McCourt School of Public Policy

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About the course

Unstructured data are increasingly available from websites, social media, and other applications. This course introduces the basic programming skills used to collect data from the web, transform them into the desired format, and prepare simple visualizations and analyses. The first day of the course will introduce the core elements of Python, a widely used, general purpose programming language. Attendees will write Python scripts, learn to scrape websites, and use application programming interfaces (APIs). The second day of the course will provide hands-on instruction in using Python to visualize and analyze data. No programming experience is required.

A computer is required for programming in Python 3 throughout the course. Attendees are strongly encouraged to utilize the Anaconda platform, which bundles Python 3 with a set of tools and commonly used libraries.

Course Goals

By the end of the class, students will be able to:

Understand the use cases for Python in analyzing unstructured data;

Explain the core elements of Python; and

Demonstrate facility with using Python for data analysis and data visualization.

Who should attend

This course is for those who wish to gain an understanding of how to use Python to perform data analysis and data visualization with unstructured data. No prior programming experience is required.

Trust the experts

NaLette Brodnax

NaLette M. Brodnax is an Assistant Professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. She received a joint Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the School of Public an...


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