Basics of Modern Statistics and Analysis

Get started with evidence-based decision-making

Program length Session dates Format Program fees
8 weeks TBD Online $895 + applicable taxes

View available discounts

Data analysis is critical for evidence-based decision-making and policy development. For those who lead or inform decision-making, fundamental skills in basic statistics and empirical analysis are vital for drawing relevant conclusions from real-world data.

This eight-week course teaches you the basics of modern statistics and the analysis tools and techniques used by social scientists to inform decision-making. It covers hypothesis testing and multivariate regression models and offers opportunities for you to become familiar with conducting statistical analysis through the construction of scripts using R. It’s great for beginners with no prior coding or analytics experience, as you will establish a foundational background in statistical analysis to begin or accelerate your career in data analytics. 

This course is offered individually, or as part of the three-course Data Analytics for Behavioural Insights certificate program. You will receive a certificate for each individual course you successfully complete, and then a certificate upon successful completion of the entire program.

Who should enrol

  • Policymakers: Do you develop policies for any public service sector (e.g., health care or municipalities)? Understand how modern data analytics techniques can better inform your decisions.
  • Public servants, non-profit and community leaders: Are you working in public service or leading a business improvement area, non-profit, or public office? Gain behavioural insights that can be used to inform your work, improve your community, and increase your chances of success when competing for funding.
  • Business leaders and representatives: Would you benefit from an introduction to modern data analytics? Learn how to use public data during your market research process, so you can better understand your customers and make decisions about your products and services.

What you will learn

  • Install R and get a step-by-step introduction on how to use it to run simple commands.
  • Use R to gain knowledge about introductory methods of coding and statistics.
  • Practice hands-on statistical and regression analysis techniques.
  • Understand basic statistics, hypothesis testing, and multivariate regression models.

Your instructor

Andres Arcila-Vasquez


Andrés Arcila-Vasquez is senior research data scientist at AB InBev. His work specializes in economic experimentation and causal inference, applying advanced statistical and econometrics techniques like randomized control trials, matching estimators, difference-in-difference, and instrumental variables to estimate average treatment effects of policy and business interventions.

Prior to joining AB InBev, Arcila-Vasquez worked at TD Bank as a quantitative associate in the risk management department developing, validating, and managing statistical models to estimate probability of defaults. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Waterloo, specializing in policy evaluation and applied economics. He is also a sessional lecturer with Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate economics and econometrics courses.


Course details

  • Instruction from professional data experts in a course designed by University of Waterloo faculty.
  • Live teaching sessions via Zoom every Friday from 9 - 10 a.m. ET (also available as recordings).
  • Opportunities to discuss your learning with others in the course.
  • Curated case studies and content based on Canadian public data.
  • Five to seven hours of online learning and independent work each week (including live sessions, graded assignments, and activities).
  • Regular quizzes to test your knowledge throughout the course.
  • Capstone project that integrates your learning.
  • Attendance requirement: It is highly recommended that participants attend live sessions, but it is not required. Live sessions will be recorded and available for all participants to view. 

A world-class learning experience from Waterloo

Illustration of coding and computer programmingNo coding experience? No problem!Gain market-ready skills

Receive a hands-on learning experience that covers everything from software installation to live coding tutorials.

Illustration of a light bulb and gears representing innovationLearn from leaders in STEMReceive instruction from a data expert

Canada's #1 university for innovation and computer science. (Macleans University Rankings 2022)

Illustration of a teacher guiding a studentBuilt for decision-makersLearn to strategize with data

Adopt tools and techniques to analyze data and inform policy development and decision-making.

Receive a certificate from the University of Waterloo

Upon successful completion of this program, you will receive a professional education certificate from the University of Waterloo.

Sample certificate from Waterloo

Get a brochure for the Data Analytics for Behavioural Insights certificate program

Get more details about each course in this program and more information about this certificate.

* indicates required
Do you provide us consent to send you information?

WatSPEED at the University of Waterloo will use the information you provide on this form to email you details, news, reminders and updates about our courses, programs, and events. To stop receiving messages from us, click the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email or contact us at View our Privacy Policy for additional information.

I consent.


For information about the withdrawal, transfer, or refund policies, you can find it here.