Frequently Asked Questions

  • What was the motivation for developing Datapad?

    Datapad was created to build succinct, and concise exploratory data analysis pipelines.

  • In what scenarios or when should I use Datapad?

    Datapad is most often used in data science workflows to load, clean, manipulate, and explore data before training models.

  • What other related projects are there?

    Datapad is influenced heavily by the following projects. For the most part, many concepts from Python’s itertools library have been repackaged into Datapad as fluent interfaces.

  • How does this project compare to Spark?

    Spark is a fantastic library, and many of the concepts in Datapad such as lazy evaluation are similar to Spark’s design. However, because Spark is written for a JVM based system, using Spark for simple, local data processing can be overkill.

    Datapad is written in pure python and can be used with minimal dependencies.

  • How does this project compare to Pandas?

    The Pandas library is a popular framework for adhoc data processing. Many of the concepts in the Pandas framework revovle around the “Dataframe” object which is well suited for indexed tabular data.

    In contrast Datapad focuses on Sequences or streams of data which may or may not fit into the tabular data paradigm. While subtle, this fact enables us to design an powerful & composable API that focuses more on the simple primitives of mapping functions over potentially infinite streams data.

    In our opinion, this central design pattern requires less mental overhead for interacting with your data (although it can be slower in some instances).

  • How does this project compare to

    There’s no shame in saying that tensorflow datasets was very influential in building this library. The main difference is that functions are executed within a graph runtime and is heavily tied to tensorflow infrastructure.

    Furthermore, because of the graph & tensor abstractions that tensorflow requires, is less convenient to use for a variety of data sequences with more dynamic types.

    Datapad is a standalone library for data processing, while in comparison Tensorflow Dataset is heavily integrated with the tensorflow ecosystem and less suitable for use in standalone projects.