fbpx
Learn to build large language model applications: vector databases, langchain, fine tuning and prompt engineering. Learn more

Programming

avatar-180x180
Ivan Smetannikov

MySQL is a popular database management system that is used globally and across different domains. In this article, you will learn more about how it works, where it is used, and how to work with MySQL.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is widely used by web developers and large companies for storing and managing data. It is one of the most popular database management systems (DBMS) globally that supports all major operating systems: Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Databases are stored on a server, which is typically a remote computer or a cloud server. When you need data, you send a query to the server using your computer, or client, and you receive the information. To manage queries, a special language called Structured Query Language (SQL) is used.

 

Large language model bootcamp

Imagine you have an online clothing store. You need to keep track of all your products, customers, and sales. MySQL can be used for this purpose.

In the DBMS, separate tables are created for products, customers, and sales. The first table stores information about each product, such as its name, price, and available quantity. The second table contains names, contact information, and payment details. The third table holds information about customers who purchased the product, sale dates, and purchased item names.

If you want to know how many sales occurred and who bought products last month, you write a query, send it to the server, and get a list of the relevant data.

 

Understand the database dilemma of SQL vs NoSQL

 

MySQL enables storing and processing information, especially crucial when dealing with large amounts of data. A small store with one seller may record everything in an Excel spreadsheet. Still, for a large network with hundreds of daily purchases, this approach becomes inconvenient.

However, MySQL is not only used in retail but in any context where data is involved.

What is SQL?

To communicate with a database, you need to know its language – SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language. Each query must follow a specific structure for the database to understand you.

At the beginning of the query, there is an action – delete, select, add, followed by a keyword indicating from which table to extract information. Further, there is a statement explaining which details and from which cell of the table to retrieve. The query may also include a condition at the end: for example, the action will be performed only under specific circumstances.

 

Understanding the general query structure for a database management system
Understanding the general query structure for a database management system

 

Queries are entered through the terminal – for this, you need to download a specific program. With its help, you can create and modify tables, link them, add and delete data, and find what you need.

Here’s an SQL crash course for a beginner to explore.

 

 

What is MySQL used for?

With MySQL, you can store any type of data: text, numbers, images, audio and video files, and graphics. Thanks to the system’s performance, even very large volumes of data can be stored, and everything will still function normally. Obtaining the required information can be quick if you know how to use SQL.

MySQL addresses the issue of multiple users when several users are modifying data in the database simultaneously, and only one version is saved. When a user connects to MySQL, the server creates a new entry for them in the metadata table, containing information about the connection state, including the current transaction, if any. This ensures that the data is kept up-to-date.

 

Here’s a guide to understanding different types of databases

 

Additionally, MySQL uses a system of locks to control access to data. When a user tries to access a table, MySQL checks if the table is locked by another user. If the table is locked, the user must wait until the lock is released. This prevents data from being overwritten, and nothing is lost.

Different permissions allow server administrators to manage users’ access to various functions and data. For example, access can be granted only to the data necessary for work, enhancing data storage security.

Who uses MySQL?

Here are a few examples of how large companies use MySQL:

Tesla uses MySQL to store and process data about its cars, including battery status, mileage, speed, and other parameters. MySQL allows Tesla to quickly access this data and analyze it to improve the performance and safety of their cars.

Netflix stores data about its users, such as viewing history, preferences, and recommendations, using a DBMS. This tool helps the company improve its recommendations and personalize content.

PayPal utilizes MySQL to collect and store transaction information, using this data to enhance the security and efficiency of payments.

Essentially, MySQL can be applied in any application or web service, be it an online cinema, a store, a blog, or social network.

Advantages of MySQL

These advantages make MySQL one of the most popular and widely used database management systems in the world:

  • It is free to use; MySQL has open-source code.
  • No need to worry about performance; MySQL is optimized to handle a large number of queries.
  • No need to worry about data; MySQL supports backup and restoration mechanisms that ensure data integrity.
  • Applications are easily expandable; MySQL supports various data storage types, table engines (such as InnoDB, and MyISAM), and other features that enable developers to create complex applications.

How is the MySQL database management system structured?

MySQL consists of several components, each serving specific functions:

  • The main component manages all database operations. The MySQL server receives requests from clients, processes them, performs necessary data operations, and returns the results to clients.
  • Mysqld Service. A process running on the server responsible for managing databases. It accepts requests from clients, processes them, performs read and write data operations, manages transactions, and ensures data security.
  • Data Storage. MySQL uses various types of data storage, such as InnoDB, MyISAM, MEMORY, and others, each with specific features designed for certain data types or tasks.
  • Client Applications. Various client applications, such as MySQL Workbench, phpMyAdmin, the MySQL command-line interface, and others, are used to work with MySQL. These applications allow administrators and developers to create, modify, and manage databases through graphical or text interfaces, such as the terminal.

 

Explore the debate between traditional vs vector databases

 

How to work with MySQL

Let’s go through using the database management system step by step.

 

Explore a hands-on curriculum that helps you build custom LLM applications!

 

  • Installation and setup of MySQL
    To work with MySQL, you need to install the database server on your computer or use online hosting. You can download the program from the official Oracle website, especially if you are working on significant projects. However, for educational purposes, I will be using MySQL in the browser.

 

Installation and setup of MySQL
Installation and setup of MySQL

 

  • Creating a database
    Next, you can create databases and tables, add data, execute queries to retrieve information, and much more using SQL. Let’s create a table for friends from a TV show and their professions.

 

Creating a database
Creating a database

 

  • Adding data
    Populate the tables with data using INSERT statements or import data from files.

 

Adding data
Adding data

 

  • Retrieving data
    Use the SELECT statement to extract data from the table. You can perform various queries, filter data, sort, and group results.

 

Retrieving data
Retrieving data

 

  • Updating and deleting data
    Use UPDATE and DELETE statements to modify and remove data from the table.

 

Updating and deleting data
Updating and deleting data

 

  • Run the program by clicking “Run.”
    We see the program’s results on the right. We requested information about a person working in PR and received the answer – Chandler.

 

Run the program
Run the program

 

This is just a general overview of the process of working with MySQL. For more detailed information and to learn about SQL queries, functions, and MySQL capabilities, refer to the MySQL documentation.

Here’s an overview of MySQL, tools you need to interface with the newly set up RDBMS, and a few datasets that can be used to populate a small testing environment.

 

author image austin
Austin Gendron

Imagine you’re a data scientist or a developer, and you’re about to embark on a new project. You’re excited, but there’s a problem – you need data, lots of it, and from various sources. You could spend hours, days, or even weeks scraping websites, cleaning data, and setting up databases.

Or you could use APIs and get all the data you need in a fraction of the time. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s not. Welcome to the world of APIs! 

Application Programming Interfaces are like secret tunnels that connect different software applications, allowing them to communicate and share data with each other. They are the unsung heroes of the digital world, quietly powering the apps and services we use every day.

 

Learn in detail about –> RestAPI

 

For data scientists, these are not just convenient; they are also a valuable source of untapped data. 

Let’s dive into three powerful APIs that will not only make your life easier but also take your data science projects to the next level. 

 

Master 3 APIs
Master 3 APIs – Data Science Dojo

RapidAPI – The ultimate API marketplace 

Now, imagine walking into a supermarket, but instead of groceries, the shelves are filled with APIs. That’s RapidAPI for you! It’s a one-stop-shop where you can find, connect, and manage thousands of APIs across various categories. 

Learn more details about RapidAPI:

  • RapidAPI is a platform that provides access to a wide range of APIs. It offers both free and premium APIs.
  • RapidAPI simplifies API integration by providing a single dashboard to manage multiple APIs.
  • Developers can use RapidAPI to access APIs for various purposes, such as data retrieval, payment processing, and more.
  • It offers features like Application Programming Interfaces key management, analytics, and documentation.
  • RapidAPI is a valuable resource for developers looking to enhance their applications with third-party services.

Toolstack 

All you need is an HTTP client like Postman or a library in your favorite programming language (Python’s requests, JavaScript’s fetch, etc.), and a RapidAPI account. 

 

Read more about the basics of APIs

 

Steps to manage the project 

  • Identify: Think of it as window shopping. Browse through the RapidAPI marketplace and find the API that fits your needs. 
  • Subscribe: Just like buying a product, some APIs are free, while others require a subscription. 
  • Integrate: Now, it’s time to bring your purchase home. Use the provided code snippets to integrate the Application Programming Interfaces into your application. 
  • Test: Make sure your new Application Programming Interfaces works well with your application. 
  • Monitor: Keep an eye on your API’s usage and performance using RapidAPI’s dashboard. 

Use cases 

  • Sentiment analysis: Analyze social media posts or customer reviews to understand public sentiment about a product or service. 
  • Stock market predictions: Predict future stock market trends by analyzing historical stock prices. 
  • Image recognition: Build an image recognition system that can identify objects in images. 

 

Tomorrow.io Weather API – Your personal weather station 

Ever wished you could predict the weather? With the Tomorrow.io Weather API, you can do just that and more! It provides access to real-time, forecast, and historical weather data, offering over 60 different weather data fields. 

Here are some other details about Tomorrow.io Weather API:

  • Tomorrow.io (formerly known as ClimaCell) Weather API provides weather data and forecasts for developers.
  • It offers hyper-local weather information, including minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts.
  • Developers can access weather data such as current conditions, hourly and daily forecasts, and severe weather alerts.
  • The API is often used in applications that require accurate and up-to-date weather information, including weather apps, travel apps, and outdoor activity planners.
  • Integration with Tomorrow.io Weather API can help users stay informed about changing weather conditions.

 

Toolstack 

You’ll need an HTTP client to make requests, a JSON parser to handle the response, and a Tomorrow.io account to get your Application Programming Interface key. 

Steps to manage the project 

  • Register: Sign up for a Tomorrow.io account and get your personal API key. 
  • Make a Request: Use your key to ask the Tomorrow.io Weather API for the weather data you need. 
  • Parse the Response: The Application Programming Interface will send back data in JSON format, which you’ll need to parse to extract the information you need. 
  • Integrate the Data: Now, you can integrate the weather data into your application or model. 

Use cases 

  • Weather forecasting: Build your own weather forecasting application. 
  • Climate research: Study climate change patterns using historical weather data. 
  • Agricultural planning: Help farmers plan their planting and harvesting schedules based on weather forecasts. 

Google Maps API – The world at your fingertips 

The Google Maps API is like having a personal tour guide that knows every nook and cranny of the world. It provides access to a wealth of geographical and location-based data, including maps, geocoding, places, routes, and more. 

Below are some key details about Google Maps API:

  • Google Maps API is a suite of APIs provided by Google for integrating maps and location-based services into applications.
  • Developers can use Google Maps APIs to embed maps, find locations, calculate directions, and more in their websites and applications.
  • Some of the popular Google Maps APIs include Maps JavaScript, Places, and Geocoding.
  • To use Google Maps APIs, developers need to obtain an API key from the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  • These Application Programming Interfaces are commonly used in web and mobile applications to provide users with location-based information and navigation

 

Toolstack 

You’ll need an HTTP client, a JSON parser, and a Google Cloud account to get your API key. 

Steps to manage the project 

  • Get an API Key: Sign up for a Google Cloud account and enable the Google Maps API to get your key. 
  • Make a Request: Use your Application Programming Interface key to ask the Google Maps API for the geographical data you need. 
  • Handle the Response: The API will send back data in JSON format, which you’ll need to parse to extract the information you need. 
  • Use the Data: Now, you can integrate the geographical data into your application or model. 

Use cases 

  • Location-Based services: Build applications that offer services based on the user’s location. 
  • Route planning: Help users find the best routes between multiple destinations. 
  • Local business search: Help users find local businesses based on their queries. 

Your challenge – Create your own data-driven project 

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of these powerful APIs, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. We challenge you to create your own data-driven project using one or more of these. 

Perhaps you could build a weather forecasting app that helps users plan their outdoor activities using the Tomorrow.io Weather API. Or maybe you could create a local business search tool using the Google Maps API.

You could even combine Application Programming Interfaces to create something unique, like a sentiment analysis tool that uses the RapidAPI marketplace to analyze social media reactions to different weather conditions. 

Remember, the goal here is not just to build something but to learn and grow as a data scientist or developer. Don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them. That’s how you truly master a skill. 

So, are you ready to take on the challenge? We can’t wait to see what you’ll create. Remember, the only limit is your imagination. Good luck! 

Improve your data science project efficiency with APIs 

In conclusion, APIs are like magic keys that unlock a world of data for your projects. By mastering these three Application Programming Interfaces, you’ll not only save time but also uncover insights that can make your projects shine. So, what are you waiting for? Start the challenge now by exploring these. Experience the full potential of data science with us. 

 

Data Science Dojo
Fiza Fatima
| July 27

Python is a versatile programming language known for its simplicity and readability. It has gained immense popularity among developers due to its wide range of libraries and frameworks. 

If you’re looking to sharpen your Python skills and take on exciting projects, we’ve compiled a list of 16 Python projects that cover various domains, including communication, gaming, management systems, and more. Let’s dive in and explore these projects!

16 Python projects you need to master for success

Python projects
Python projects

1. Email sender:

The Email Sender project introduces learners to Python’s capabilities for automating email communication. With this project, users can create a program that sends emails automatically, making it a practical email assistant.

The Python script can be customized to include recipient email addresses, subject lines, and personalized message content. This project is ideal for sending newsletters, notifications, or any type of bulk email communication without the need for manual intervention.

2. SMS sender:

The SMS Sender project parallels the Email Sender project but focuses on sending text messages using Python. By leveraging this project, learners can develop a Python script that communicates with an SMS service provider to deliver text messages to recipients’ mobile numbers.

Businesses often utilize this functionality to send order updates, appointment reminders, or time-sensitive alerts directly to their customers’ phones. For a real-world scenario, consider a restaurant that wants to send promotional offers or reservation confirmations to its customers via SMS.

3.School management:

The School Management project aims to create a digital school organizer using Python. With this project, users can build a simple system to manage student-related information efficiently. The Python program can handle student attendance records, grades, and basic details, making it a valuable tool for teachers or school administrators.

In practical use, the School Management project can benefit educational institutions by offering a digital platform for organizing student data. For example, teachers can use it to track and update student attendance, input grades, and retrieve student information when required.

4. Online quiz system:

The Online Quiz System project involves creating a web-based application that allows users to participate in quizzes or tests online. With Python and web development frameworks like Django or Flask, learners can build a dynamic platform where administrators can create quizzes and manage questions.

On the other hand, users can take the quizzes and receive instant feedback on their performance. The system can include features such as user authentication, timed quizzes, multiple-choice questions, scoring mechanisms, and the ability to review past quiz results.

5. Video editor:

The Video Editor project using Python aims to teach users how to manipulate and edit video files programmatically. By leveraging Python libraries like OpenCV and MoviePy, learners can implement functionalities such as trimming, merging, overlaying text or images, applying filters, and adding audio to videos.

The project can also introduce techniques like video stabilization, object tracking, and green screen effects for more advanced video editing capabilities.

6. Ticket reservation:

The Ticket Reservation project revolves around creating a straightforward system for reserving tickets for events or travel purposes. Using Python, learners can build a command-line or GUI application that allows users to browse available events or travel options and book tickets for specific dates and seats. The system can handle seat availability, generate booking confirmations, and manage payment processing if desired.

7. Tic-Tac-Toe:

The Tic-Tac-Toe project is a classic game implementation suitable for beginners learning Python programming. Learners can create a command-line or graphical version of the game, where two players take turns marking X and O symbols on a 3×3 grid. Python allows users to implement the game logic, handle user input, and check for win conditions or a draw to determine the winner.

8. Security software:

The Security Software project focuses on building simple security applications using Python to address common security concerns.

For instance, learners can develop a password manager that securely stores user passwords and generates strong, unique passwords for various accounts. Alternatively, they can create a basic firewall application to control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on specified rules, providing an added layer of protection for the user’s system.

9. Automatic driver:

The Automatic Driver project teaches users how to create a program that automates certain tasks on their computer. Learners can implement the program using Python and relevant libraries to schedule and execute tasks such as starting and stopping the computer at specific times, automatically updating installed software or system drivers, and performing other routine actions without manual intervention. This project can be a stepping stone to more complex automation and scripting tasks.

10. Playing with Cards:

Playing with Cards is a Python project that aims to teach users how to interact with and manipulate playing cards programmatically. The project provides the foundation to create various card games, ranging from simple ones to more intricate and complex card games.

Using Python’s functionalities, learners can implement card shuffling, dealing, and managing player hands. They can also design and program game-specific rules and logic to enhance the gaming experience.

11. Professional calculator:

The Professional Calculator project in Python aims to equip users with the knowledge and skills to develop a feature-rich calculator application. By utilizing Python’s capabilities, learners can construct a user-friendly interface that supports basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

In addition to these fundamental features, the calculator can incorporate more advanced functionalities, such as scientific calculations (trigonometry, logarithms, etc.), memory storage, unit conversion, and support for complex expressions with parentheses and operator precedence.

12. Email client:

The Email Client project using Python guides learners in building a functional email management system. With Python’s libraries and APIs, users can create a program that enables sending and receiving emails from popular email providers via SMTP and IMAP protocols. The email client can support features like composing and formatting emails, attaching files, managing folders, handling multiple email accounts, and implementing robust security measures like encryption and authentication.

13. Data visualization:

Data Visualization in Python is a project that introduces users to techniques for visually representing data sets. With the help of Python’s data manipulation and visualization libraries, learners can create informative and visually appealing charts, graphs, and plots.

The project allows users to explore different types of data visualizations, including bar charts, line plots, scatter plots, heatmaps, and more. Furthermore, users can apply advanced techniques like interactive visualizations, animation, and customizing visual elements to effectively communicate insights from complex data sets.

14. Hospital management:

The Hospital Management project aims to develop a straightforward yet efficient hospital management system using Python. Through Python’s capabilities, learners can create a program that facilitates patient record management, appointment scheduling, and other essential functionalities in a healthcare setting.

The system can store and organize patient details, medical history, doctor information, and appointment schedules. Additionally, it can incorporate features for generating reports, managing inventory, and ensuring data privacy and security compliance.

15. Education system:

The education system project is a hands-on endeavor that empowers you to build a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for managing student information. You’ll learn how to design databases, implement data storage, and develop functions to track student records, grades, and other relevant data.

This project offers valuable insights into effective data organization and management within the context of an educational setting, equipping you with practical skills that can be applied to real-world scenarios.

16. Face Recognition:

The face recognition project is an exciting opportunity to explore the fascinating field of computer vision and artificial intelligence. Using Python, you’ll delve into the algorithms and techniques that enable machines to identify and distinguish human faces from images or video streams. Starting with simple face detection, you’ll progress to advanced topics such as facial feature extraction and matching.

This project allows you to create a range of applications, from basic face recognition programs for security purposes to more sophisticated systems incorporating facial emotion analysis or even facial expression generation.

Top Python projects to elevate your skills
Top Python projects to elevate your skills

Additional tips for working on Python projects

These are just a few of the many Python projects that you can work on. If you’re looking for more ideas, there are plenty of resources available online. With a little effort, you can create some amazing Python projects that will help you learn the language and build your skills.

Here are some additional tips for working on Python projects:

  • Start with simple projects and gradually work your way up to more complex projects.
  • Use online resources to find help and documentation.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.
  • Have fun!

If you want to start a career in data science using Python, we recommend you to go through this extensive bootcamp.

Conclusion:

Embarking on Python projects is an excellent way to enhance your programming skills and delve into various domains. The 16 projects mentioned in this blog provide a diverse range of applications to challenge yourself and explore new possibilities.

Whether you’re interested in communication, gaming, management systems, or data analysis, these projects will help you develop practical Python skills and expand your portfolio.

So, choose a project that excites you the most and starts coding! Happy programming!

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas for Python projects that you can work on. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Data Science Dojo
Fiza Fatima
| July 12

Welcome to the world of databases, where the choice between SQL (Structured Query Language) and NoSQL (Not Only SQL) databases can be a significant decision. 

Both SQL databases and NoSQL databases have their own unique characteristics and advantages, and understanding which one suits your needs is essential for a successful application or project.

In this blog, we’ll explore the defining traits, benefits, use cases, and key factors to consider when choosing between SQL and NoSQL databases. So, let’s dive in!

SQL and NoSQL
SQL and NoSQL

SQL Database

SQL databases are relational databases that store data in tables. Each table has a set of columns, and each column has a specific data type. SQL databases are well-suited for storing structured data, such as customer records, product inventory, and financial transactions.

Some of the benefits of SQL databases include:

  • Strong consistency and data integrity: SQL databases enforce data integrity constraints, such as ensuring that no two customers can have the same customer ID.
  • ACID properties for transactional support: SQL databases support ACID transactions, which guarantee that all or none of a set of database operations are performed. This is important for applications that require a high degree of data integrity, such as banking and financial services.
  • Ability to perform complex queries using SQL: SQL is a powerful language that allows you to perform complex queries on your data. This can be useful for tasks such as reporting, analytics, and data mining.

Some of the popular SQL databases include:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server

To understand which SQL database will work best for you, hop on to this video. 

Data Storage Systems: Taking a look at Redshift, MySQL, PostGreSQL, Hadoop and others

NoSQL Databases

NoSQL databases are a type of database that does not use the traditional relational model. NoSQL databases are designed to store and manage large amounts of unstructured data.

Some of the benefits of NoSQL databases include:

  • Scalability and high performance: NoSQL databases are designed to scale horizontally, which means that they can be easily increased in size by adding more nodes. This makes them well-suited for applications that need to handle large amounts of data.
  • Flexibility in handling unstructured data: NoSQL databases are not limited to storing structured data. They can also store unstructured data, such as text, images, and videos. This makes them well-suited for applications that deal with large amounts of multimedia data.
  • Horizontal scalability through sharding and replication: NoSQL databases can be horizontally scaled by sharding the data across multiple nodes. This means that the data is divided into smaller pieces and stored on different nodes. Replication is the process of copying the data to multiple nodes. This ensures that the data is always available, even if one node fails.

Some of the popular NoSQL databases include:

  • MongoDB
  • Cassandra
  • DynamoDB
  • Redis

If you have just started off using SQL, you can use this comprehensive SQL guide for beginners – SQL Crash Course for Beginners

Usage for each database

Now, let’s dive into the crux of the argument whereby we explore the cases where SQL databases work best and cases where NoSQL databases shine.

SQL databases excel in scenarios that require:

  • Complex transactions with strict consistency requirements, such as financial systems or e-commerce platforms.
  • Applications that heavily rely on relational data models, with interconnected data that necessitate robust integrity and relational operations.

NoSQL databases are well-suited for:

  • Big data analytics and real-time streaming applications demand high scalability and performance.
  • Content management systems, social media platforms, and IoT applications handle diverse and unstructured data types.
  • Applications requiring rapid prototyping and agile development due to their schema flexibility.

Real-world examples highlight the versatility of SQL and NoSQL databases. SQL databases power major banking systems, airline reservation systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. NoSQL databases are commonly used by social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.

Factors to Consider

Choosing between SQL and NoSQL databases can be a daunting task. With each option offering its own unique set of advantages, it’s important to consider several key factors before making a decision. These factors will help guide you towards the right database that aligns with your project’s requirements. 

  • Data structure: Evaluate whether your data has a well-defined structure and follows a relational model or if it is dynamic and unstructured.
  • Scalability requirements: Consider the expected growth and scalability needs of your application. Determine if horizontal scalability through techniques like sharding and replication is crucial.
  • Consistency requirements: Assess the level of consistency needed for your application. Determine if strong consistency or eventual consistency is more suitable.
  • Development flexibility: Evaluate the flexibility required to adapt to changing data structures. Consider whether a rigid schema or schema flexibility is more important for your project.
  • Integration requirements: Assess the compatibility of the database with your existing infrastructure and tools. Consider factors such as support for APIs, data connectors, and integration capabilities.

Conclusion:

In the SQL vs. NoSQL debate, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each database type offers unique benefits and is suited for different use cases. Understanding your specific requirements, such as data structure, scalability, consistency, and development flexibility, is crucial in making an informed decision.

Recapitulating the main points discussed, SQL databases provide strong consistency, ACID compliance, and robust query capabilities, making them ideal for transactional systems. NoSQL databases offer scalability, flexibility with unstructured data, and high performance, making them well-suited for big data, real-time analytics, and applications with evolving data requirements.

Ultimately, it is encouraged to thoroughly evaluate your needs, consider the factors mentioned, and choose the appropriate database solution that aligns with your project’s objectives and requirements. In some cases, a hybrid approach combining SQL and NoSQL databases may be suitable to leverage the strengths of both worlds and cater to specific use cases.

 

Data Science Dojo
Sonya Newson
| July 7

In the technology-driven world we inhabit, two skill sets have risen to prominence and are a hot topic: coding vs data science. At first glance, they may seem like two sides of the same coin, but a closer look reveals distinct differences and unique career opportunities.  

This article aims to demystify these domains, shedding light on what sets them apart, the essential skills they demand, and how to navigate a career path in either field.

What is Coding?

Coding, or programming, forms the backbone of our digital universe. In essence, coding is the process of using a language that a computer can understand to develop software, apps, websites, and more.  

The variety of programming languages, including Python, Java, JavaScript, and C++, cater to different project needs.  Each has its niche, from web development to systems programming. 

  • Python, for instance, is loved for its simplicity and versatility. 
  • JavaScript, on the other hand, is the lifeblood of interactive web pages. 
Coding vs Data Science
Coding vs Data Science

Coding goes beyond just software creation, impacting fields as diverse as healthcare, finance, and entertainment. Imagine a day without apps like Google Maps, Netflix, or Excel – that’s a world without coding! 

What is Data Science? 

While coding builds digital platforms, data science is about making sense of the data those platforms generate. Data Science intertwines statistics, problem-solving, and programming to extract valuable insights from vast data sets.  

This discipline takes raw data, deciphers it, and turns it into a digestible format using various tools and algorithms. Tools such as Python, R, and SQL help to manipulate and analyze data. Algorithms like linear regression or decision trees aid in making data-driven predictions.   

In today’s data-saturated world, data science plays a pivotal role in fields like marketing, healthcare, finance, and policy-making, driving strategic decision-making with its insights. 

Essential Skills for Coding

Coding demands a unique blend of creativity and analytical skills. Mastering a programming language is just the tip of the iceberg. A skilled coder must understand syntax, but also demonstrate logical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail. 

Logical thinking and problem-solving are crucial for understanding program flow and structure, as well as debugging and adding features. Persistence and independent learning are valuable traits for coders, given technology’s constant evolution.

Understanding algorithms is like mastering maps, with each algorithm offering different paths to solutions. Data structures, like arrays, linked lists, and trees, are versatile tools in coding, each with its unique capabilities.

Mastering these allows coders to handle data with the finesse of a master sculptor, crafting software that’s both efficient and powerful. But the adventure doesn’t end there.

But fear not, for debugging skills are the secret weapons coders wild to tame these critters.  Like a detective solving a mystery, coders use debugging to follow the trail of these bugs, understand their moves, and fix the disruption they’ve caused. In the end, persistence and adaptability complete a coder’s arsenal. 

Essential Skills for Data Science

Data Science, while incorporating coding, demands a different skill set. Data scientists need a strong foundation in statistics and mathematics to understand the patterns in data.  

Proficiency in tools like Python, R, SQL, and platforms like Hadoop or Spark is essential for data manipulation and analysis. Statistics helps data scientists to estimate, predict and test hypotheses.

Knowledge of Python or R is crucial to implement machine learning models and visualize data. Data scientists also need to be effective communicators, as they often present their findings to stakeholders with limited technical expertise.

Career Paths: Coding vs Data Science

The fields of coding and data science offer exciting and varied career paths. Coders can specialize as front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers, among others. Data science, on the other hand, offers roles as data analysts, data engineers, or data scientists. 

Whether you’re figuring out how to start coding or exploring data science, knowing your career path can help streamline your learning process and set realistic goals. 

Comparison: Coding vs Data Science 

While both coding and data science are deeply intertwined with technology, they differ significantly in their applications, demands, and career implications. 

Coding primarily revolves around creating and maintaining software, while data science is focused on extracting meaningful information from data. The learning curve also varies. Coding can be simpler to begin with, as it requires mastery of a programming language and its syntax.  

Data science, conversely, needs a broader skill set including statistics, data manipulation, and knowledge of various tools. However, the demand and salary potential in both fields are highly promising, given the digitalization of virtually every industry. 

Choosing Between Coding and Data Science 

Coding vs data science depends largely on personal interests and career aspirations. If building software and apps appeals to you, coding might be your path. If you’re intrigued by data and driving strategic decisions, data science could be the way to go. 

It’s also crucial to consider market trends. Demand in AI, machine learning, and data analysis is soaring, with implications for both fields. 

Transitioning from Coding to Data Science (and vice versa)

Transitions between coding and data science are common, given the overlapping skill sets.    

Coders looking to transition into data science may need to hone their statistical knowledge, while data scientists transitioning to coding would need to deepen their understanding of programming languages. 

Regardless of the path you choose, continuous learning and adaptability are paramount in these ever-evolving fields. 

Conclusion

In essence, coding vs data science or both are crucial gears in the technology machine.  Whether you choose to build software as a coder or extract insights as a data scientist, your work will play a significant role in shaping our digital world.  

So, delve into these exciting fields and discover where your passion lies. 

Areesha Afzal - Author
Areesha Afzal
| June 13

The Python Requests library is the go-to solution for making HTTP requests in Python, thanks to its elegant and intuitive API that simplifies the process of interacting with web services and consuming data in the application.

With the Requests library, you can easily send a variety of HTTP requests without worrying about the underlying complexities. It is a human-friendly HTTP Library that is incredibly easy to use, and one of its notable benefits is that it eliminates the need to manually add the query string to the URL.

Requests library
Requests library

HTTP Methods

When an HTTP request is sent, it returns a Response Object containing all the data related to the server’s response to the request. The Response object encapsulates a variety of information about the response, including the content, encoding, status code, headers, and more.

GET is one of the most frequently used HTTP methods, as it enables you to retrieve data from a specified resource. To make a GET request, you can use the requests.get() method.

>> response = requests.get(‘https://api.github.com’)

The simplicity of Requests’ API means that all forms of HTTP requests are straightforward. For example, this is how you make an HTTP POST request:

>> r = requests.post(‘https://httpbin.org/post’, data={‘key’: ‘value’})

POST requests are commonly used when submitting data from forms or uploading files. These requests are intended for creating or updating resources, and allow larger amounts of data to be sent in a single request. This is an overview of what Request can do.

Real-world applications

Requests library’s simplicity and flexibility make it a valuable tool for a wide range of web-related tasks in Python, here are few basic applications of requests library:

1. Web scraping:

Web scraping involves extracting data from websites by fetching the HTML content of web pages and then parsing and analyzing that content to extract specific information. The Requests library is used to make HTTP requests to the desired web pages and retrieve the HTML content. Once the HTML content is obtained, you can use libraries like BeautifulSoup to parse the HTML and extract the relevant data.

2. API integration:

Many web services and platforms provide APIs that allow you to retrieve or manipulate data. With the Requests library, you can make HTTP requests to these APIs, send parameters, headers, and handle the responses to integrate external data into your Python applications. We can also integrate the OpenAI ChatGPT API with the Requests library by making HTTP POST requests to the API endpoint and send the conversation as input to receive model-generated responses.

3. File download/upload:

You can download files from URLs using the Requests library. It supports streaming and allows you to efficiently download large files. Similarly, you can upload files to a server by sending multipart/form-data requests. requests.get() method is used to send a GET request to the specified URL to download large files, whereas, requests.post() method is used to send a POST request to the specified URL for uploading a file, you can easily retrieve files from URLs or send files to a server. This is useful for tasks such as downloading images, PDFs, or other resources from the web or uploading files to web applications or APIs that support file uploads.

4. Data collection and monitoring:

Requests can be used to fetch data from different sources at regular intervals by setting up a loop to fetch data periodically. This is useful for data collection, monitoring changes in web content, or tracking real-time data from APIs.

5. Web testing and automation:

Requests can be used for testing web applications by simulating various HTTP requests and verifying the responses. The Requests library enables you to automate web tasks such as logging into websites, submitting forms, or interacting with APIs. You can send the necessary HTTP requests, handle the responses, and perform further actions based on the results. This helps in streamlining testing processes, automating repetitive tasks, and interacting with web services programmatically.

6. Authentication and session management:

Requests provides built-in support for handling different types of authentication mechanisms, including Basic Auth, OAuth, and JWT, allowing you to authenticate and manage sessions when interacting with web services or APIs. This allows you to interact securely with web services and APIs that require authentication for accessing protected resources.

7. Proxy and SSL handling

Requests provides built-in support for working with proxies, enabling you to route your requests through different IP addresses, by passing the ‘proxies’ parameter with the proxy dictionary to the request method, you can route the request through the specified proxy, if your proxy requires authentication, you can include the username and password in the proxy URL. It also handles SSL/TLS certificates and allows you to verify or ignore SSL certificates during HTTPS requests, this flexibility enables you to work with different network configurations and ensure secure communication while interacting with web services and APIs.

8. Microservices and serverless architecture

In microservices or serverless architectures, where components communicate over HTTP, the Requests library can be used to make requests between different services, establish communication between different services, retrieve data from other endpoints, or trigger actions in external services. This allows for seamless integration and collaboration between components in a distributed architecture, enabling efficient data exchange and service orchestration.

Best practices for using the Requests library

Here are some of the practices that are needed to be followed to make good use of Requests Library.

1. Use session objects

Session object persists parameters and cookies across multiple requests being made. It allows connection pooling which means that instead of creating a new connection every time you make a request, it holds onto the existing connection and saves time. In this way, it helps to gain significant performance improvements.

2. Handle errors and exceptions

It is important to handle errors and exceptions while making requests. The errors can include problems with the network, issues on the server, or receiving unexpected or invalid responses. You can handle these errors using try-except block and the exception classes in the Requests library.

By using try-except block, you can anticipate potential errors and instruct the program on how to handle them. In case of built-in exception classes you can catch specific exceptions and handle them accordingly. For example, you can catch a network-related error using the requests.exceptions.RequestException class, or handle server errors with the requests.exceptions.HTTPError class.

3. Configure headers and authentication

The Requests library offers powerful features for configuring headers and handling authentication during HTTP requests. HTTP headers serve an important purpose in communicating specific instructions and information between a client (such as a web browser or an API consumer) and a server. These headers are particularly useful for tailoring the server’s response according to the client’s needs.

One common use case for HTTP headers is to specify the desired format of the response. By including an appropriate header, you can indicate to the server the preferred format, such as JSON or XML, in which you would like to receive the data. This allows the server to tailor the response accordingly, ensuring compatibility with your application or system.

Headers are also instrumental in providing authentication credentials. The Requests library supports various authentication methods, such as Basic Auth, OAuth, or using API keys.
It is crucial to ensure that you include necessary headers and provide the required authentication credentials while interacting with web services, it helps you to establish secure and successful communication with the server.

4. Leverage response handling

The Response object that is received after making a request using Requests library, you need to handle and process the response data effectively. There are various methods to access and extract the required information from the response.
For example, parsing JSON data, accessing headers, and handling binary data.

5. Utilize timeout

When making requests to a remote server using methods like ‘requests.get’ or ‘requests.put’, it is important to consider potential for long response times or connectivity issues. Without a timeout parameter, these requests may hang for an extended period, which can be problematic for backend systems that require prompt data processing and responses.
For this purpose, it is recommended to set a timeout when making the HTTP requests using the timeout parameter, it helps to prevent the code from hanging indefinitely and raise the TimeoutException indicating that request has taken longer tie than the specified timeout period.

Overall, the requests library provides a powerful and flexible API for interacting with web services and APIs, making it a crucial tool for any Python developer working with web data.

Wrapping up

As we wrap up this blog, it is clear that the Requests library is an invaluable tool for any developer working with HTTP-based applications. Its ease of use, flexibility, and extensive functionality makes it an essential component in any developer’s toolkit

Whether you’re building a simple web scraper or a complex API client, Requests provides a robust and reliable foundation on which to build your application. Its practical usefulness cannot be overstated, and its widespread adoption within the developer community is a testament to its power and flexibility.

In summary, the Requests library is an essential tool for any developer working with HTTP-based applications. Its intuitive API, extensive functionality, and robust error handling make it a go-to choice for developers around the world.

 

Data Science Dojo
Nimrah Sohail
| June 2

Postman is a popular collaboration platform for API development used by developers all over the world. It is a powerful tool that simplifies the process of testing, documenting, and sharing APIs.

Postman provides a user-friendly interface that enables developers to interact with RESTful APIs and streamline their API development workflow. In this blog post, we will discuss the different HTTP methods, and how they can be used with Postman.

Postman and Python
Postman and Python

HTTP Methods

HTTP methods are used to specify the type of action that needs to be performed on a resource. There are several HTTP methods available, including GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and PATCH. Each method has a specific purpose and is used in different scenarios:

  • GET is used to retrieve data from an API.
  • POST is used to create new data in an API.
  • PUT is used to update existing data in an API.
  • DELETE is used to delete data from an API.
  • PATCH is used to partially update existing data in an API.

1. GET Method

The GET method is used to retrieve information from the server. It is the most used HTTP method and is used to retrieve data from a server.   

In Postman, you can use the GET method to retrieve data from an API endpoint. To use the GET method, you need to specify the URL in the request bar and click on the Send button. Here are step-by-step instructions for making requests using GET: 

 In this tutorial, we are using the following URL:

Step 1:  

Create a new request by clicking + in the workbench to open a new tab.  

Step 2: 

Enter the URL of the API that we want to test. 

Step 3: 

Select the “GET” method. 

Get Method Step 3
Get Method Step 3

Click the “Send” button. 

2. POST Method

The POST method is used to send data to the server. It is commonly used to create new resources on the server. In Postman, you can use the POST method to send data to the server. To use the POST method, you need to specify the URL in the request. Here are step-by-step instructions for making requests using POST

  1. Create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the API that you want to test.
  3. Select the “POST” method.
  4. Add any additional headers or parameters to the request.
  5. Click the “Send” button.

3. PUT Method

PUT is used to update existing data in an API. In Postman, you can use the PUT method to update existing data in an API by selecting the “PUT” method from the drop-down menu next to the “Method” field.

You can also add data to the request body by clicking the “Body” tab and selecting the “raw” radio button. Here are step-by-step instructions for making requests using PUT

  1. Create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the API that you want to test.
  3. Select the “PUT” method.
  4. Add any additional headers or parameters to the request.
  5. Click the “Send” button.

4. DELETE Method

DELETE is used to delete existing data in an API. In Postman, you can use the DELETE method to delete existing data in an API by selecting the “DELETE” method from the drop-down menu next to the “Method” field. Here are step-by-step instructions for making requests using DELETE

  1. Create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the API that you want to test.
  3. Select the “DELETE” method.
  4. Add any additional headers or parameters to the request.
  5. Click the “Send” button.

5. PATCH Method

PATCH is used to partially update existing data in an API. In Postman, you can use the PATCH method to partially update existing data in an API by selecting the “PATCH” method from the drop-down menu next to the “Method” field.

You can also add data to the request body by clicking the “Body” tab and selecting the “raw” radio button. Here are step-by-step instructions for making requests using PATCH:

  1. Create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the API that you want to test.
  3. Select the “PATCH” method.
  4. Add any additional headers or parameters to the request.
  5. Click the “Send” button.

Why Postman and Python are useful together

With the Postman Python library, developers can create and send requests, manage collections and environments, and run tests. The library also provides a command-line interface (CLI) for interacting with Postman APIs from the terminal. 

How does Postman work with REST APIs? 

  • Creating Requests: Developers can use Postman to create HTTP requests for REST APIs. They can specify the request method, API endpoint, headers, and data. 
  • Sending Requests: Once the request is created, developers can send it to the API server. Postman provides tools for sending requests, such as the “Send” button, keyboard shortcuts, and history tracking. 
  • Testing Responses: Postman receives responses from the API server and displays them in the tool’s interface. Developers can test the response status, headers, and body. 
  • Debugging: Postman provides tools for debugging REST APIs, such as console logs and response time tracking. Developers can easily identify and fix issues with their APIs. 
  • Automation: Postman allows developers to automate testing, documentation, and other tasks related to REST APIs. Developers can write test scripts using JavaScript and run them using Postman’s test runner. 
  • Collaboration: Postman allows developers to share API collections with team members, collaborate on API development, and manage API documentation. Developers can also use Postman’s version control system to manage changes to their APIs.

Wrapping up

In summary, Postman is a powerful tool for working with REST APIs. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating, testing, and documenting REST APIs, as well as tools for debugging and automation. Developers can use Postman to collaborate with team members and manage API collections or developers working with APIs. 

Author image - Ayesha
Ayesha Saleem
| May 9

If you’re interested in investing in the stock market, you know how important it is to have access to accurate and up-to-date market data. This data can help you make informed decisions about which stocks to buy or sell, when to do so, and at what price. However, retrieving and analyzing this data can be a complex and time-consuming process. That’s where Python comes in.

Python is a powerful programming language that offers a wide range of tools and libraries for retrieving, analyzing, and visualizing stock market data. In this blog, we’ll explore how to use Python to retrieve fundamental stock market data, such as earnings reports, financial statements, and other key metrics. We’ll also demonstrate how you can use this data to inform your investment strategies and make more informed decisions in the market.

So, whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, read on to learn how Python can help you gain a competitive edge in the stock market.

Using Python to retrieve fundamental stock market data
Using Python to retrieve fundamental stock market data – Source: Freepik  

How to retrieve fundamental stock market data using Python?

Python can be used to retrieve a company’s financial statements and earnings reports by accessing fundamental data of the stock.  Here are some methods to achieve this: 

1. Using the yfinance library:

One can easily get, read, and interpret financial data using Python by using the yfinance library along with the Pandas library. With this, a user can extract various financial data, including the company’s balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Additionally, yfinance can be used to collect historical stock data for a specific time period. 

2. Using Alpha Vantage:

Alpha Vantage offers a free API for enterprise-grade financial market data, including company financial statements and earnings reports. A user can extract financial data using Python by accessing the Alpha Vantage API. 

3. Using the get_quote_table method:

The get_quote_table method can be used to extract the data found on the summary page of a stock. This method extracts financial data from the summary page of stock and returns it in the form of a dictionary. From this dictionary, a user can extract the P/E ratio of a company, which is an important financial metric. Additionally, the get_stats_valuation method can be used to extract the P/E ratio of a company.

Python libraries for stock data retrieval: Fundamental and price data

Python has numerous libraries that enable us to access fundamental and price data for stocks. To retrieve fundamental data such as a company’s financial statements and earnings reports, we can use APIs or web scraping techniques.  

On the other hand, to get price data, we can utilize APIs or packages that provide direct access to financial databases. Here are some resources that can help you get started with retrieving both types of data using Python for data science: 

Retrieving fundamental data using API calls in Python is a straightforward process. An API or Application Programming Interface is a server that allows users to retrieve and send data to it using code.  

When requesting data from an API, we need to make a request, which is most commonly done using the GET method. The two most common HTTP request methods for API calls are GET and POST. 

After establishing a healthy connection with the API, the next step is to pull the data from the API. This can be done using the requests.get() method to pull the data from the mentioned API. Once we have the data, we can parse it into a JSON format. 

Top Python libraries like pandas and alpha_vantage can be used to retrieve fundamental data. For example, with alpha_vantage, the fundamental data of almost any stock can be easily retrieved using the Financial Data API. The formatting process can be coded and applied to the dataset to be used in future data science projects. 

Obtaining essential stock market information through APIs

There are various financial data APIs available that can be used to retrieve fundamental data of a stock. Some popular APIs are eodhistoricaldata.com, Nasdaq Data Link APIs, and Morningstar. 

  • Eodhistoricaldata.com, also known as EOD HD, is a website that provides more than just fundamental data and is free to sign up for. It can be used to retrieve fundamental data of a stock.  
  • Nasdaq Data Link APIs can be used to retrieve historical time-series of a stock’s price in CSV format. It offers a simple call to retrieve the data. 
  • Morningstar can also be used to retrieve fundamental data of a stock. One can search for a stock on the website and click on the first result to access the stock’s page and retrieve its data. 
  • Another source for fundamental financial company data is a free source created by a friend. All of the data is easily available from the website, and they offer API access to global stock data (quotes and fundamentals). The documentation for the API access can be found on their website. 

Once you have established a connection to an API, you can pull the fundamental data of a stock using requests. The fundamental data can then be parsed into JSON format using Python libraries such as pandas and alpha_vantage. 

Conclusion 

In summary, retrieving fundamental data using API calls in Python is a simple process that involves establishing a healthy connection with the API, pulling the data from the API using requests.get(), and parsing it into a JSON format. Python libraries like pandas and alpha_vantage can be used to retrieve fundamental data. 

 

Syed Muhammad Hani - Author
Syed Muhammad Hani
| May 3

Most Data Science enthusiasts know how to write queries and fetch data from SQL but find they may find the concept of indexing to be intimidating.

This blog will aim to clear concepts of how this additional tool can help you efficiently access data, especially when there are clear patterns involved. Having a good understanding of indexing techniques will help you with making better design decisions and performance optimizations for your system.  

Understanding indexing

To understand the concept, take the example of a textbook. Your teacher has just assigned you to open “Chapter 15: Atoms and Ions”. In this case, you will have three possible ways to access this chapter: 

  • You may turn over each page, until you find the starting page of “Chapter 15”.  
  • You may open the “Table of Contents”, simply go to the entry of “Chapter 15”, where you will find the page number, where “Chapter 15” starts.  
  • You may also open the “Index” if words, at the end of the textbooks, where all keywords and their page numbers are mentioned. From there you can find out all the pages where the word “Atoms” is present, accessing each of those pages, you will find the page where “Chapter 15” starts.


In the given example try to figure out which of the paths would be most efficient… You may have already guessed it, the second path, using the “Table of Contents”. You figured this out since you understood the problem and the underlying structure of these access paths. Indexes built on large datasets are very similar to this. Let us move on to a bit more practical example. 

It is probable you may have already looked at data with an index built on it, but simply overlooked that detail. Using the “Top Spotify songs from 2010-2019” dataset on Kaggle (https://www.kaggle.com/datasets/leonardopena/top-spotify-songs-from-20102019-by-year),  we read it into a Python – Pandas Data Frame.

Notice the left most column, where there is no column name present. This is a default index created by python for this dataset, while considering the first column present in the csv file as an “unnamed” column. 

Similarly, we can set index columns according to our requirements. For example, if we wanted to set “nrgy” column as an index, we can do it like this: 

Figure 1- Set Index as "nrgy" column
Figure 1- Set Index as “nrgy” column

It is also possible to create an index on multiple columns. If we wanted an index on a columns “artist” and “year”, we could do it by passing the string names as a list parameter to our original set index method. 

 

Figure 2- Set Index as "artist" and "year" column 
Figure 2- Set Index as “artist” and “year” column 


Up till now, you may have noticed a few points, which
I will point out: 

  • An index is an additional access path, which could be used to efficiently retrieve data. 
  • An index may or may not be built on a column with unique values. 
  • An index may be built on one more column. 
  • An index may be built on either ordered or unordered items. 


Categories of indexing

Let us investigate the categories of indexes. 

  1. Primary Indexes: have ordered files and built on unique columns. 
  1. Clustered Indexes: have ordered files and built on non-unique columns. 
  1. Secondary Indexes: have unordered files and are built on either unique or non-unique columns. 


You may only build a single Primary or Clustered index on a table. Meaning that the files will be ordered based on a single index only. You may build multiple Secondary indices on a table since they do not require the files to change their order. 
 


Advantages of indexing

 

Since the main purpose of creating and using an index access path is to give us an efficient way to access the data of our choice, we will be looking at it as our main advantage as well.  

  1. An index allows us to quickly locate, and access data based on the indexed columns, without having to scan through the entire file. This can significantly speed up query performance, especially for large files, by reducing the amount of data that needs to be searched and processed.  
  2. With an index, we can jump directly to the relevant portion of the data, reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed and improving access speed.  
  3. Indexes can also help reduce the amount of disk I/O (input/output) needed for data access. By providing a more focused and smaller subset of data to be read from disk, indexes can help minimize the amount of data that needs to be read, resulting in reduced disk I/O and improved overall performance. 

Costs of indexing

 

  1. Index Access will not always improve performance. It will depend on the design decisions. It is possible a column frequently accessed in 2023, is the least frequently accessed column in 2026. The previously built index might simply become useless for us. 
  2. For example, a local library keeps a record of their books according to the shelf they are assigned to and stored on. In 2018, the old librarian asked an expert to create an index based on Book ID, assigned to each book at the time when it is stored in the library. The access time per book decreased drastically for that year. A new librarian, hired in 2022, decided to reorder books by their year number and subject. It became slower to access a book through the previously built index as compared to the combination of book year and subject, simply because the order of the books was changed. 
  3. In addition, there will be an added storage cost to the files you have already stored. While the size of an index will be mostly smaller than the size of our base tables, the space a dense index can occupy for large tables may still be a factor to consider.
  4. Lastly, there will be a maintenance cost attached to an index you have built. You will need to update the index entries whenever insert, update, and delete operations are performed for base table. If a table has a high rate of DML operations, the index maintenance cost will also be extremely high. 

 


While making decisions regarding index creation, you need to consider three things:
 

1. Index Column Selection: the column on which you will build the index. It is recommended to select the column frequently accessed. 

2. Index Table Selection: the table that requires an index to be built upon. It is recommended to use a table with the least number of DML operations. 

3. Index Type Selection: the type of index which will give the greatest performance benefit. You may want to look into the types of indices which exist for this decision, few examples include: Bitmap Index, B Tree Index, Hash Index, Partial Index, and Composite Index . 

All these factors can be answered by analyzing your access patterns. To put it simply, just look for the table that is most frequently accessed, and which columns are most frequently accessed. 

In a nutshell

In conclusion, while indexing can give you a huge performance benefit, in terms of data access, an expert needs to understand the structure and problem before making the appropriate decision whether an index is needed or not, and if needed, then for which table, column(/s), and the index type. 

Author image - Ayesha
Ayesha Saleem
| May 1

Python is a powerful and versatile programming language that has become increasingly popular in the field of data science. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the vast array of libraries and packages available for data manipulation, analysis, and visualization.

10 Python packages for data science and machine learning

In this article, we will highlight some of the top Python packages for data science that aspiring and practicing data scientists should consider adding to their toolbox. 

1. NumPy 

NumPy is a fundamental package for scientific computing in Python. It supports large, multi-dimensional arrays and matrices of numerical data, as well as a large library of mathematical functions to operate on these arrays. The package is particularly useful for performing mathematical operations on large datasets and is widely used in machine learning, data analysis, and scientific computing. 

2. Pandas 

Pandas is a powerful data manipulation library for Python that provides fast, flexible, and expressive data structures designed to make working with “relational” or “labeled” data easy and intuitive. The package is particularly well-suited for working with tabular data, such as spreadsheets or SQL tables, and provides powerful data cleaning, transformation, and wrangling capabilities. 

3. Matplotlib 

Matplotlib is a plotting library for Python that provides an extensive API for creating static, animated, and interactive visualizations. The library is highly customizable, and users can create a wide range of plots, including line plots, scatter plots, bar plots, histograms, and heat maps. Matplotlib is a great tool for data visualization and is widely used in data analysis, scientific computing, and machine learning. 

4. Seaborn 

Seaborn is a library for creating attractive and informative statistical graphics in Python. The library is built on top of Matplotlib and provides a high-level interface for creating complex visualizations, such as heat maps, violin plots, and scatter plots. Seaborn is particularly well-suited for visualizing complex datasets and is often used in data exploration and analysis. 

5. Scikit-learn 

Scikit-learn is a powerful library for machine learning in Python. It provides a wide range of tools for supervised and unsupervised learning, including linear regression, k-means clustering, and support vector machines. The library is built on top of NumPy and Pandas and is designed to be easy to use and highly extensible. Scikit-learn is a go-to tool for data scientists and machine learning practitioners. 

6. TensorFlow 

TensorFlow is an open-source software library for dataflow and differentiable programming across various tasks. It is a symbolic math library, and is also used for machine learning applications such as neural networks. TensorFlow was developed by the Google Brain team and is used in many of Google’s products and services. 

7. SQLAlchemy

SQLAlchemy is a Python package that serves as both a SQL toolkit and an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) library. It is designed to simplify the process of working with databases by providing a consistent and high-level interface. It offers a set of utilities and abstractions that make it easier to interact with relational databases using SQL queries. It provides a flexible and expressive syntax for constructing SQL statements, allowing you to perform various database operations such as querying, inserting, updating, and deleting data.

8. OpenCV

OpenCV (CV2) is a library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision. Originally developed by Intel, it was later supported by Willow Garage and is now maintained by Itseez. OpenCV is available for C++, Python, and Java. 

9. urllib 

urllib is a module in the Python standard library that provides a set of simple, high-level functions for working with URLs and web protocols. It includes functions for opening and closing network connections, sending and receiving data, and parsing URLs. 

10. BeautifulSoup 

BeautifulSoup is a Python library for parsing HTML and XML documents. It creates parse trees from the documents that can be used to extract data from HTML and XML files with a simple and intuitive API. BeautifulSoup is commonly used for web scraping and data extraction. 

Wrapping up 

In conclusion, these Python packages are some of the most popular and widely-used libraries in the Python data science ecosystem. They provide powerful and flexible tools for data manipulation, analysis, and visualization, and are essential for aspiring and practicing data scientists. With the help of these Python packages, data scientists can easily perform complex data analysis and machine learning tasks, and create beautiful and informative visualizations. 

If you want to learn more about data science and how to use these Python packages, we recommend checking out Data Science Dojo’s Python for Data Science course, which provides a comprehensive introduction to Python and its data science ecosystem. 

 

Author image - Ayesha
Ayesha Saleem
| April 24

SQL (Structured Query Language) is an important tool for data scientists. It is a programming language used to manipulate data stored in relational databases. Mastering SQL concepts allows a data scientist to quickly analyze large amounts of data and make decisions based on their findings. Here are some essential SQL concepts that every data scientist should know:

First, understanding the syntax of SQL statements is essential in order to retrieve, modify or delete information from databases. For example, statements like SELECT and WHERE can be used to identify specific columns and rows within the database that need attention. A good knowledge of these commands can help a data scientist perform complex operations with ease.

Second, developing an understanding of database relationships such as one-to-one or many-to-many is also important for a data scientist working with SQL.

Here’s an interesting read about Top 10 SQL commands

Let’s dive into some of the key SQL concepts that are important to learn for a data scientist.  

1. Formatting Strings

We are all aware that cleaning up the raw data is necessary to improve productivity overall and produce high-quality decisions. In this case, string formatting is crucial and entails editing the strings to remove superfluous information. For transforming and manipulating strings, SQL provides a large variety of string methods. When combining two or more strings, CONCAT is utilized. The user-defined values that are frequently required in data science can be substituted for the null values using COALESCE. Tiffany Payne  

2. Stored Methods

We can save several SQL statements in our database for later use thanks to stored procedures. When invoked, it allows for reusability and has the ability to accept argument values. It improves performance and makes modifications simpler to implement. For instance, we’re attempting to identify all A-graded students with majors in data science. Keep in mind that CREATE PROCEDURE must be invoked using EXEC in order to be executed, exactly like the function definition. Paul Somerville 

3. Joins

Based on the logical relationship between the tables, SQL joins are used to merge the rows from various tables. In an inner join, only the rows from both tables that satisfy the specified criteria are displayed. In terms of vocabulary, it can be described as an intersection. The list of pupils who have signed up for sports is returned. Sports ID and Student registration ID are identical, please take note. Left Join returns every record from the LEFT table, while Right Join only shows the matching entries from the RIGHT table. Hamza Usmani 

4. Subqueries

Knowing how to utilize subqueries is crucial for data scientists because they frequently work with several tables and can use the results of one query to further limit the data in the primary query. The nested or inner query is another name for it. The subquery is conducted before the main query and needs to be surrounded in parenthesis. It is referred to as a multi-line subquery and requires the use of multi-line operators if it returns more than one row. Tiffany Payne 

5. Left Joins vs Inner Joins

It’s easy to confuse left joins and inner joins, especially for those who are still getting their feet wet with SQL or haven’t touched the language in a while. Make sure that you have a complete understanding of how the various joins produce unique outputs. You will likely be asked to do some kind of join in a significant number of interview questions, and in certain instances, the difference between a correct response and an incorrect one will depend on which option you pick. Tom Miller 

6. Manipulation of dates and times

There will most likely be some kind of SQL query using date-time data, and you should prepare for it. For instance, one of your tasks can be to organize the data into groups according to the months or to change the format of a variable from DD-MM-YYYY to only the month. You should be familiar with the following functions:

– EXTRACT
– DATEDIFF
– DATE ADD, DATE SUB
– DATE TRUNC 

Olivia Tonks 

7. Procedural Data Storage 

Using stored procedures, we can compile a series of SQL commands into a single object in the database and call it whenever we need it. It allows for reusability and when invoked, can take in values for its parameters. It improves efficiency and makes it simple to implement new features. Using this method, we can identify the students with the highest GPAs who have declared a particular major. One goal is to identify all A-students whose major is Data Science. It’s important to remember that, like a function declaration, calling a CREATE PROCEDURE with EXEC is necessary for the procedure to be executed. Nely Mihaylova 

8. Connecting SQL to Python or R 

A developer who is fluent in a statistical language, like Python or R, may quickly and easily use the packages of
language to construct machine learning models on a massive dataset stored in a relational database management system. A programmer’s employment prospects will improve dramatically if they are fluent in both these statistical languages and SQL. Data analysis, dataset preparation, interactive visualizations, and more may all be accomplished in SQL Server with the help of Python or R. Rene Delgado  

9. Features of windows

In order to apply aggregate and ranking functions over a specific window, window functions are used (set of rows). When defining a window with a function, the OVER clause is utilized. The OVER clause serves dual purposes:

– Separates rows into groups (PARTITION BY clause is used).
– Sorts the rows inside those partitions into a specified order (ORDER BY clause is used).
– Aggregate window functions refer to the application of aggregate
functions like SUM(), COUNT(), AVERAGE(), MAX(), and MIN() over a specific window (set of rows). Tom Hamilton Stubber  

10. The emergence of Quantum ML

With the use of quantum computing, more advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning models might be created. Despite the fact that true quantum computing is still a long way off, things are starting to shift as a result of the cloud-based quantum computing tools and simulations provided by Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM. Combining ML and quantum computing has the potential to greatly benefit enterprises by enabling them to take on problems that are currently insurmountable. Steve Pogson 

11. Predicates

Predicates occur from your WHERE, HAVING, and JOIN clauses. They limit the amount of data that has to be processed to run your query. If you say SELECT DISTINCT customer_name FROM customers WHERE signup_date = TODAY() that’s probably a much smaller query than if you run it without the WHERE clause because, without it, we’re selecting every customer that ever signed up!

Data science sometimes involves some big datasets. Without good predicates, your queries will take forever and cost a ton on the infra bill! Different data warehouses are designed differently, and data architects and engineers make different decisions about to lay out the data for the best performance. Knowing the basics of your data warehouse, and how the tables you’re using are laid out, will help you write good predicates that save your company a lot of money during the year, and just as importantly, make your queries run much faster.

For example, a query that runs quickly but simply touches a huge amount of data in Bigquery can be really expensive if you’re using on-demand pricing which scales with the amount of data touched by the query. The same query can be really cheap if you’re using Bigquery’s Flat-rate pricing or Snowflake, both of which are affected by how long your query takes to run, not how much data is fed into it. Kyle Kirwan 

12. Query Syntax

This is what makes SQL so powerful and much easier than coding individual statements for every task we want to complete when extracting data from a database. Every query starts with one or more clauses such as SELECT, FROM, or WHERE – each clause gives us different capabilities; SELECT allows us to define which columns we’d like returned in the results set; FROM indicates which table name(s) we should get our data from; WHERE allows us to specify conditions that rows must meet for them to be included in our result set etcetera! Understanding how all these clauses work together will help you write more effective and efficient queries quickly, allowing you to do better analysis faster! John Smith 

Elevate your business with essential SQL concepts 

AI and machine learning, which have been rapidly emerging, are quickly becoming one of the top trends in technology. Developments in AI and machine learning are being seen all over the world, from big businesses to small startups.

Businesses utilizing these two technologies are able to create smarter systems for their customers and employees, allowing them to make better decisions faster.

These advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping companies reach new heights with their products or services by providing them with more data to help inform decision-making processes.

Additionally, AI and machine learning can be used to automate mundane tasks that take up valuable time. This could mean more efficient customer service or even automated marketing campaigns that drive sales growth through
real-time analysis of consumer behavior. Rajesh Namase

Ruhma Khawaja author
Ruhma Khawaja
| April 13

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) have become an indispensable aspect of modern software development. They enable developers to communicate with other software systems, resulting in the development of new applications quickly and effectively. In this blog post, we will provide an introduction and overview of their functionality.

What are APIs?

Application Programming Interface is a set of protocols, routines, and tools used for building software applications. It specifies how software components should interact with each other, allowing for seamless communication between different systems.

Types of APIs

  1. Web APIs: These allow communication over the internet. They can be accessed using HTTP requests and typically return data in a structured format such as JSON or XML.
  2. Local APIs: These are installed locally on a computer or device and can be accessed using programming languages such as Java or Python.
  3. Program APIs: These allow communication between different software programs or components, such as database APIs, operating system APIs, and messaging APIs.
Introduction to APIs
Introduction to APIs

How do they work?

APIs typically use a client-server model, where the client (such as a mobile app or web browser) sends a request to the server (which could be a web server or a local server), and the server sends back a response.

The request and response are typically formatted using HTTP, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The request includes information about the type of request (such as GET or POST), any parameters or data needed for the request, and the URL of the endpoint.

The response includes data in a structured format such as JSON or XML, as well as information about the status of the request (such as whether it was successful or not).

Common formats include JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which are both lightweight and widely used for transferring data over the internet.

Use Cases for APIs

APIs have various use cases that make them essential for modern software development. One such use case is integrating different systems or applications, allowing for seamless communication and data transfer between them. They can also automate repetitive tasks, saving time and resources for developers.

Another use case is enabling third-party developers to access data or functionality, providing them with the necessary tools to build their own applications. This is often seen in the context of open APIs, which are accessible to anyone.

They are also commonly used in building mobile or web applications. They provide a way for these applications to communicate with servers and access data in real time.

Lastly, APIs are used for providing real-time updates and notifications to users. For example, a weather API can provide real-time updates on the current weather conditions in a specific location.

 

Challenges associated with utilizing application programming interfaces

APIs have become an essential tool for businesses to connect and exchange data between various applications and services. However, with this convenience, come certain challenges that businesses need to be aware of:

  1. Security Concerns: They can provide unauthorized access to confidential data, which can be exploited by hackers. Therefore, security measures need to be in place to ensure that only authorized users can access it.
  2. Integration Issues: They can be complex to integrate into existing systems, particularly if the provider does not offer adequate support or documentation.
  3. Limited Control over Third-Party APIs: When using third-party APIs, businesses have limited control over the functionality and performance, which can cause issues if the provider decides to change their service or discontinue it.

Popular APIs

APIs are widely used across industries and here are some examples of popular APIs:

  1. Google Maps API: It is a widely used API for businesses in the transportation and logistics industry. It provides accurate location data, directions, and other location-based information to businesses.
  2. Twitter API: It allows businesses to integrate Twitter data into their applications and services. It provides access to real-time tweets, hashtags, and user data, which can be used for sentiment analysis and social media monitoring.
  3. Facebook API: It allows businesses to integrate Facebook data into their applications and services. It provides access to user data, pages, and insights, which can be used for social media marketing and analysis.

Explanation of documentation

API documentation is a comprehensive guide that provides developers with instructions and guidelines on how to use an API. It’s an essential part of the development and ensures that developers can effectively integrate the API into their applications.

This documentation typically includes details about the functionality, parameters, and endpoints. It may also include sample code, response examples, and error-handling guidelines. It can be written in different formats, such as HTML, PDF, and Markdown. The format used depends on the programming language and development platform.

Effective API documentation is crucial for developers to understand how to use it correctly. It should be clear, concise, and easy to navigate. The documentation should also include detailed examples and use cases to help developers better understand the functionality. Good documentation can also serve as a marketing tool, helping to attract potential users and customers. It can demonstrate the value proposition and show how it can solve specific problems.

All in all, the documentation should be updated regularly to reflect any changes or updates. This ensures that developers have access to the most up-to-date information and can use it effectively.

Wrapping up

APIs have become an essential tool for businesses to integrate various applications and services. However, they also come with their own set of challenges, including security concerns, integration issues, and limited control over third-party. To overcome these challenges, businesses must carefully select APIs and use documentation to ensure that they are integrated correctly.

Ruhma Khawaja author
Ruhma Khawaja
| April 6

As data-driven decision-making gains popularity, more tech graduates are learning data science to enter the job market. While Python and R are popular for analysis and machine learning, SQL and database management are often overlooked.

However, data is typically stored in databases and requires SQL or business intelligence tools for access. In this guide, we provide a comprehensive overview of various types of databases and their differences.

Through this guide, we give you a larger picture to get started with your database journey. So, if you are a beginner with no prior experience, this guide is a must-read for you 

What is a database? 

Databases are used to store and organize large amounts of data in a structured way. They are designed to manage and handle large volumes of information efficiently and effectively, making it easy to retrieve, update, and delete data as needed.

In simple terms, it is a collection of data that is organized in a specific way, making it easy to search, sort, and analyze. It is like a digital filing cabinet, where information is stored and accessed by different users, applications, or systems.

There are various types of databases, such as relational, NoSQL, and object-oriented, each with its own unique characteristics and applications. However, the core purpose of any database is to provide a centralized and secure location for storing and managing data, ensuring data consistency and accuracy, and making it accessible to authorized users or applications.

Understanding databases
Understanding databases

Types of databases

There are several types of databases that are used for different purposes. The main types of databases include:

1. Relational databases:

A relational database is the most common type of database used today. It stores data in tables that are related to each other through keys. Each table in a relational database has a unique primary key, which is used to link it to other tables. They use Structured Query Language (SQL) for managing and querying data. Some popular examples of relational databases are Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.

2. NoSQL databases

NoSQL databases are used for unstructured and semi-structured data. They do not use tables, rows, and columns like relational databases. Instead, they store data in a flexible format, such as key-value pairs, document-based, or graph-based. NoSQL are commonly used in big data and real-time applications. Some popular examples of NoSQL databases are MongoDB, Cassandra, and Couchbase.

3. Object-oriented databases

Object-oriented databases store data in objects, which are similar to the objects used in object-oriented programming languages like Java and C#. They allow for complex data relationships and provide a more natural way of storing data for object-oriented applications. They are commonly used in computer-aided design, web development, and artificial intelligence. Some popular examples of object-oriented databases are ObjectDB and db4o.

4. Hierarchical databases

Hierarchical databases organize data in a tree-like structure, with each record having one parent record and many child records. They are suitable for storing data with a fixed and predictable structure. These were popular in the past, but they have been largely replaced by other types of databases. IBM Information Management System (IMS) is a popular example of a hierarchical database.

5. Network databases

Network databases are similar to hierarchical databases, but they allow for more complex relationships between records. In a network database, each record can have multiple parent and child records. They are suitable for storing data with a complex structure that cannot be easily represented in a hierarchical database. They are not widely used today, but some examples include Integrated Data Stores (IDS) and CA-IDMS.

What is RDBMS?

RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. It is defined as a type of database management system that is based on the relational model. In an RDBMS, data is organized into tables and relationships between tables, allowing for easy retrieval and manipulation of the information. The most popular RDBMSs include MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and SQLite. 

  1. MySQLMySQL is an open-source RDBMS that is widely used for web-based applications. It is known for its high performance, reliability, and ease of use. MySQL is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  2. OracleOracle is a commercial RDBMS that is widely used in enterprise environments. It is known for its high performance, scalability, and security. Oracle is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Solaris. 
  3. PostgreSQLPostgreSQL is an open-source RDBMS known for its advanced features, such as support for complex data types, concurrency control, and full-text search. It is widely used in data warehousing, business intelligence, and scientific applications.
  4. SQL ServerSQL Server is a commercial RDBMS developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is known for its high performance, scalability, and security. SQL Server is compatible with Windows operating system only. 
  5. SQLiteSQLite is a small, lightweight RDBMS that is embedded into the application. It is known for its high performance, reliability, and ease of use. SQLite is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. 

Database design

Designing a database is a critical step in creating a functional and efficient database system. It involves creating a structure that will organize the data and enable efficient storage, retrieval, and manipulation. The following are the key components of design:

Designing a database

Designing a database involves identifying the data that needs to be stored and organizing it into tables that are related to each other. The tables should be designed in a way that minimizes redundancy and ensures data consistency.

Entity-relationship diagrams (ERD)

An entity-relationship diagram (ERD) is a visual representation of the its structure. It shows the tables, their relationships, and the attributes that are stored in each table. ERDs are essential as they provide a clear and concise view of the database structure.

Normalization

Normalization is the process of organizing data in a database to minimize redundancy and ensure data consistency. It involves breaking down large tables into smaller, more manageable tables that are related to each other. Normalization helps to eliminate data redundancy and ensures that each table contains only the data that is relevant to it.

There are several levels of normalization, with each level building upon the previous level. The most common levels of normalization are:

  1. First Normal Form (1NF)
  2. Second Normal Form (2NF)
  3. Third Normal Form (3NF)
  4. Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF)

Normalization is an important aspect of design as it helps to minimize data redundancy, ensure data consistency, and improve its performance.

What is SQL?

SQL is used to manage and manipulate databases. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned developer, understanding the basics of this programming language is essential for anyone working with data.  

Types of SQL commands 

First, let us talk about the several types of SQL commands. SQL commands are grouped into four main categories:  

1. Data definition language (DDL) – DDL commands are used to create and modify a database’s structure, such as creating tables, altering table structures, and deleting tables. Some examples of DDL commands include CREATE, ALTER, and DROP. 

2. Data manipulation language (DML) – DML commands are used to manipulate the data within a database. These commands include SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.  

3. Data control language (DCL) – DCL commands are used to manage access such as granting and revoking permissions. Examples of DCL commands include GRANT and REVOKE. 

4. Data query language (DQL) – Primarily, DQL commands are used to query the data. Most used commands include SELECT which are used to retrieve data from a table. 

Difference between SQL and NoSQL 

One of the main differences between SQL and NoSQL databases is how they store and retrieve data. SQL databases use tables and rows to store the data, while NoSQL databases use documents, collections, or key-value pairs. SQL databases are better suited for structured data, while NoSQL databases are better suited for unstructured data. 

Another difference between SQL and NoSQL databases is the way they handle scalability. As these databases are vertically scalable, SQL databases can handle more load by adding more resources to the same server. NoSQL databases are horizontally scalable and can handle the additional load by adding more servers. 

Interested in learning more about data science? We have you covered. Click on this link to learn more about free Data Science crash courses to help you succeed. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of various types and their differences, including relational, non-relational, object-oriented, hierarchical, and network databases. Designing a database is a critical step in creating a functional and efficient database system. By understanding the types and their unique features, you can choose the right database for your specific use case and design one that meets your data management needs.