High Performance Data Analytics in Python

Scientists, engineers and professionals from many sectors are seeing an enormous growth in the size and number of datasets relevant to their domains. Professional titles have emerged to describe specialists working with data, such as data scientists and data engineers, but also other experts are finding it necessary to learn tools and techniques to work with big data. Typical tasks include preprocessing, analysing, modeling and visualising data.

Python is an industry-standard programming language for working with data on all levels of the data analytics pipeline. This is in large part because of the rich ecosystem of libraries ranging from generic numerical libraries to special-purpose and/or domain-specific packages, often supported by large developer communities and stable funding sources.

This lesson is meant to give an overview of working with research data in Python using general libraries for storing, processing, analysing and sharing data. The focus is on high performance. After covering tools for performant processing on single workstations the focus shifts to profiling and optimising, parallel and distributed computing.


  • Basic experience with Python

  • Basic experience in working in a Linux-like terminal

  • Some prior experience in working with large or small datasets

15 min


60 min

Scientific data

90 min

Efficient array computing

90 min

Parallel computing

90 min

Profiling and optimizing

90 min

Performance boosting

90 min

Dask for scalable analytics

Who is the course for?

This material is for all researchers and engineers who work with large or small datasets and who want to learn powerful tools and best practices for writing more performant, parallelised, robust and reproducible data analysis pipelines.

About the course

This lesson material is developed by the EuroCC National Competence Center Sweden (ENCCS) and taught in ENCCS workshops. Each lesson episode has clearly defined objectives that will be addressed and includes multiple exercises along with solutions, and is therefore also useful for self-learning. The lesson material is licensed under CC-BY-4.0 and can be reused in any form (with appropriate credit) in other courses and workshops. Instructors who wish to teach this lesson can refer to the Instructor’s guide for practical advice.

See also

Each lesson episode has a “See also” section at the end which lists recommended further learning material.


The lesson file structure and browsing layout is inspired by and derived from work by CodeRefinery licensed under the MIT license. We have copied and adapted most of their license text.

Several examples and formulations are inspired by other open source educational material, in particular:

Instructional Material

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