Robert Johns | 04 Jun, 2024
Fact checked by Jim Markus

Insider Review of DataCamp’s AI-Powered DataLab Tool

Picture this: you're a data analyst juggling Excel, SQL, and Python notebooks. This works, but it’s a fragmented workflow and far from optimal. 

How about this: Imagine posing a question and receiving a precise, insightful response almost instantly. 

Enter DataLab — DataCamp’s solution to streamline data analytics with an AI-powered interface.

It’s like having an expert analyst on call, ready to assist whenever needed, making data interaction seamless and efficient. 

But does it live up to the hype? Join me as I delve into DataLab and explore why it might just be the game-changer data professionals have been waiting for.

While we're on the topic of AI, I’ll also look at DataCamp’s extensive catalog of AI courses that can help beginners or experienced professionals deepen their AI knowledge.

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What Is DataLab?

If you’re a data analyst or data scientist, chances are that you’re used to juggling various tools for handling and diving into data.

In fact, you’ve probably had some experience with Python, Jupyter Notebooks, Excel, SQL, and more.

But in the ever-evolving landscape of AI data tools, there may be an easier way to get the job done.

Enter DataLab. 

This is DataCamp’s latest offering, and it’s been designed to streamline data analytics with an AI-powered interface. 

Sounds interesting, right? But does it live up to the hype? 

Here’s my take on DataLab and why it could be a huge benefit to anyone working with data.

Chatting with Data

Without question, the standout feature of DataLab is its AI-powered chat interface tailored for data analytics. 

The workflow is simple yet powerful: connect your data source, ask a question, and refine your queries until you get the insight you need. 

Depending on your own background, you can think of this as having a data analyst on call, ready to assist whenever needed.

If you’re already a data analyst, maybe think of DataLab as a way to expand your team and delegate tasks.

Either way, it’s pretty freaking cool.

Key Features of DataLab

AI-Powered Code Generation: DataLab’s AI Assistant answers questions by writing and executing code and then interpreting the results. DataLab also allows you to switch to a full-featured notebook view to review, tweak, and extend the AI-generated code. I love this, as it means you can have trust in the insights that it’s produced.

Seamless Data Access: DataLab connects to various data sources, from CSV files and Google Sheets to more complex databases like Snowflake and BigQuery. It leverages organizational knowledge, previous activities, and industry best practices to deliver top-tier results.

Integrated Reporting: One of DataLab’s most impressive features is its built-in reporting capability. As you analyze data, a live-updating report is generated, which you can customize and share with a single click. This eliminates the hassle of copy-pasting between tools or sharing outdated screenshots.

If you’ve spent any time working with ChatGPT in the last 12 months, DataLab’s UI will be very familiar.

Why DataLab Stands Out

Here at, we’ve always really appreciated DataCamp’s efforts to democratize data skills through its comprehensive online learning platform. 

But even the best courses can't bridge the gap if the tools we use for analysis are cumbersome. 

Traditionally, data work has involved hopping between Excel, SQL editors, and Python notebooks like Jupyter.

This is fine, but it can also lead to fragmented insights and less-than-optimized collaboration.

DataLab has the ability to address this pain point by making data interaction as seamless as chatting with an expert analyst. 

So, imagine posing a question and receiving a precise, insightful response almost instantly—that’s the purpose and promise of DataLab.

As a data analyst, this immediately stood out to me, and I really couldn’t wait to give it a try.

How Much Does DataLab Cost?

DataLab offers a free plan with three workbooks and 20 AI Assistant prompts, but for more intensive use, you need a premium DataLab subscription that costs $99/user/year.

With this, you get unlimited workbooks, unlimited Unlimited GPT-4 prompts, and powerful hardware.

My Experience with DataLab

Eager to try DataLab and explore its features, I decided to try out the chat interface for fairly simple data relating to grad school applications for Economics programs in 2023.

This data was stored in a CSV file containing graduate application data from TheGradCafe for Economics programs. 

My goal was to analyze the distribution of application decisions, such as accepted, rejected, waitlisted, and interview outcomes.

To get things started, I used the chat interface to upload my data and create my prompt.

Using DataLab's chat interface to ask for help producing a plot

This was really intuitive, and I was able to initiate the analysis by simply asking the AI to create a plot showing the distribution of these decisions. 

The AI Assistant quickly understood my request and generated the necessary code to analyze the data. Within moments, DataLab executed the code and produced a detailed plot.

DataLab was able to generate a plot to show the distribution of results from my data set

As you can see, this bar plot effectively displayed the distribution of application outcomes, providing a clear visual representation of the data. 

Of course, this is a simple example, but in less than 20 seconds, this seamless process highlighted DataLab’s ability to handle complex data analysis tasks effortlessly. 

The AI-powered chat interface also made it really easy to interact with the data, while the AI Assistant ensured accurate and insightful results.

From my first impressions, DataLab’s interface was user-friendly and efficient, and I can see massive potential for how it could significantly streamline my workflow compared to traditional methods. 

It also demonstrated how DataLab can simplify data analysis and visualization, making it a valuable tool for data professionals alongside less experience data practitioners.

Overall, I’d say that DataLab really impressed me with its ability to quickly generate insightful visualizations and its ease of use. 

It’s hard to argue with the fact that this tool’s AI-driven capabilities offer a powerful solution for anyone looking to analyze and visualize data effectively.

DataCamp's AI Curriculum: A Diverse Catalog

While we’re on the topic of AI, let’s pivot to DataCamp’s educational content and its impressive catalog of 33 courses dedicated to artificial intelligence. 

If there’s one thing I am absolutely certain of, it’s that we’ve entered the early stages of a transformative era where generative AI will continue to reshape the skills needed to succeed. 

Even as I write this, leaders worldwide are evaluating whether their workforce is prepared for this technological shift. 

This all means one thing, learning AI is not just beneficial — it's essential. 

Plus, with the growing demand for skills like data-driven decision-making and data analysis, the need for AI skills has surged, emphasizing the requirement for comprehensive training.

Whether you’re a beginner who wants to learn the basics or an experienced pro looking to deepen your knowledge, DataCamp's AI courses provide a robust platform for developing the necessary skills to thrive in this AI-driven world.

There’s literally something for everyone. 

Let's explore some of the standout courses that showcase DataCamp's breadth and depth of offerings in AI education.

Introduction to ChatGPT In this course, you'll learn how to use ChatGPT, one of the most powerful AI tools available today. It covers best practices for writing prompts and explores common business use cases. It's perfect for those who want to integrate AI into their workflows without needing extensive technical knowledge.

Understanding Artificial Intelligence This theoretical course provides a broad overview of AI, covering its challenges, societal implications, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), and generative models. It's a must for anyone looking to understand the foundational concepts and the impact of AI.

Generative AI Concepts Explore the world of generative AI, understanding how these models are developed and their potential impact on society. This course emphasizes responsible use, making it essential for anyone interested in the future of AI.

Large Language Models (LLMs) Concepts Dive deep into the applications and training methodologies of LLMs. This course also covers ethical considerations and the latest research, providing a comprehensive understanding of these powerful models.

Working with the OpenAI API For those interested in developing AI-powered applications, this course provides an excellent starting point. You'll learn about the functionality that underpins popular AI applications like ChatGPT, offering a solid foundation in AI development.

Introduction to LLMs in Python Learn the intricacies of LLMs and the transformative transformer architecture they are based on. This course is designed for those who want to understand the technical underpinnings of modern AI models.

Introduction to Deep Learning with PyTorch This hands-on course introduces deep learning using PyTorch. You'll build your first neural network, adjust hyperparameters, and tackle both classification and regression problems. It's a great starting point for anyone looking to get practical experience in deep learning.

AI Ethics Explore the critical aspects of AI ethics, including principles of fairness, bias reduction, and trust in AI design. This course is essential for anyone who wants to develop AI responsibly and ethically.

Understanding Prompt Engineering Master the art of prompt engineering for ChatGPT, a crucial skill for leveraging AI in business and creative endeavors. This course covers zero to few-shot learning and response evaluation, providing a solid foundation for effective AI interaction.

ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers Dive deep into the principles and best practices of prompt engineering. This course is designed for developers looking to harness the full potential of powerful language models like ChatGPT to solve real-world problems.

These courses are just a snapshot of DataCamp's comprehensive AI curriculum. 

With a blend of theory, practical applications, and DataCamp’s impressive educational platform, any of these courses can be ideal for not only understanding AI concepts but also applying them effectively in real-world scenarios. 

So whether you're looking to start from scratch or advance your existing knowledge, DataCamp's AI courses provide a robust platform to achieve your learning goals.

Do I Need To Know AI For A Data Career?

One thing is for sure: we're all slowly becoming acquainted with the various forms of AI in our professional and personal lives.

But do you need to be an AI wizard to excel in data analytics or data science in 2024? Interesting question: let's dive deeper.

In the constantly evolving landscape of data, the integration of artificial intelligence has become increasingly significant, and there is no doubt about that.

And while data careers like data science or analytics are distinct fields from AI, their intersection is becoming hard to ignore.

Sure, not every data-driven role will demand deep expertise in AI, but a foundational understanding is becoming increasingly important in the field.

If you're curious to learn more about the transformative power of generative AI across various industries, I'd highly recommend attending DataCamp's free digital conference, RADAR: AI Edition in June 2024.

This event is a fantastic opportunity to discover how businesses and individuals can unlock their full potential with AI. You'll hear from industry leaders like Megan Finck, the Global Head of Talent Acquisition (Data & AI) at Boeing, and Sadie St Lawrence, the CEO of Women in Data. Nnamdi Iregbulem, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Eric Seigel, Founder of Machine Learning Week and bestselling author, will also share their insights.

Additionally, Carolann Diskin, Senior Technical Program Manager at Dropbox, and Julien Simon, Chief Evangelist at Hugging Face, will discuss the future of AI and its applications. Don't miss this chance to learn from experts about the latest advancements and strategies in AI.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, an insider’s review of DataCamp's latest innovation in the form of DataLab and their extensive AI curriculum. 

With DataLab, you have an AI-powered interface that transforms how you interact with data, making the process seamless and efficient. 

Meanwhile, DataCamp’s diverse catalog of AI courses ensures that you can stay ahead in this rapidly evolving field. 

From mastering ChatGPT to diving into deep learning with PyTorch, these courses are designed to equip you with the skills necessary to thrive in an AI-driven world.

So, whether you're aiming to refine your data analytics capabilities, enhance your AI literacy, or simply keep pace with the latest technological advancements, DataCamp provides the tools and training you can use to succeed. 

Whichever you choose to try out, good luck, and let me know about your experiences with DataLab and DataCamp’s AI courses in the comments below!

Learn More About DataCamp’s DataLab Tool

By Robert Johns

Technical Editor for | 15+ Years in Python, Java, SQL, C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, .NET, MATLAB, HTML & CSS, and more... 10+ Years in Networking, Cloud, APIs, Linux | 5+ Years in Data Science | 2x PhDs in Structural & Blast Engineering

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