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Welcome to chart-it, an experiment in data analytics and visualization. My name is Mike Azar. I moved to Washington, DC in 2008 from Los Angeles to attend grad school at SAIS. I fell in love with the District and have been living here ever since.
During the day, I work for a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in energy and infrastructure projects around the world. My job was my first real exposure to data (Excel consumes my days) and all of the interesting questions that can be answered using data analytics.
When I started chart-it, I mainly was using Tableau to create interesting interactive dashboards. Excel and Tableau are great tools, but they are not adequate for working with very large data sets. That's when I began my foray into computer programming, hoping eventually to use Python and its many data analysis libraries to start exploring some of the interesting data sets out there.
I spent several months learning Python, the language structure, the syntax, and how to think like a computer scientist. It was a challenging goal considering my social sciences background. I had a lot of help along the way from very talented and generous programmers. In their honor, I will endeavor to share the source code for all of my analysis for transparency, feedback, and to help out those just getting started in data analysis with Python.
I hope you enjoy reading chart-it. Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome.