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Easy management of source data, intermediate data, and results for data science projects

Project description

Data Workspaces is an open source framework for maintaining the state of a data science project, including data sets, intermediate data, results, and code. It supports reproducability through snapshotting and lineage models and collaboration through a push/pull model inspired by source control systems like Git.

Data Workspaces is installed as a Python 3 package and provides a Git-like command line interface and programming APIs. Specific data science tools and workflows are supported through extensions called kits. The goal is to provide the reproducibility and collaboration benefits with minimal changes to your current projects and processes.

Data Workspaces runs on Unix-like systems, including Linux, MacOS, and on Windows via the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Quick Start

Here is a quick example to give you a flavor of the project, using scikit-learn and the famous digits dataset running in a Jupyter Notebook.

First, install the libary:

pip install dataworkspaces

Now, we will create a workspace:

mkdir quickstart
cd ./quickstart
dws init --create-resources code,results

This created our workspace (which is a git repository under the covers) and initialized it with two subdirectories, one for the source code, and one for the results. These are special subdirectories, in that they are resources which can be tracked and versioned independently.

Now, we are going to add our source data to the workspace. This resides in an external, third-party git repository. It is simple to add:

git clone
dws add git --role=source-data --read-only ./sklearn-digits-dataset

The first line (git clone ...) makes a local copy of the Git repository for the Digits dataset. The second line (dws add git ...) adds the repository to the workspace as a resource to be tracked as part of our project. The --role option tells Data Workspaces how we will use the resource (as source data), and the --read-only option indicates that we should treat the repository as read-only and never try to push it to its origin (as you do not have write permissions to the origin copy of this repository).

Now, we can create a Jupyter notebook for running our experiments:

cd ./code
jupyter notebook

This will bring up the Jupyter app in your brower. Click on the New dropdown (on the right side) and select “Python 3”. Once in the notebook, click on the current title (“Untitled”, at the top, next to “Jupyter”) and change the title to digits-svc.

Now, type the following Python code in the first cell:

import numpy as np
from os.path import join
from sklearn.svm import SVC
from dataworkspaces.kits.scikit_learn import load_dataset_from_resource,\


dataset = load_dataset_from_resource('sklearn-digits-dataset')
train_and_predict_with_cv(SVC, {'gamma':[0.01, 0.001, 0.0001]}, dataset,
                          RESULTS_DIR, random_state=42)

Now, run the cell. It will take a few seconds to train and test the model. You should then see:

Best params were: {'gamma': 0.001}
accuracy: 0.99
classification report:
              precision    recall  f1-score   support

         0.0       1.00      1.00      1.00        33
         1.0       1.00      1.00      1.00        28
         2.0       1.00      1.00      1.00        33
         3.0       1.00      0.97      0.99        34
         4.0       1.00      1.00      1.00        46
         5.0       0.98      0.98      0.98        47
         6.0       0.97      1.00      0.99        35
         7.0       0.97      0.97      0.97        34
         8.0       1.00      1.00      1.00        30
         9.0       0.97      0.97      0.97        40

   micro avg       0.99      0.99      0.99       360
   macro avg       0.99      0.99      0.99       360
weighted avg       0.99      0.99      0.99       360

Wrote results to results:results.json

Now, you can save and shut down your notebook. If you look at the directory quickstart/results, you should see a results.json file with information about your run.

Next, let us take a snapshot, which will record the state of the workspace and save the data lineage along with our results:

dws snapshot -m "first run with SVC" SVC-1

SVC-1 is the tag of our snapshot. If you look in quickstart/results, you will see that the results (currently just results.json) have been moved to the subdirectory snapshots/HOSTNAME-SVC-1, where HOSTNAME is the hostname for your local machine). A file, lineage.json, containing a full data lineage graph for our experiment has also been created in that directory.

Some things you can do from here:

  • Run more experiments and save their results by snapshotting the workspace. If, at some point, we want to go back to our first experiment, we can run: dws restore SVC-1. This will restore the state of the source data and code subdirectories, but leave the full history of the results.
  • Upload your workspace on GitHub or an any other Git hosting application. This can be to have a backup copy or to share with others. Others can download it via dws clone.
  • More complex scenarios involving multi-step data pipelines can easily be automated. See the documentation for details.


The documentation is available here: The source for the documentation is under docs. To build it locally, install Sphinx and run the following:

cd docs
pip install -r requirements.txt # extras needed to build the docs
make html

To view the local documentation, open the file docs/_build/html/index.html in your browser.


This code is copyright 2018, 2019 by the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and Data-ken Research. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. See the file LICENSE.txt for details.

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