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Performing Python Data Science on Azure

The web app offers support for Python, Julia and Ruby.

Figure 2: Jupyter is an open source web based tool for interactive Data Science and Machine Learning

Each Jupyter Notebook consists of a back-end kernel known as IPython. Additional packages can also be installed through the Jupyter front-end interface with the use of magic commands. However, over time I realized that IDEs save a lot of time and its more about efficiency rather than practice. Compile and run

When I started performing Data Science and Machine Learning, this process proved too cumbersome. Azure Notebooks are Jupyter Notebooks that are hosted on the Cloud using Azure virtual machines.

Azure Notebook
Figure 4: Azure Notebooks are Jupyter Notebooks that are hosted on Azure

Access and use of Azure Notebooks is completely free and you need not possess an Azure account to access these resources. As such, a custom kernel can be created based on one’s requirements.

During the initial stages of my foray into Data Science, I realized that I needed separate environments for different tasks. I could set up TensorFlow and all its dependencies in one kernel and data visualization in another.

Figure 3: IPython forms the backbone of a Python Notebook

One of the biggest drawbacks of using Jupyter Notebooks for Python development or Data Science is that it is quite resource intensive. However, this drawback can be overcome with the help of Azure Notebooks. Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web app for interactive coding. Apart from the cost benefit, Azure Notebooks come pre-installed with a variety of different packages that aid in Data Science. Microsoft has also loaded Azure Notebooks with a plethora of study and practice material in form of notebooks that enables users to approach Data Science and programming in an interactive manner. I have always been a proponent of text editors over IDEs. The availability of multiple kernels was a boon. I found myself constantly going through the sample notebooks to find new and interesting ways to use Jupyter and Azure.

Jupyter Notebooks can also be imported from fellow Azure Notebook users or from GitHub ensuring that one has the fastest possible method to pull resources. The kernel analyses and runs your code. Let us know in the comments section.

To know about our service offerings, kindly visit (for training services) and (for consulting services). Although this system has proved to be reliable, modern applications of programming possess alternate requirements. The Azure Notebooks service is deployed when one attempts to visualize data or make Python code specific changes in Azure Machine Learning Studio. This enables Data Scientists to work dynamically with data and numbers. One such tool for Python is Jupyter. For example, when I needed to visualize a dataset in Python, I would have to save the graph locally on my system, close the program and view the graph. The packages that comes installed include the entire Anaconda stack as well as numerous Microsoft specific modules such as CNTK and Azure ARM.

Azure Notebook
Figure 5: Azure notebooks come with a wide range of packages pre-installed

Another major benefit of using Azure Notebooks is that the tool does not exclusively feature Python. Open the terminal
2. Veterans in the interactive Data Science sphere will feel right at home on Azure Notebooks.

What do you use for Data Science? We would love to hear about the new technologies or tools that you use. It also has support for R and F#. This is partly since I originally started coding with text editors and text editors ensured that I did not constantly look for auto-correct to help me. In the past, programming has followed a general cycle involving write, compile, check and execute. Soon, I realized that this did not align with my philosophy of efficiency.

Figure 1: Conventional programming techniques employed text editors such as Notepad++ or IDEs such as PyCharm

When it comes to Data Science, real-time interaction with the data is paramount. With Jupyter, multiple kernels are supported. The terminal for the machine hosting the Jupyter Notebook can also be accessed.

Azure Notebook Library
Figure 6: “Libraries” can be easily shared via GitHub or within Azure Notebooks

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