I currently utilize Cloudera’s QuickStart VM and for Talend’s Big Data Sandbox as part of my big data classes. These touch on frameworks, storage / data access options, data integration, data quality, data governance, and search.

What resources do you use and would suggest for hands on big data labs? Perhaps something for Snowflake, AWS, or Azure to catch cloud aspects of big data? Or some compelling big data tutorials for an analytics tool? Are there curated big data sets especially appropriate for educational use?

I work for a Talend; but also teach big data classes at Washington University in St. Louis.

  • $\begingroup$ On why you may have been voted down (you seem to have been voted down, why I think this is): This question seems more about training than education. Computer science is about enduring principles, not fad of the month, and products. Though every fad will contain many enduring principles (for they are enduring). $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2018 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ The intent is for course development, or really course improvement since I have taught the class a few times. Given I teach professional, just theory doesn’t meet their needs. That said, I can see the point of responses being ephemeral. $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2018 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a fine question to me. I don't personally have an answer, but it certainly seems within scope. I hope you get some great answers. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Apr 12, 2018 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking for big data sets, or for the tools. I heard of some organisation that has collected some big data sets for educators. Can't remember who. I am in UK, I was at a CAS meeting in Guildford (that may be where I heard it, maybe). $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2018 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ Revised to include big data sets for education. $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2018 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


Related questions:

There are a few Stack Exchange sites you might want to check out:

  • Open Data: Open Data Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for developers and researchers interested in open data.

  • Data Science: Data Science Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Data science professionals, Machine Learning specialists, and those interested in learning more about the field.

  • Cross Validated: Cross Validated is a question and answer site for people interested in statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, and data visualization.

Kaggle also offers a bunch of example datasets and a bunch of real-world problems that can be used in a class.

But taking a step back, you might want to teach the meta-lesson of finding data in the real world. There are a ton of APIs and open-source data repos out there, and finding them is a very important skill by itself- plus it give students a way to actually use their skills after the class ends.

So instead of just giving your students a flat file, have them come up with their own. Maybe they use an API from a product they use, like Twitter, Spotify, or YouTube. If that's too advanced for the students to do, then maybe you spend a class coming up with the dataset together, with you writing the code and the students talking about what would be interesting to see.

Or just searching for "XYZ datasets" returns a ton of results. Have the students come up with datasets related to stuff they're interested in.


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