Why Python?

Let's be honest. You can have a very productive and fulfilling career as a CAR reporter and only use Microsoft Excel and Access. But we've found that we can do everything we ever wanted to do in Excel and more, using Python.

  • It can handle bigger, more complex data.
  • It allows us to easily document and replicate our analysis and, even more importantly, automate it.
  • For those who are already use Python for scraping or building web apps, it is really easy to keep writing Python rather than swapping working environments for different stages of a project.
  • It allows us to explore our data by sketching visualizations, quickly, in the course of an analysis.
  • Working with Python's numpy and pandas libraries opens the door for higher level data work, like machine learning and natural language processing.

Before we do that, we're going to start by learning about our basic toolbox.