The following are some of the important skills to possess which will come handy when performing data analysis using Python.
- Good understanding of the built-in data types especially lists, dictionaries, tuples and sets.
- Mastery of N-dimensional NumPy arrays.
- Mastery of pandas dataframes.
- Ability to perform element-wise vector and matrix operations on NumPy arrays. This requires the biggest shift in mindset for someone coming from a traditional software development background who’s used to for loops.
- Knowing that you should use the Anaconda distribution and the conda package manager.
- Familiarity with scikit-learn.
- Ability to write efficient list comprehensions instead of traditional for loops.
- Ability to write small, clean functions (important for any developer), preferably pure functions that don’t alter objects.
- Knowing how to profile the performance of a Python script and how to optimize bottlenecks.