Author Archives: martinzofka

Optimizing Python code performance with cProfile

There are many situations where we find that our code runs too slow and we don’t know the apparent reason. For such situations it comes very handy to use the python cProfile module. The module enables us to see the time individual steps in our code take, as well as the number of times certain functions are being called. In the following paragraphs, I will explore it’s capabilities a bit more.

However first let’s remember the quote by Donald Knuth: “premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming”. So make sure that you don’t start optimizing before you even have a working code! In many cases you will not be able to determine the bottlenecks beforehand and might spend a lot of extra effort in the wrong places.

Profiling with cProfile

The easiest way of using the cProfile module from within a Python script can look as follows

import cProfile

pr = cProfile.Profile()
pr.enable()

call_function()

pr.disable()

pr.print_stats(sort='time')

In the code we create a Profile object and enable it, then execute the code that is of interest to us, disable the profiling and view the results.

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Advanced analytics with Python and Tableau 10.1 integration

After introducing R capabilities in Tableau 8.1, the new Tableau 10.1 now comes also with support for Python. This is a great news especially for data scientists, who use the reports to visualize results of some more sophisticated analytical processes. Such reports can now bring the analytics much closer to the end users, while preserving the given level of user-friendliness.

tableau_python

In this post I am using a simple modelling example to describe how exactly the integration of Tableau and Python works.

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Essentials of working with Python cloud (Ubuntu)

In most of the data science applications, it comes very handy to be able to run code on the cloud. Be it a simple demonstration of a functionality that we want to make accessible for a potential client or an end-to-end implementation of let’s say a predictive model, the accessibility of cloud-based solutions is a definitive asset. However, running code on the cloud does have its pitfalls, which can discourage many from taking advantage of it.

This is why I have decided to share our experience with working on the cloud. In this post, I will specifically give a summary of functionalities that can help to run a python script on the Ubuntu cloud.python_on_cloud

Running a python script on the cloud, can become much more bothersome than the development on our local computer, especially if we are using a standard SSH connection. Fortunately, to make our lives easier, there are a couple of functionalities that we can use.

1. argparse (python) – to run the script with various input arguments
2. tmux (unix) – to run sessions without the need to have a permanent SSH connection
3. cron (unix) – to run the scripts with a predefined frequency
4. SimpleHTTPs (python) – lightweight webserver for providing access to files to users that don’t have access to our cloud

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Data Scientists toolbox: Securing MySQL connection

Once we have setMySQL_Cloud up our cloud, the next logical step is to create some form of data storage. One possible choice is a MySQL database. 

In this article, we will have a look at two ways how to secure your MySQL instance in the cloud, while allowing access from the outside. As a result you will be enable to access the database in the cloud using the standard tool MySQL Workbench.

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Data Scientists toolbox: Cloud set-up using Ansible

Given the size of data and complexity of processing, many Data Science projects require scalability that can be provided by cloud environments. Clouds combine high performance and cost-efficiency and are therefore very much sought after. 

The set-up of cloud environment can be quite tedious – fortunately, the needed infrastructure installations are often similar across projects and therefore tools that enable automated infrastructure installations can be used to minimize the manual workload.  The following blog post covers setting up a cloud environment using Ansible, which is one such program.

We will talk about UNIX based system as:

  • most people already have a working knowledge of Windows based systems, but are much less knowledgeable in terms of UNIX
  • most UNIX based systems are open-source under free licenses, so they are cheaper to run in general
  • some handy products (e.g. RStudio server) are only UNIX based so a situation where basic knowledge is necessary can arise

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Data Scientists toolbox – Intro

The following series of blog posts will cover some essentials in terms of tools used by data scientists. The individual posts should serve as a guide to setting up a proper environment for all types of data science tasks. The tools will therefore be described from a technical perspective without paying attention to individual libraries or algorithms.

Toolbox

The posts will cover tools, that are either not that common or their set-up is a little bit tricky. The aim is to provide information about interesting new tools that help to broaden analytical skills of anyone, who deals with data analysis.

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