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Setting up a Python environment

How to set up a Python environment and get started on your data analytics work.

To begin your programming journey with Python, let’s install Python on your device. As a data analytics professional, you will be leveraging Python exclusively for data analytics; we will guide through the installation of Python using Anaconda. Anaconda is a free, open-source distribution of the Python programming language for scientific computing and other data analytics applications. Anaconda has all of the Python data analytics packages and libraries pre-installed and does not require you to install them separately.

In our upcoming microcredential course, Data Analytics with Python, we will be covering how to install Python interpreter and set up paths extensively.

What is Anaconda?

With the installation of Anaconda, you get the following features:

  • Conda

Conda is an application that manages the installation of Python packages and dependencies.

  • Python

Python offers hundreds of packages and libraries needed for data analysis activities (NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Seaborn, etc.).

  • Jupyter Notebook

Jupyter Notebook is an integrated development environment (IDE) which offers an interactive Notebook set-up for programmers to document and organise their code.

Installing Anaconda

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Go to the Anaconda Individual Edition website page to access the information.
  • Go to: Anaconda Individual Edition. [1]
  • Step 2: Click the Download button to scroll down the page and choose the correct download of Anaconda Individual Edition for your computer.
  • Step 3: Click on the downloaded .pkg/.ex/.sh file (depending on the machine you use) and follow the installation wizard instructions to complete the process.
  • Step 4: Once you have downloaded Anaconda, you need to create a free Anaconda cloud account.

Create your account here at Anaconda Cloud. [2]

Exploring the Anaconda Navigator

Once Anaconda is installed, open the Anaconda Navigator to explore all the tools available.

  • Windows: From the Start menu, click the Anaconda Navigator desktop app.

Screenshot of Anaconda Navigator search in Windows

  • macOS: Open Launchpad, then click the Anaconda Navigator icon.

Screenshot of Anaconda Navigator search in mac

  • Linux: Open a terminal window and type ‘anaconda navigator’.

Next, let’s watch a video to get started with Jupyter Notebook.

References

  1. Anaconda Individual Edition [Internet]. Anaconda; [date unknown]. Available from: https://www.anaconda.com/products/individual
  2. Anaconda Cloud [Internet]. Anaconda; [date unknown]. Available from: https://www.anaconda.com/products/individual/get-started-commercial-edition
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Introduction to Data Analytics with Python

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