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The Data Team @ The Data Lab

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 . . .

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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 . . .

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December 06, 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 . . .

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Posted in: richard carter

November 17, 2017

Snakes and Ladders (Part 3 of 3)

Analysing the classic children's game

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To recap the analysis from our previous article, we have now shown that the advantage to Player 1 in snakes and ladders is minimal (amounting to less than 6 extra wins out of every 1,000 games). In this post we look at visualising some results, focussing in particular on the distribution of game lengths and the frequency with which . . .

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November 07, 2017

Snakes and Ladders (Part 2 of 3)

Analysing the classic children's game

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In the previous post in this series we set out the basic Python code required to simulate a single game of snakes and ladders. In order to analyse the game in more detail we will be required to simulate multiple random games so that we can look at certain properties, such as expected game lengths, the occupancy of squares, and the . . .

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October 31, 2017

Snakes and Ladders (Part 1 of 3)

Analysing the classic children's game

In this short series of three blog posts we show how easy it can be to take an everyday activity and analyse it using Python, gaining insights that might illuminate or in some cases even surprise...

Anyone who has ever played games against young children knows that they absolutely must go first, and my daughter Eva is no exception. . . .

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October 24, 2017

Winning Pub Quizzes with pandas

I was in my local pub quiz recently when as usual we were faced with the anagram speed round. The quiz-master Dr Paul reads out a collection of words with a clue to a mystery person's identity, and the first team to correctly shout out the answer wins a spot prize. It's often a box of Tunnock's Teacakes - so well worth the effort! . . .

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Posted in: richard carter

October 05, 2017

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