Intro to Programming and Data Analytics with Python

Programming, or coding, is the construction of a set of repeatable instructions that tell a computer what to do. Usually this is in a text file of some kind which is then passed to a computer and 'run' or 'executed' using some other program. As we'll see, there are more and less sophisticated versions of this picture.

Programming is key to modern data analytics. Programming gives you:

In this session, we'll look at building up analyses using the language Python. Python is a "scripting language": scripting languages are designed to do simple jobs as easily as possible. On the plus side they are:

On the downside, compared with languages like C++, Fortran, or Java, they tend to:

In short, they are perfect for data analysis, but less good for building full desktop applications or critical control systems with.

Work through the pages below to get an intro to Python with a data analysis case study. Instructions are in bold like this paragraph.

  1. This page
  2. Get the software <-- next
  3. Writing our first program
  4. Debugging
  5. iPython Notebook
  6. Data Analysis