Eric Kleppen
Software Product Analyst in Data Science. Top writer in Business

A Tale About Working from Home and Drinking Soda

By Eric Kleppen

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I Had to try Something!

Working from home sounded so sweet at first, but as the months have stacked up and the seasons begin to change, I find myself feeling tired and ZOOMed out. I wouldn’t call myself unhealthy, but beyond lifting weights and walking the dog, I tend to eat what I want and sit in front of a computer A LOT.

As I was scrolling through posts with eyes half open one morning, I came across a Medium article titled, “I Drank A Gallon Of Water A Day For Better Skin — & Here’s What Happened” by Maria Del Russo (Maria Del Russo). …

A Step by Step Guide to Starting an Online Business

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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Become an Entrepreneur

A few years back, I started exploring ways to make extra money and always saw affiliate marketing pop up as a popular option. I did some research and decided to give it a try. I picked a niche I thought I’d enjoy: Reviewing food. I created a website and tried to build a business around reviewing beef jerky, and I called it Ultimate Jerky Review (UJR)! Although I shut down the website since it wasn’t a very lucrative endeavor, I learned a lot about how to set up and get started affiliate marketing.

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Ultimate Jerky Review website through Word Press

Building a Digital Business

DO NOT spend your money on premium templates and expensive hosting packages through companies like WordPress! If you know a little Python and Linux, it is easy to design your own website and host it on the cloud. …

How to Connect to the API using Python

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Photo by Wayne Low on Unsplash

A Life of Cardboard

I’ve been into card games almost my entire life and started playing Magic: The Gathering (MTG) around 2nd grade in the mid 90’s. Although it wasn’t really a hobby that made me popular with girls, I stuck with it on and off and spent many Friday nights at card shops grinding constructed tournaments and booster drafts during my teenage years. Now that I’m into programming and data science, I was excited to learn the online card game marketplace, has a free API.

This article walks you through how to connect and search the TCGplayer API using Python and the Requests Library.

Free Options Order Flow, Prices, Fundamentals, Chatter all in one

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Keep Your Eyes on the Big Picture

I’ve been fascinated with the stock market since I was a little kid. There is certainly no shortage of data to analyze, and if you find an edge you can make some easy money. To stay on top of the market, I designed a dashboard that incorporates interesting option market order flow, price charts, chatter and fundamentals. Having it all in one place makes it easy to monitor market sentiment and find potential plays! In this article, I’ll describe the components of the dashboard and explain how I created it using Python and Plotly’s Dash.


Reviewing the Dashboard
Sourcing the Data
Reviewing Dash Framework
Designing the File Structure
Creating the Function Files
Adding Callbacks
Final Thoughts and Complete…

Tips and Ticks to be Viewed as a Leader

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Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

How did this All Happen?

As I reflect on my life over the past few years, even though I worked my butt off to get into Data Science as a Product Analyst, I sometimes still find myself begging the question, “How did all this happen?I’m not a wizard with numbers, I’m not a genius programmer, I’m not re-imagining cutting-edge deep learning architecture… Instead of raw technical prowess, what has helped me get ahead at every job I’ve ever held is my ability to communicate and lead, my desire to learn new things, and my ethic of stepping up and getting stuff done.

If you want to quickly earn trust and respect from your peers and bosses, hone these leadership and communication techniques to balance your technical abilities with soft skills! Within each point are my tips and tricks for accomplishing it. …

How to Performance Tune Queries for SQL Server

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Photo by Pierrick VAN-TROOST on Unsplash

Become an SQL Wizard!

It turns out storing data by rows and columns is convenient in a lot of situations, so relational databases have remained a cornerstone of data management in businesses across the globe. Structured Query Language (SQL) is a powerful query language that allows you to retrieve and manipulate data in relational databases. The basics of querying data using SQL are fairly easy to learn, and I highly recommend exploring them if you’re not familiar with it.

In this article, I’m going to give you my process for investigating slow running queries. Even if you’re not in to programming, SQL is a fantastic language to have in your toolbox for situations in which excel doesn’t cut it! …

These games will make you forget you’re stuck inside…

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Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

My Relaxation Time

Although I love studying data science, trading in financial markets and writing a lot of content, sometimes I need to step away from the grind and zone-out on some video games to reset my brain. New games come out all the time, and the costs can add up fast so it is important to know what free-to-play (f2p)games are worth playing. These are the three f2p games that I’ve been playing the most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Path of Exile

Path of Exile is truly an online free-to-play masterpiece. It is available on PC and Consoles, but no cross-play. …

Natural Language Processing (NLP) made easy for Python

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Photo by Gabriel Bassino on Unsplash

Simplified Natural Language Processing

I am always on the lookout for new tools to help me simplify my natural language processing pipelines, so when I stumbled upon a short video clip showing Texthero’s functionality I knew I had to try it right away. Texthero is designed as a Pandas wrapper, so it makes it easier than ever to preprocess and analyze text based Pandas Series. Immediately, I pulled up the docs, opened a notebook and downloaded a couple thousand Reddit threads to analyze to give the new lib a test.

NOTE: The Texthero library is still in beta! There might be bugs, and pipelines might change. I found a bug in the wordcloud functionality and reported it. …

Calls to Dismantle Capitalism?

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The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

— Andrew Carnegie

Stand up for your Standards

As a self-proclaimed left-leaning moderate in America, I feel increasingly demonized by the loud extremists on both the far-right and the far-left of the political spectrum. I feel as if reason has left the building, putting me in a losing situation any time I express my opinion (which is why it took so long to write this). …

Explore Word Embeddings using Gensim and Plotly

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Picture 1, Picture 2

The Next Step for Learning NLP?

When brainstorming new data science topics to investigate, I always gravitate towards Natural Language Processing (NLP). It is a rapidly growing field of Data Science with constant innovations to explore, and I love to analyze writing and rhetoric. NLP naturally fits my interests! Previously, I wrote an article about simple projects to get started in NLP using “Bag of Words” models. This article aims to go beyond the simple “bag of words” approaches by exploring quick and easy ways to generate word embeddings using Word2Vec through the Python Gensim library.

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Traditional Bag of Words vs Word2Vec

When I started exploring Natural Language Processing (NLP), the first models I learned about were simple Bag of Words models. …

Don’t Become Overwhelmed by Markets!

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Photo by Adam Nowakowski on Unsplash

Trading Stocks and Options?

The year was 2013, and I thought I was a genius after making a few hundred bucks here and there trading cheap biotech stocks. …

Simple Code examples for Word Clouds, Spam Detection, and Sentiment Analysis

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

What is NLP?

Working in Data Science and having a background in Technical Writing, I was drawn to the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Machines understanding language fascinates me, and I often ponder which algorithms Aristotle would have used to build a rhetorical analysis machine if he had the chance. If you’re new to Data Science, getting into NLP can seem complicated, especially since there have been so many recent advancements in the field. It is hard to know where to start.

The Projects and the Data

These three super simple projects will give you an introduction to concepts and techniques used in Natural Language Processing.

Word Cloud
Sentiment Analysis

People are Obsessed with These Two Things

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Start Creating Already!

Honestly, it took a lot of guts for me to start posting on Medium even though I studied writing in college. I had tried blogging numerous times over the years with little success, and I thought Medium was selective and overrun with great, knowledgeable writers making it an over-saturated platform. I thought no one would care to read my work when they have the option to read articles by known authors on the same topics… Foolish thinking, looking back.

When the first story I wrote on the platform got curated and accepted to Towards Data Science, it put me down a path that has led to 43+ articles since August 2019, netting me over 3000 dollars and counting. Of course I attribute some of my success to luck, but there are really two things that allowed me to become successful and avoid giving up on…

Learn Dynamic SQL in 3 Simple Steps

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Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Dynamic What?

When I started getting into Structured Query Language (SQL) around 2014, I remember scouring the internet for examples. …

Hosting a Dash app on CentOS using uWSGI and Nginx

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Why Host a Dashboard?

One of the aspects I enjoy most about data analysis is sharing insights I find from the data. Creating a dashboard to share insights using Dash is easy if you know a little Python, but hosting an app can get a little tricky. I swear, my first time in a Linux server I probably spent more time figuring out how to troubleshoot errors than code the app! If you’re trying to break into a career in data, understanding how to host apps and dashboards gives you the ability to easily share a portfolio of projects to potential employers or clients.

I will cover the easiest way to host a Dash app on a Linux server!

Scientific and Technical Communication Opens Doors

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Pixabay Free pix

Writing Paid My Bills

A few years passed and the economy was starting to recover, yet the recession that resulted from the financial collapse made the job market tough for fresh grads. I began looking for a job as a Technical Writer after graduating college at the end of 2011 with a B.S. …

5 Tips to Overcome Hurdles and Start Blogging

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Photo by Chris Spiegl on Unsplash

Need A Little Extra?

In the time of pandemic while many are out of work and trapped inside, it makes sense to explore hustles and search for ways to scrape a little extra money together. As someone who hardly consider’s his work brilliant and has made hundreds of dollars a month blogging on Medium, I always recommend everyone give it a try if interested in writing. Majority of the time, although entertained in the moment, my recommendation is eventually met with a bombardment of hurdles… People often say these things:

I don’t have any skills!

I need my writing to be perfect!

People will steal my ideas!

There is more to Data Science than Algorithms and Modeling

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Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash

The Business Side of Data Science

Things can get intimidating pretty fast when you turn a hobby into a profession. …

How I approached a falling stock market and an increase in free-time due to COVID-19

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Looking for an Upside

Although I wasn’t as informed as some political figures who managed to dump their portfolios before the gravity of the pandemic weighed on Americans, I am definitely one of the lucky ones who still has a steady income and some cash to burn during the severe economic toil. …

Learn Techniques to Build Professional Dashboards using Python

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Everyone Wants Data!

As a Product Analyst on a Data Science team, I have a lot of data at my finger tips and people want me to help them gain insight from it. I’ve been using Dash to create dashboards for our business teams because it enables me to quickly prototype and share visualizations, data tables, and other dashboardy things. …

Skip the Cloud and use your own Hardware

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Photo by Arian Darvishi on Unsplash

To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

In this day and age, cloud computing power is prevalent and cheap. One doesn’t need to look very hard online to find free or affordable hosting options for app development, databases, or data science projects. Regardless of online-availability, there are many reasons, like security, expenses and curiosity, to set up custom environments on your own hardware. Using Oracle’s free VirtualBox software, setting up a virtual machine (VM) on your own PC is super easy and allows you to run multiple operating systems at the same time!

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What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine is like having a computer inside your computer. Instead of a physical machine within the machine, through hardware virtualization, another operating system is sharing the host computer’s resources. Each VM will have its own operating system(OS), working separately from the host OS. Likewise, each VM will have its own processors, RAM, disk, etc… Through virtualization, it is essentially two different machines! In the examples in this article, I’ll explain how to load the free Linux OS, Ubuntu Server, onto a virtual machine using Windows as my host machine operating system. Like a virtual machine in the cloud, it is even possible to set up SSH making it easy to remote in! …

Expand your Data Science Tech Stack

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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Mandatory Two Week Stay-in!

Like in many other states (and even countries), Minnesotans were issued orders to stay inside to help flatten the COVID-19 infection rate curve. Besides giving my dog lots of walks, to pass the time as I stay home for the next few weeks I am prepared with several streaming services, Lego, puzzles, video games, and a ton of new tech to learn. At the top of my To-Learn tech list sits a few technologies I haven’t used in projects, but I deal with at work:


Each of these tech ecosystems has a solid community, and each is worth investigating if you’re interested in data science and machine learning. I’ll give a brief overview of each of the technologies to help you decide which one to investigate first! …

Discovering the Themes in Death Metal

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Why The Black Dahlia Murder?

In honor of their upcoming album Verminous, releasing April 17, 2020, and because they are one of my favorite death metal bands of all time, I decided to analyze The Black Dahlia Murder’s (BDM) lyrics to see how they have evolved over time. …

Words of Wisdom from Strangers, Professors, Heroes

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To the many who have changed me, molding my worldview and rattling me to my core, thanks for helping me become the person I am today.

Timeless Lessons in my 20's

Although I’ve learned many lessons in the 33 years I’ve been alive, these are three lessons I learned in my 20’s that changed my life:

  • Find a way to do what you want.
  • Think about what people expect you to know.
  • Remember to be persuasive yet humble, and act with humility.

Whether the lessons came from strangers, friends or professors, I’ve always tried to be a sponge, soaking up as much information as I can so I can use it to my advantage. …

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