Finding your first dataset(s) to investigate might be the most important step toward acheiving your goal of answering your questions. As we mentioned in Chapter 1, you should first spend some time refining your question until you have one specific enough to identify good data about but broad enough to be interesting to you and others.
Alternatively, you might have a dataset you already find interesting, but no compelling question. If you don’t already know and trust the data source, you should spend some time investigating. Ask yourself: is the data valid? Is it updated? Can I rely on future or current updates and publications?
In this chapter, we will review where you can save and store data for later use. If databases are new to you, we will review when and how to use them and demonstrate how to set up a simple database to store your data. For those of you who are already familiar with databases or if your source is a database, we will cover some basic database connection structures in Python.
Don’t worry if you haven’t yet decided on a dataset; we will use several examples you can access in this book’s repository.
We strongly encourage you to come up with some applicable questions to use throughout this book so you can better learn by doing. These could be questions you’ve been meaning to research or questions related to the data explored in the book. Even if the questions you pick are simple, it’s best to learn by writing some of ...