1 Introduction

Welcome to “Data Science Project Essentials,” your comprehensive guide to setting up and managing data science projects efficiently! The book doesn’t follow the traditional narrative format. Instead, it serves as a practical manual, a reliable companion you can reference anytime when carrying out your data science projects.

The journey begins by setting up a virtual environment, a crucial but often overlooked step that isolates your project and its dependencies, ensuring consistency and reducing conflicts. As we navigate through this process, we will also introduce the concept of Git, a potent version control system, which helps you manage your project versions effectively.

Next, we unravel the elegance of Unix, its powerful commands, and how they can aid in managing your project files. Understanding Unix is fundamental to establishing a smooth workflow in data science, as it allows you to automate tasks and handle large datasets efficiently.

We then turn our attention to the heart of any programming project: writing functions. With a focus on creating modular and reusable code, we delve into the importance of well-structured functions in simplifying your codebase, improving readability, and facilitating maintenance.

Building on this foundation, we explore the concept of object-oriented programming (OOP), a design paradigm that helps organize your code logically and intuitively. Using OOP concepts, you will learn how to encapsulate related functions and data into objects, making your code more efficient, easier to test, and more scalable.

Finally, to translate these principles into practice, we walk through a real-world application: a medical data use case. This practical example will give you a sense of how these tools and principles come together to handle complex, real-world data and derive meaningful insights.

“Data Science Project Essentials” aims to offer a solid understanding of the building blocks needed for efficient project management in data science. It’s not merely about theory, but focuses on equipping you with the practical skills necessary to handle data science projects effectively. So, let’s dive in and start building a robust data science project workflow.


  • Command line scripting
  • Version control
  • Modular programming
  • Object-oriented programming


  • Git
  • Python
  • UNIX

1.1 Practical Application

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Dataset

This guide, being a practical project-based resource, uses the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) dataset from the UCI Machine Learning Repository as a consistent example throughout. The overarching goal is to enable practitioners to develop high-quality, efficient, and collaborative software projects.

The Chronic Kidney Disease dataset is a public dataset available from the UCI Machine Learning Repository at https://archive.ics.uci.edu/ml/datasets/Chronic_Kidney_Disease. It contains data from 400 patients who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, along with various demographic, medical, and laboratory test results.

The dataset includes 24 attributes, including age, blood pressure, serum creatinine levels, and urine protein levels, among others. The target attribute is whether or not the patient has chronic kidney disease, represented as a binary class label (ckd, notckd).

It is intended for use in the development and evaluation of machine learning models for the prediction of chronic kidney disease. It has been cited in numerous research papers and has become a standard benchmark dataset in the field.

Data Dictionary - provided here