on the information provided at the time of registration.
Cancellations or changes will also be posted on the School of Continuing Studies Twitter account

Cancellation of courses/programs – Fee Refunds

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to withdraw or cancel programs/courses. Should a course or program be withdrawn or cancelled, the School will issue a full refund of fees paid.

University Policy on Student Conduct

  • Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy, collegiality and mutual respect, and to refrain from actions that would be disruptive to such a relationship;
  • It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour; and,
  • The instructor is the best person to decide, in first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class, and may, at their discretion, take steps that they feel are appropriate to resolve an issue or dispute.

In any case where a student feels that this policy has been violated, they are urged to notify the instructor of the course/program as soon as possible. Students may be asked to provide a detailed written description of their complaint to the instructor. The instructor may take measures they feel are appropriate to resolve the issue and/or may forward the complaint to the Program Manager for review. Please refer to the full policy document on the York University website at: http://www.yorku.ca/scdr/


Students registered in certificate programs will be evaluated using the following categories of achievement:

Grade Grade Point Per Cent Range Description
A+ 9 90-100 Exceptional
A 8 80-89 Excellent
B+ 7 75-79 Very Good
B 6 70-74 Good
C+ 5 65-69 Competent
C 4 60-64 Fairly Competent
D+ 3 55-59 Passing
D 2 50-54 Marginally Passing
E 1 (marginally below 50%) Marginally Failing
F 0 (below 50%) Failing

ote: all of the above-noted grades are used to calculate averages and credits.

Definitions of Grading Descriptions

A+ Exceptional. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

A Excellent. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a high degree of skill and/or some elements of originality in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

B+ Very Good. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

B Good. Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

C+ Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

C Fairly Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with some skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

D+ Passing. Slightly better than minimal knowledge of required concepts and/or techniques together with some ability to use them in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

D Barely Passing. Minimum knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

E Marginally Failing.

F Failing.

If you do not pass a course (achieve a final grade below 50% or D) you will still be permitted to continue in the Program but will have to repeat that course with another cohort.

Grade Appeal and Reappraisal and Petitions

Students may, with sufficient grounds, request a reappraisal of any “tangible” work required for a course/program. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modelled, video recording or audio recording formats. Students seeking a grade reappraisal must complete and submit the attached form, along with the original work and instructions for the assignment, to the Program Manager within 2 weeks of the date of issue of the letter of grade.
Students and instructors will be informed in writing of the reappraisal result and the reappraiser’s comments. The School of Continuing Studies will ensure the anonymity of both the student and the reappraiser.

Download a Grade Reappraisal form

Financial Petitions

You may submit a financial petition if you experience a serious documented medical illness or a death of an immediate family member that causes you to drop courses. Financial petitions may be granted at the discretion of the University, and will be considered for a period of one year after the occurrence of the illness or death.

The Financial Petition form is located here: http://sfs.yorku.ca/refunds/petitions/

Please complete the form and return it via email continue@yorku.ca or via fax at 416-650-8042.

Register for this Program