Basic data analysis

Situation: 

You have a bunch o’ data. You’re asked to write a program to summarize or transform the data in some way.

Actions: 

Use the pattern:

Extract
Process
Output

This is a variant of the input-process-output pattern.

Explanation: 

Keep the three chunks separate for

  • Easy writing, debugging, and testing. Easy is Good.
  • Flexibility. For example, you can change the data that’s extracted, without touching processing or output.

Extract

From the original data set, extract some of the data for analysis. For example:

  • Data with no errors.
  • Data on students with a GPA of 2.2 or below.
  • Stocks that have fallen by more than 10% in the past year.

Extract the data to an array, a worksheet, or a file.

Process

Often you’ll need to use loops and the accumulator pattern.

Output

Output to a worksheet, Web page, whatevs.