In Review: Ed-tech Start-Up UpGrad’s & IIIT-B’s PG Diploma Program in Data Analytics

Plan on upskilling in Data Analytics? Now, you can become a post graduate in Data Analytics with a Diploma from one of the premier technical institutes in India – International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) in conjunction with ed-tech startup UpGrad.

Co-founded by entrepreneur and media stalwart Ronnie Screwvala and three education experts – Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijyot Chugh – UpGrad is an online education venture offering rigorous, industry-relevant programs for working professionals who plan to constantly upskill themselves to remain relevant. A recent entrant to ed-tech ecosystem (started in 2015), UpGrad’s USP is bringing academia and industry veterans together for the best learning experience.


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That’s exactly what the super-intensive, online Data Analytics program offers. With a duration of 11-months, the online Data Analytics program build its credibility with faculty from IIIT-B, a well-renowned technology institute in India, and the best minds from the analytics industry (Cognizant, Genpact, Flipkart, InMobi among many others).


Here are some of the key facts of the program which is still underway:

  • Duration: 11 months
  • Medium: Online
  • Fee: Rs 2 lakh
  • Number of students enrolled: 300
  • Faculty: Industry Leaders and IIIT-B faculty impart instructions
  • Choose Domain Specialization: Students can choose from Banking, Healthcare & E-commerce Analytics electives, in the second half of the program
  • Tools: You will learn how to use tools like Spark, Tableau, Hadoop and programming languages R, Python, and MySQL
  • Placement Support: Students get career assistance and facilities such as Resume Review and Interview Preparation
  • 3 month Capstone Project: Get hands-on experience in driving insights from data for businesses
  • Next batch: Starts in March 2017 (Applications open now)


Industry veterans (leaders from Uber, Cognizant and TataiQ) among others and top academicians from IIIT-B have created this syllabus combining a set of guidelines — from deep understanding of how data analytics spurs business decisions to the ability to develop predictive modelling solutions to support that decision making process. Broadly put, the program imparts instructions in Data Management, Statistics, Machine Learning and Big Data.

The program prepares students for careers in analytics, predictive modeling, business intelligence and data mining in data-intensive industries such as Banking, Healthcare, and E-commerce, among others. The 11-month program tackles the fundamentals of Statistics and Data Management, Data Sets and Data Models, Business and Data Understanding, Data Warehousing, Data Visualization, Predictive Analysis and Big Data Analysis. The program can be divided in two components — first six months focuses on fundamentals of Data Analytics and second half is Domain Elective, depending on their career objective, students can choose from BFSI, Healthcare, E-commerce or Retail/FMCG.

What you learn at UpGrad:

  • How can you build a successful career in analytics by understanding the academic concepts and industry applications?
  • What are the correct statistical and machine learning methods that will produce the best results for an organization and which method to use in which scenario?
  • How to combine statistical knowledge, technical know-how and business domain to become a data driven leader?

Domain Specialization

image-2Since the program is designed in a way that it is industry relevant, it has concrete application to some of the most data-intensive industries in India such as Banking, Healthcare, E-commerce, Retail and FMCG among others.

“In the Indian eco-system, these industries are the biggest consumers of data and the data DNA already exists within them. For example, an FMCG firm may require a data analyst to optimize logistics and warehousing. An e-tailer might want to know the online preferences of his customers. Within the program, there are a wide range of such case studies where students can learn how to apply analytical methods in real-life scenarios,” shared Rohit Sharma, Program Director, UpGrad.

The first half of the program covers the fundamentals and the advanced data science techniques and the second half covers domain electives. Here – the students can choose whichever domain they wish to focus on.

Some of the case-studies are

  • Uber Supply Demand Gap:
  • In this case study the students use analytics to identify why Uber sometimes faces a supply-demand challenge and what can be done to overcome it.
  • Telecom Churn Prevention: It is one of the most competitive sectors and the existing players face the challenge of customer churn (opting for other service providers). The students learn to use machine learning to identify the cause of customer churn.
  • E-commerce Market Mix Modelling: Understanding the types of customers in the target group e-tailers target their marketing effort. In this case study the students learn to use modelling to figure out the optimal spend across channels to drive sales.

Placement Prospects

Strong industry network of UpGrad and IIIT-Bangalore should be helpful in creating attractive job opportunities for the students. Since the program is in its maiden run (the first batch is still underway), it is too early to comment on placement. An important point to keep in mind is no learning institute offers 100% guarantee. However, UpGrad provides placement assistance and has developed an active industry partner pool (Gramener, Genpact, Uber, Fractal Analytics, Cognizant) to bolster recruitment.

The popularity of the program can be gauged by the sheer number of students who enrolled – 300.

But how does one measure the effectiveness of this online program, given that it’s in first edition? According to Rohit Sharma, the director of the program, “In online courses, the massive problem is dropouts. We have a 96% completion rate, which means the program is highly successful. Our focus is on providing a seamless learning experience”.


Last Word


  1. One of the best high points of the program is IIIT-B (which has a great faculty) that brings credibility.
  2. UpGrad is providing a PG Diploma from IIIT-B as opposed to Management institutes and learning centres that provide a certificate.
  3. The Rs 2 lakh fee is comparable to what is charged by learning centres or business institutes.
  4. UpGrad is providing Career Assistance which most learning centres do not.
  5. In order to build a student community & peer support mechanisms, UpGrad has its own Discussion Forum where students are encouraged to interact and debate out their doubts or challenges. Also, UpGrad conducts an offline meetup every month in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai where one industry speaker and one faculty member are present.
  6. Lastly, the program is a great combination of academic and industry experience


  1. It’s a recent entrant in ed-tech ecosystem (UpGrad started in 2015), hence other start-ups already have a head start on them.
  2. The first batch is still underway and we can’t comment on any Placement Prospects


All in all, UpGrad is a good stepping-stone for upgrading the Data Analytics skills as it capitalizes on IIIT-B’s esteemed faculty and the rich industry experience of leading minds from the analytics field.

Moreover, in our recently published top course ranking, this course is the lone online-only course in India to make it to top 10. Also, remember that a diploma from IIIT-B is a no mean feat to achieve. You can apply for the program here.

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Bhasker Gupta
Bhasker is a techie turned media entrepreneur. Bhasker started AIM in 2012, out of a desire to speak about emerging technologies and their commercial, social and cultural impact. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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