Fancy User Interfaces are fine

Fancy User Interfaces are fineBut are they necessary?David Moore MScBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingJul 6Photo by Austin Distel on UnsplashThere are two schools of thought.

First, the command-line geeks and then the click-and-drag brigade.

Command-line folk use a terminal window and that could be black or white.

Click-and-drag brigade members use bloated, heavy, and restrictive User Interfaces.

These interfaces try to help individuals stay out of the code but often they end up limiting projects and slowing up everything.

Let us consider an example or two to illustrate the debate.

SQL operations using UI based tools or just a Database UtilityWe need to draw a sample from a Database.

What should our approach be?Draw out the whole thing using operationsUse SPSS, SAS, Alteryx, RapidMiner, Power BI, DataStage or other UI toolsWrite the SQL and drop it into a shorter diagramNow the UI work is far lessHere is the SQL codeselect GEO.

"Geo", AGE.

"Descripton", SUM(POP.

"Pop") AS “POP”from “Tax”.

"Pop_clean" POPLEFT join “Tax”.

"Country_regions" COUNTRY ON COUNTRY.

"LocID" = POP.

"LocID"LEFT Join “Tax”.


"Region" = GEO.

"Region"LEFT JOIN “Tax”.

"Age_Levels" AGE on POP.

"AgeGrp" = AGE.


"Geo", AGE.

"Descripton"Use a Database utilityUsing pgAdmin4With pgAdmin4 our query completes in 1 sec and 388 msec.

It opens in Excel directly via the download optionUsing the heavy UI approach it took 1 minute, 22 seconds to get the sample.

The time breakdown is 1 minute for the UI to load and 22 seconds for the job to run.

The Windows task managerThe next question will be how those Fancy User Interfaces play with the rest of your Computer.

Above we can see Firefox using 506.

0 MB and our Fancy UI tool using 283.

2 MB.

My mobile workstation statsIf you have eight gigs of RAM you are out of memory.

Do you use Slack while you do Data Science?Slack has almost 1 gig of ram!The Fancy User Interface comes with a resource overhead.

Once you have some practice you can get results quickly.

The remaining question is why?Why use those Fancy User Interfaces?They are for the Citizen ScientistsPhoto by leanncaptures on Unsplash.

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