## Data Science Process

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**Why is it called Data Science?**

So, what exactly does it mean to *do* data science?

Professionals who do data science are driven by a desire to ask questions. Questions like, how many customers prefer website A to website B? Are wildfires in California getting bigger? Is Fenty Makeup more inclusive than other foundations?

To answer these questions, data scientists use a process of experimentation and exploration to find answers. Sound familiar? Like other scientific fields, data science follows the *scientific method*. But the data science process also includes steps particular to working with large, digital datasets.

The process generally goes as follows:

Ask a question

Determine the necessary data

Get the data

Clean and organize the data

Explore the data

Model the data

Communicate your findings

In this lesson, weâre going to dig into the data science process. While we present these steps as a linear process, itâs important to keep in mind that youâll often repeat steps or do things out of order. Consider this to be a set of guidelines to get you started.

## Step 1-Determine the Necessary Data

After you have a question, you have to make an educated guess about what you think the answer might be. This educated guess is known as a *hypothesis* and helps to determine the data you need to collect.

Itâs important to remember that the data you decide to collect canât just be the data that you think is going to answer your question. We canât carefully select for what we *know* will prove the hypothesis is correct â actually, the data needs to *disprove* the hypothesis.

### What do we mean by that?

In science, itâs actually impossible to *prove* that something is true. Rather, we try and show that weâre *really, really* confident that itâs not false. Thatâs because the only way we can say weâre 100% positive our hypothesis is correct is to collect all the data for an entire population â and thatâs pretty much impossible!

So, how do we determine what data is necessary to collect?

First, we need to determine **what** data could disprove our hypothesis. For example, if our hypothesis is that Sriracha is the most popular hot sauce in the entire world, we canât just survey a group of 100 people and ask if they prefer Sriracha over Frankâs Red Hot. We would need to look at how Sriracha consumption compares to the consumption of multiple other brands of hot sauce.

Next, we need to figure out **how much** data to collect. While itâs preferable to get information for an entire population, that process is often difficult or impractical. So instead, we collect a *sample* set of data, a smaller amount of data that are representative of the entire population.

How do we ensure that our sample is representative? We figure out the necessary number of samples that have similar descriptive statistics to the entire population. For example, say that we want to know the length of oysters in Long Island. Our hypothesis is that theyâre about three inches. If we collect five oyster shells, they may only measure, on average, two inches. However, if we collect 145 more, weâll find that the average is closer to three inches.

Rule of thumb: the larger the sample size and the more diverse your dataset is, the more confident youâll be in your results. We donât want to go through the trouble of designing and running an experiment only to discover that we donât have enough information to make a good decision!

## Step 2-Getting Data

Once youâve determined which data you need, itâs time to collect it!

Data collection can be as simple as locating a file or as complicated as designing and running an experiment.

Here are a couple of different ways to get data:

**Active data collection**â youâre setting up specific conditions in which to get data. Youâre on the hunt. Examples include running experiments and surveys.**Passive data collection**â youâre looking for data that already exists. Youâre foraging for data. Examples include locating datasets and web scraping.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when we collect data. An important one is the size of our dataset. Remember that we usually canât get data from an entire population, so we need to have an appropriate sample that is representative of the larger population. If youâre ever unsure about the size of your dataset, use a sample size calculator.

Another thing to keep in mind is that errors and bias can occur in data collection. For example, early facial recognition software was trained on datasets that disproportionately contained portraits of white males. Other developers continued to use these datasets and for many years, facial recognition software was not adequate at recognizing other faces. Again, having a larger sample size is one way to mitigate errors and bias.

## Step 3-Cleaning Data

As soon as you get your data, youâll be excited to get started. But wait just one moment â we might be ready to go, but how can we be sure that our data is?

Data is typically organized in columns and rows as youâd see in a spreadsheet. But raw data can actually come in a variety of file types and formats. This is especially true if youâre getting your data from elsewhere, like public datasets.

We as humans may be able to understand the organizing logic of a dataset, but computers are very literal. A missing value or unlabeled column can completely throw them off their game. Even worse â your program could still run, but your outcomes would be incorrect. Ouch!

An important part of the data science process is to clean and organize our datasets, sometimes referred to as *data wrangling*. Processing a dataset could mean a few different things. For example, it may mean getting rid of invalid data or correctly labeling columns.

The Python library Pandas is a great tool for importing and organizing datasets. You can use Pandas to convert a spreadsheet document, like a CSV, into easily readable tables and charts known as *DataFrames*. We can also use libraries like Pandas to *transform* our datasets by adding columns and rows to an existing table, or by merging multiple tables together!

## Step 4-Explore the Data

Now that our data is organized, we can begin looking for insights. But just because our data is all cleaned up, we still canât learn a lot by staring at tables. In order to truly explore our data, weâll need to go a few steps further.

Exploring a dataset is a key step because it will help us quickly understand the data weâre working with and allow us to determine if we need to make any changes before moving forward. Changes could include some additional dataset cleaning, collecting more data, or even modifying the initial question weâre trying to answer. Remember: data science is not necessarily a linear process.

There are two strategies for exploring our data:

Statistical calculations

Data visualizations

### STATISTICAL CALCULATIONS

When we first get a dataset, we can use descriptive statistics to get a sense of what it contains. Descriptive statistics summarize a given dataset using statistical calculations, such as the average (also known as mean), median, and standard deviation. We can immediately learn what are common values in our dataset and how to spread out the dataset is (are most of the values the same, or are they wildly different?).

We can use a Python module known as NumPy to calculate descriptive statistics values. NumPy (short for Numerical Python) supplies short commands to easily perform statistical calculations, like np.mean(), which calculates the mean of a dataset.

### DATA VISUALIZATIONS

Another way we can quickly get a sense of our data is by visualizing it. The practice of data visualization enables us to see patterns, relationships, and outliers, and how they relate to the entire dataset. Visualizations are particularly useful when working with large amounts of data.

Python data visualization libraries like Matplotlib and Seaborn can display distributions and statistical summaries for easy comparison. The JavaScript library D3 enables the creation of interactive data visualizations, which are useful for modeling different scenarios.

## Step 5 -Modeling and Analysis

Data in hand, we can begin to dig in and analyze what we have. To analyze our data, weâll want to create a *model*. Models are abstractions of reality, informed by real data, that allow us to understand situations and make guesses about how things might change given different variables.

A model gives us the relationship between two or more variables. For example, you could build a model that relates the number of grade school children in a neighborhood with sales of toys, or a model that connects the number of trucks that travel certain roads with the amount of a cityâs budget assigned to road maintenance.

Models allow us to analyze our data because once we begin to understand the relationships between different variables, we can make inferences about certain circumstances. Why is it that the sales of toys increases as the number of grade school children grows? Well, maybe itâs because parents are buying their children more toys.

Models are also useful for informing decisions, since they can be used to predict unknowns. Once we understand a relationship between variables, we can introduce unknown variables and calculate different possibilities. If the number of children in the neighborhood increases, what do we predict will happen to the sales of toys?

As we collect more data, our model can change, allowing us to draw new insights and get a better idea of what might happen in different circumstances. Our models can tell us whether or not an observed variance is within reason, is due to an error, or possibly carries significance. How would our understanding of our model change if in 2016 we discovered that the number of toys *did not* increase, but instead, decreased? Weâd want to look for an explanation as to why this year did not fit the trend.

Models can be expressed as mathematical equations, such as the equation for a line. You can use data visualization libraries like Matplotlib and Seaborn to visualize relationships. If you pursue machine learning, you can use the Python package scikit-learn to build predictive models, such as linear regressions.

## Step 6-Communicating Findings

After youâve done your analyses, built your models, and gotten some results, itâs time to communicate your findings.

Two important parts of communicating data are *visualizing* and *storytelling*.

### VISUALIZING

As we saw earlier, visualizations are helpful for exploring and understanding our data; however, they are also very useful for communicating results. So, can you just reuse the ones you already have? Not necessarily. The answer depends on your audience. If youâre giving a presentation at a conference for data scientists who also work at dating companies, then sure, theyâll probably be able to interpret your graphs. But if youâre writing an article for Medium, youâll probably want to simplify your visualizations and style them so theyâre easy to read and highly engaging.

### STORYTELLING

Itâs also important to remember that visualizations canât always stand on their own â they need to tell a story. Storytelling is an important part of data science because it gives meaning to the data. In fact, data storytelling is an important practice in its own right. Contextualizing your findings and giving them a narrative draws people into your work and enables you to convince them as to why these results are important and why they should make a certain decision.

To do practice of the above steps follow the link below:

GitHub: medium-code/data science process at main Âˇ qasim1020/medium-code (github.com)

Reference: https://www.codecademy.com/

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