Analytic Thought: The Importance of Programming

There is a saying don't bring a knife to a gun fight. I say why not bring both. Learning to code is a very good thing. It allows you to have the knife and the gun.

As a Senior Data Scientist, I am often called upon to take data in various formats and do some type of analysis on it. Since the request can be across the board I need to use the right tool for the right situation. This involves sometimes

  • Importing or exporting the data in a SQL database and using queries to manipulate the data,
  • Using a visualization tool (Tableau, Qlik Sense, etc) to analyze the data,
  • Applying machine learning libraries for predictions.
  • Reading the data into python to understand and clean the data

So as a data scientist using the right tool for the right job is so important not in just being efficient but also in solving the problem. Coding allows me to glue all these worlds together. Here are the advantages of learning how to code and applying that to your data analysis toolbox.

  1. Coding provides flexibility in handling data.
  2. Coding allows you to automate manual or tedious processes.
  3. Coding allows you to integrate different techniques and systems.
  4. Coding helps to provide a consistent process for data analysis.
  5. Coding helps to increase efficiency by streamline operations.
  6. Coding gives you another perspective on how to solve a problem.
  7. Coding allows you to document a process through the sequence of steps you build.

So when you are fighting with data have as many tools as you can to solve the multiple problems that you face. Programming is one tool that provides the glue that allows you to bring it all.

What are your thoughts on coding? Do you have any other advantages to learning to code?

Online Python Classes

Python is one of the programming languages data scientist use. Here are a few online courses that teach Python programming. If these don’t work there are much more. Just do a google search on “online Python classes.” - Intro to Python for Data Science. - Learn to Program: The Fundamentals by University of Toronto - Python by code academy