AdventureWorks DW Series 4 : How to Create Histogram Visualization Using Python

Prerequisites To Follow this Exercise :

  1. Microsoft SQL Server Database Express Edition & Adventure Works DataWarehouse – If you Don’t have a Microsoft SQL Server express Database and want to install it in your system and also install AdventureWorks DW , Follow –https://storejockey.com/2019/05/22/download-install-free-microsoft-sql-server-install-adventureworks-database-data-warehouse/
  2. Python Installed in your System : If you are a new user to Python and want to know how to install Python via the Anaconda Distribution , You can go through the step by step Blog i have written to install Python via Anaconda Distribution & start using Jupyter Notebook : https://storejockey.com/2019/06/09/python-anaconda-distribution-how-to-download-and-install-it-and-run-the-first-python-program/

Once you have the Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition and Python Installed in your system you are Good to Go ahead and follow the below Use Case and Example.

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In this blog we will create a visualization in Python over AdventureWorksDW to showcase the distribution of customers based on different age group. The visualization will contain histogram to showcase the total number of customers for a given age group.  

In the data model of AdventureWorksDW the fact table FactInternetSales has the transactions where in we find the sales amount incurred in each order transaction and a Customer ID based on which it can be joined to DimCustomer table to fetch the details of Customer.

The Data Model to fetch the required data is as follows:

The join between FactInternetSales and DimCustomer can be made using column CustomerKey.

So, the first step is to write a sql query that can fetch the desired information from the SQL Server Database. So, first we will try to query DimCustomer to see which column can be used to get the age of the customer.

From the above data we can see that the column BirthDate can be used to compute the age of the customer.

Assumption Made : The age of customer is being computed from current date. That is the difference between current date and birth date is taken as age of customer.

So, based on above analysis below is the query to get the required information :

Now we will write a python code to connect to AdwentureWorksDW database stored in Microsoft SQL server. To learn how to connect python to Microsoft SQL Server please refer to below blog:

https://storejockey.com/2019/04/12/how-to-connect-python-with-sql-server/

So, the python solution for the above problem would begin with making ODBC connection from python to Microsoft SQL server by using the library pyodbc. After connection is established the python code would execute the above query and fetch the results in a python data structure. The code piece for the above solution is as follows:

The same query when executed from Microsoft SQL Server the outcome is as below:

Python Data Computation Part :

We will now compute the value of age from BirthDate in Python. The piece of python code to compute the age is as follows:

The list age is used to store the age of each customer. Don’t forget to import datetime library as mentioned above (In the first part of the code). Here while through each row of the query outcome, both BIrthDate and current_date are converted in to python timestamp variables. The difference between the two timestamps is stored in object diff.

The ‘days’ attribute of object ‘diff’ would the difference in terms of number of days. And the number of days divided by 365 would give us the value in years which is equivalent to the desired age of the customer.

Now the next step is to utilise the matplotlib library of python to prepare the visualization. The below is the code part to plot histogram and prepare visualization :

Here in the subplot ax the histogram is plotted with bins = 10 which means that total 10 buckets or range will be used to divide the data in the different range. Or in other words we can say that in histogram there will be 10 age groups for which the distribution based visualization will be made.

‘Ec’ represents the color of line between different bar histograms.

‘Color’ represents the color of bar in the histogram.

Below the visualization outcome form the above code :