BCB 4999: Honors Research - Hare, Alissa A.

Tableau Public

Why Tableau?

Tableau is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool used in the business intelligence community. It helps simplifying raw data into an easy-to-understand adn consumable format. Data analysis is quick with Tableau and the visualizations are created in the form of publishable dashboards and worksheets. 


As an Owen student, you have complementary access to Tableau's premium content: Tableau Desktop (proprietary software). 

  1. Go here, Tableau Students
  2. Click on "Tableau for free"
  3. Register using your Vanderbilt email (.edu address)
  4. Complete the download process once the confirmation email arrives

Python and Anaconda

Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.

Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.6 is fine).

For Windows-users: Video Tutorial

  1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#windows with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check Make Anaconda the default Python.

For Mac-users:  Video Tutorial

  1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#macos with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for OS X.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation.

Why Python?

Python is a high level object oriented programing language. You can use Python for developing anything from GUI applications, websites, apps, and software to data analysis and visualization. Python, as a high level language, allows you to focus on core functionality of the application by taking care of common programming tasks. 



  1. Download the R programming language here. You will need to download R before you download RStudio. Under "Download and Install R" make sure to click on your operating system (OS). If you're running on Windows, use Windows. If you're using Mac, use Mac. Click on base if you're downloading R for the first time. Continue to click through and accept the installation process. 
  2. Download RStudio here. RStudio is R's graphic user interface (GUI). Essentially, RStudio is a more user-friendly way to program in R. Like downloading R, make sure to choose your correct OS under "Installers." Click on your correct installer and RStudio.exe will download. 
  3. After you have both R and RStudio installed, open up RStudio:   
  4. Done. 
  • In exchange for a course syllabus, any .edu academic can get any and all RStudio professional tools for free use in teaching. 
  • Academic researchers not involved in teaching get 50% off. 
  • Example of tools: RStudio's Server Pro, RStudio Connect, and RStudio package manager. 

Why R? 

R is a powerful, open source (free) programming language primarily used for statistical analysis and visualization. It is the second most popular language in data science. 

Vanderbilt University Resources

1. Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education (ACCRE): ACCRE is the premier resource for the high-performance computing needs of research throughout Vanderbilt University. With over 600 multi-core systems in a 4,000 square foot facility, the ACCRE cluster is used for research in a wide variety of fields, including genetics research, particle physics, and astronomy.

2. Data Science Institute: Vanderbilt established the Data Science Institute to accelerate data-driven research, promote collaboration, and train future leaders. The institute connects data science experts with academic leaders in all fields to spark discovery and study the impact of big data on society. The Data Science Institute supports a Master’s degree program to train students in computational and statistical data science methods. We are preparing future leaders for careers in industry, government, academia and the non-profit sector.

3. VISORThe VISOR Trans-Institutional Program focuses on multi-disciplinary research for formulating, developing, and deploying “smart city” applications. The population growth fueled by increasing commerce, facilities, and entertainment requires significant research, planning, problem solving, and sustainable development of the region’s infrastructure that includes transportation, housing, and utilities to keep the city operating effectively. The goal of VISOR is to work with Metro Nashville governmental agencies to develop a technical and policy platform that enables living city labs in which to study, research, and develop solutions to the challenges and problems faced by the city and by extension other cities around the world. 

4. Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS): A research organization of the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  ISIS conducts basic and applied research  in the area of systems and information science and engineering. Applications of ISIS technology span a wide range of software-intensive systems from small embedded devices, through real-time distributed systems, to globally deployed complex systems. Software is increasingly essential to the functions of these systems, and it is also the primary means of adapting them to their environments and users.  Our research interests lie in the theoretical foundations, modeling, design, engineering, and educational aspects of these systems.

5. The Wond'ry: The Wond’ry is the epicenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University. Its three story, 13,000-square foot space, located adjacent to the new state-of-the-art Engineering and Science Building, facilitates transinstitutional collaboration between students and faculty from all schools, levels, and disciplines. From engineers to scientists to entrepreneurs to artists, the Wond’ry is the primary point of connection for students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Wond’ry is the catalyst for building and strengthening creativity across campus, fostering innovation in all fields, and forging  a stronger “maker” culture at Vanderbilt University.

6. VUIT Cloud Services: As part of VUIT’s continually evolving Cloud First strategy, Open Systems Applications and Cloud Services and the Business Office established an enterprise agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in August 2017. On top of this, VUIT’s Cloud Services, Network, and Security Operations teams established a dedicated connection between the university’s private network and AWS through AWS’s Direct Connect product offering. The enterprise agreement includes a HIPAA business associate agreement to ensure compliance and empowers Cloud Services to be the university’s full-service cloud broker of AWS services.

7. Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communication: Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communications are interdisciplinary fields in librarianship that facilitate the production and dissemination of academic research through the use of emerging digital tools and applications, while enhancing the communication of and access to the results of this research. 


Profile Photo
Francisco Juarez