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How to use Jupyter notebooks in 2024

By Megan Lieu

Updated on December 5, 2023

An overview of how data scientists are using Jupyter notebooks online for real time collaboration in 2024.

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Jupyter notebooks have long been the default notebook tool for data scientists since it was created in 2011. Like any technology, Jupyter Notebooks have evolved to be the foundation of cloud based, cutting edge, collaborative data platforms. And more and more of the best data teams are turning to cloud-based Jupyter notebooks to modernize their data science workflows in 2024.

Collaboration with Jupyter Notebooks

Since Jupyter's creation, data scientists have noticed a need for online collaborative Jupyter Notebooks. Not just Jupyter Notebook collaboration, but Jupyter Notebooks with real time collaboration and collaborative editing. A truly collaborative Notebook is seen as crucial for building a data team. And it is one of the most important features in a data science collaborative platform.

Online Jupyter notebook platforms, such as JupyterHub, Deepnote and Google Colab, are increasingly becoming a cornerstone in the world of data science, offering a flexible and powerful platform for various analytical tasks. These platforms host these notebooks in the cloud, eliminating the need for local installation and allowing access from any device with an internet connection. This cloud-based storage ensures that work can be easily resumed from different locations or devices, a key advantage for data scientists who often collaborate across different geographies.

Collaboration features are a key differentiator between today’s online Jupyter notebooks and notebooks of the past. Platforms like Deepnote enable multiple users to work on the same notebook simultaneously, much like Google Docs, allowing real-time collaboration and easy sharing of notebooks via links. This feature is particularly useful for data science teams working on shared projects or in educational settings where group work and peer review are deeply embedded in all steps of the process of delivering data insights to stakeholders.

Setting up your team's Notebook environment to be more than just a SQL notebook

⁠In terms of technical capabilities, these platforms offer a range of language kernels, not just limited to Python, R, and Julia, but also many versions of each, allowing you to start your Jupyter notebook with specific Python versions and tailor your workspace to specific project requirements from the beginning of any project. This versatility is crucial in data science, where different versions of languages and libraries can impact the results and reproducibility of analysis. Additionally, these notebooks often integrate with cloud storage solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, or GitHub, simplifying the process of saving and retrieving notebooks, an essential feature for managing large datasets or complex projects.

Another standout feature of online Jupyter notebooks for data science is the pre-installation of popular data science libraries. This is another feature that allows data scientists to start coding immediately without worrying about setting up their environment, significantly reducing the time to get started with their data analysis or machine learning model development projects. Moreover, these platforms provide access to high-performance computing resources, including GPUs and TPUs, crucial for resource-intensive tasks like training complex machine learning models or handling large datasets.

Creating a perfect SQL Notebook or Python Notebook requires more than just connections to your data source, and configuring your python enviroment, to be perfect, it needs SQL autocomplete, Python autocomplete, Deepnote's AI offers both SQL and Python AI to browse your schemas and explore your data with all the power of AI.

Cloud Notebook Integrations

The support for interactive widgets and extensions also enhances the interactivity and functionality of notebooks, making them ideal for interactive data analysis and visualization tasks. Data scientists can benefit from these features for creating more engaging and informative data stories, a key aspect of data storytelling and communication.

Sharing and exporting Jupyter Notebooks

Export and publishing options also add to the appeal of these platforms. Beyond converting notebooks to Python files, many platforms allow publishing notebooks as dashboards, webpages and apps, facilitating the dissemination of findings and insights. Another capability that is particularly valuable to data scientists is the ability to convert Jupyter notebooks to Python files and vice versa—running Python files in a Jupyter notebook—which comes in handy in the process of migrating existing analyses and scripts to these modern, cloud-based platforms. These exporting features enable data scientists to share their results with non-technical audiences or stakeholders who may not be as familiar or concerned about the technical details of an analysis within the notebook.

Version control in Jupyter Notebooks

Version control integration, another critical aspect, is often streamlined in online platforms. This integration makes it easier to manage versions of notebooks and collaborate with others, a necessary practice in data science projects where tracking changes and collaborative development are common.

Security in Jupyter Notebooks

Security is an important consideration, especially when dealing with sensitive data. Using trusted platforms and being cautious with code from external sources is crucial in maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of data. Many platforms, like Deepnote, allow you to collaborate securely through role-based access controls. This gives team members the ability to jump into the same cloud-based notebook without the need to hunt down credentials, request access permissions, or worst off all, sharing passwords out in the open.

Connecting your data source with Juptyer Notebooks

Today's Jupyter notebooks also offer seamless connectivity to various databases and APIs, allowing data scientists to work with a wide range of data sources directly from the notebook. This includes the ability to run existing Python scripts in Jupyter notebooks, allowing you to integrate previous work into a more modern platform.

How to use your Jupyter Notebooks

Lastly, the availability of tutorials and learning resources on these platforms makes them accessible to beginners and provides avenues for experienced users to explore advanced features. This aspect is particularly beneficial in the ever-evolving field of data science, where continuous learning and skill development are key.

In summary, using Jupyter notebooks online offers a comprehensive, collaborative, and highly efficient environment for data scientists in 2024. It leverages the power of cloud computing and collaborative features, making it an ideal choice for projects and research in modern data science.

Bring your Jupyter notebook online with Deepnote

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Megan Lieu

Data Advocate @ Deepnote

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