Optimal use of Jupyter Notebooks

Another advantage of Artiste over many of our competitors is that, unlike them, we use Jupyter notebooks in addition to open source software.

Many of our competitors will provide you with the binaries for a GUI-rich app (GUI=Graphical User Interface) that runs on your PC. This is the old, traditional model of distributing software. To be fair, there is much good to be said about GUI-rich apps. GUI’s excel at reducing the possibility of user errors, increasing the ease of use, and reducing the amount of understanding of the code that is demanded from the user in order for him or her to use the code correctly.

We think Jupyter notebooks (nbs) are much better than GUI apps. nbs allow the user to save every step of a calculation, including numerical results and graphs, and to share it with others, something that GUI apps don’t normally do. With “widgets”, nbs can also have a GUI.

Notebooks are not a panacea. They can look impenetrable sometimes. The trick to good nb writing is to put as much code as possible, especially the internal code for complicated functions, outside of the nb, and to just call, not define, those complicated functions in the nb.

In our opinion, nbs are the best way ever invented for documenting your work in Data Science. Documenting your work is very valuable to a business. This is especially true if you have to go through several iterations of your algorithm to get it to work, as almost always is the case. Or if you or someone else has to remember what you did a month ago.

Another advantage of nbs over GUI apps is that nbs are available for most computer languages (Python, R, Octave/Matlab, etc.) so no programmer or software package is left out due to language barriers.