IPython: Exploratory Data Analysis


If you are like me you typically use R to handle all your in house data analysis (you may also use other programs like STATA, SPSS, etc..). I will attempt to make the case that Python and IPython, which stands for interactive Python, can fill those roles of data exploration, charting, and analysis. What the heck is IPython? Let me demonstrate

In Python we usually have this pattern of write, compile, run. So if we wrote a long script we would have to run the entire script each time, making it difficult to debug and laborious to explore line by line our data. IPython, short for Interactive Python, allows you to run Python code line by line. If you are doing data analysis and are familiar with software like R I highly recommend IPython because it allows you to quickly debug something as simple as writing the correct file path for your .csv file.