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Introducing DataLab

DataCamp is launching DataLab, an AI-enabled data notebook to make it easier and faster than ever before to go from data to insight. Read on to learn more about what makes DataLab unique and our path towards it.
Apr 2024  · 3 min read

Why we’re building this

To date, DataCamp’s mission to democratize data skills has predominantly translated into building the best online learning platform. But tooling is also an important piece of this: we want everyone to be empowered to make sound decisions based on data. However, more often than not, tools today are getting in the way rather than helping us: depending on your skill set, you need to use different tools (Excel, a SQL editor, a Python notebook). As a result, insights are scattered across functions and collaboration becomes a drag.

We want to fix this. Getting answers to your data questions should be as easy as pinging the analyst on your team, getting an immediate answer, and then carrying on with your work.

Chat with your data

DataLab is an AI-powered chat interface specifically tailored for data analytics. The steps are simple: attach a data source, ask a question, and iterate your way to the insight you need, just like you would with a technically skilled colleague.

DataLab is an AI-powered data notebook to chat with your data

DataLab’s key features:

  • Powered by code. The AI Assistant answers your questions by writing and running code and then interpreting the outputs. But generative AI can make mistakes. With DataLab, you can seamlessly switch to a fully-featured notebook view with all of the generated code, that you can review, tweak, extend and share. That way, you can fully trust the insights you’re uncovering.
  • Easy data access, wherever it lives. From CSV files and Google Sheets data to Snowflake and BigQuery: DataLab seamlessly and securely connects to all of your data sources. DataLab’s AI architecture knows where to look and achieves best-in-class results by leveraging organizational knowledge, your previous activity, and industry best practices. Don’t have any data lying around? DataLab comes prepacked with plenty of sample data sources to experiment and practice your data skills.
  • Built-in reporting. Forget about copy-pasting across tools or sharing outdated screenshots to your findings. As you’re getting answers to questions in DataLab, you’re accumulating a live-updating report that you can customize before sharing with others with a single click.

DataLab’s chat interface looks pretty similar to ChatGPT, and that’s the point! OpenAI managed to package extremely sophisticated technology into an intuitive interface. Just because technology is complex, doesn’t mean the interface needs to be. However, DataLab goes a couple of steps further, with a meticulously crafted user experience for data exploration and analytics.

Our path so far

DataLab is the next iteration of DataCamp Workspace, an online data notebook with more than 50,000 monthly active users and support for SQL, Python and R. Next to powering both application-focused learning experiences on DataCamp such as projects, competitions and certification practical exams, it is our users’ go-to tool for their personal and professional data work.

With the breakthrough of GPT-3.5 and many other LLMs in early 2023, we immediately saw the opportunity to make our users even more effective and Workspace accessible to a bigger user base, both for study and work.

We added powerful AI features to write, update, fix and explain code. The built-in Workspace AI Assistant is smarter than ChatGPT: it takes more context into account (variables, table names and column types), leading to higher-quality suggestions and a faster workflow. Our users are in love with it, too. they achieve better results faster and with less effort and the AI assistant’s feedback on e.g. runtime errors is a valuable opportunity to learn along the way.

The initial feedback on the Workspace AI features was tremendously positive, so we knew we were onto something big. People told us that previously intractable questions now took minutes or even seconds to answer. So we decided to double down on our approach, putting the AI assistant front and center in our product—and DataLab was born.

DataLab is Workspace’s notebook environment plus an intuitive AI-powered chat interface. This means you’re getting the power of AI, but also a fully-fledged coding environment without having to switch tools. Real-time collaboration, scheduling, version history, role-based access control, you name it: you’re tapping into years of work building a data notebook that is intuitive and delightful to use, whether you’re learning on DataCamp or working through your own unique projects.

Where will this end?

Fifty years ago, writing computer programs was done through punching holes in a card and feeding that into a mainframe computer. We’ve come a long way, adding abstraction upon abstraction. Not only can we do the same things faster and better; this process also opened our eyes to the next possible innovation. I believe AI-assisted coding will be the next (radical) iteration, the next layer of abstraction, bringing the power of code to even more people. I’m extremely excited to see how it will spur our collective imagination.

I have used Workspace in the past, what happens to my work?

All your workspaces (now workbooks) you created in the past will stay available and continue to function. You can continue using DataLab for free (three workbooks, 20 AI Assistant prompts, basic hardware); all you need is your DataCamp account. Users on an existing Workspace Premium subscription get access to DataLab Premium, featuring unlimited workbooks, unlimited AI Assistant prompts, powerful hardware, and more.

Try it out

  • Visit www.datacamp.com/datalab
  • Pricing: DataLab is publicly available now and free to try (up to 3 projects, up to 20 AI Assistant prompts). For $99/user/year you can create unlimited projects, use the AI assistant without limitations, and access more powerful hardware. See www.datacamp.com/datalab/pricing for more details.
  • Interested in leveraging DataLab to drive insight in business data? Book a demo
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