The Data Team @ The Data Lab

Introducing ‘Alteryx’ as a platform for Data Science

Alteryx: the Data Scientist’s multi-tool?

What is Alteryx, and why should I care?

This guest blog entry was inspired by Richard’s recent post in which he observed that “it is always important to keep an eye on the tools we use as data scientists and forever be on the lookout for new and better ways of doing things.” Just as Python is a superb ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for working with data, . . .

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Posted in: john tullis

March 15, 2018

Keeping up to date with technical advances

Python versus Tableau for data visualisations

Python is great, but...

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Since taking up Python several years ago I've often thought of it as the Swiss Army Knife of programming languages. After successfully using it for webscraping, software development, number-crunching and data visualisation one achieves a certain level of comfort in knowing that, if you need to do it in code, you . . .

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Posted in: richard carter

February 28, 2018

Review of the Data Visualisation Workshop with Andy Kirk.

The art of data storytelling

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Last month The Data Lab was very pleased to partner with data visualisation guru Andy Kirk on a one-day workshop at the G&V Royal Mile Hotel in Edinburgh, as part of our mission to bring leading data experts to the Scottish community. My colleague Caterina Constantinescu and I were in attendance, along with around forty others from local . . .

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Posted in: richard carter

December 06, 2017

Running R remotely

Some options and tips

Why would you need to do this? Say, for instance, you are dealing with sensitive data that should not leave a specific system, or quite simply that you are away on a work retreat - but your laptop is far less powerful than your work desktop computer which you left behind - so you want to keep using it from a distance. For such reasons, . . .

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November 24, 2017

Excel-like functionality with Python pandas

The Data Lab takes the Pepsi Challenge!

Happy Birthday Excel!

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I would posit that the world's most used data science software is the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel. Released for Windows in November 1987, this month marks its 30th anniversary. In that time I'd imagine it has been employed by all manner of people across near all industries: from the fund manager tracking his . . .

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Posted in: richard carter

November 17, 2017

A Simple Search Application for the Edinburgh Fringe

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In 2017, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was host to 3,398 shows selling over 2.5 million tickets, numbers that are increasing year on year. With this abundance of shows it can be difficult to find something that one wants to see. I describe here how I used data to create an application that will find shows similar to shows an . . .

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Posted in: rachel kilburn

November 15, 2017

Analysis of Gaelic Station Names

An exploration of inter-language similarity measures for place-names and the design of rural scores.


Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking and a policy change in 2010 means Gaelic names appear alongside English names on almost all station signs across Scotland's railway. I live in Glasgow and often travel out into the highlands and over time I hypothesised:

H1: The Gaelic and English names of a station become more . . .

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Posted in: matthew higgs

November 13, 2017