10 Years of Data Science Innovation: Anaconda’s Commitment to the Open-Source Python Community

Jul 20, 2022
By Team Anaconda

For the last decade, Anaconda has helped define the guard rails and infrastructure of Python programming to empower a new generation of data science professionals and enthusiasts. Over the years, we’ve watched as the open-source Python community has burgeoned into a thriving network of creators, contributors, and dedicated maintainers. Because of the human ecology that has formed around Python, it is now the fastest-growing programming language in the world.

Every day, more and more people pick up Python, either professionally or as a hobby, and Anaconda has become the starting point for many in their journey. As we’ve grown, we’ve centered our priorities around making the language accessible and easy to use, so anyone can harness the power of data. Today, Anaconda’s platform is used by more than 30 million people, and as we look to the future, we envision a world where data literacy is attainable for all.

How did we get here?

Anaconda’s fate has always been connected to Python. In its earliest days, the open-source Python community was championed by technical and scientific experts seeking powerful and low-cost tools to easily model highly technical topics, like how to dig for oil or price financial instruments in the market. This community of open scientists laid the groundwork for an ecosystem that quickly became an important tool for the broader business community.

By the early 2010’s businesses had become aware of the massive amounts of data they were sitting on and started to adopt scientific Python tools that offered better performance and analytics than traditional business analysis tools. In this “Big Data” era, Python allowed businesses to conduct data analysis at a scale never before possible.

It was around this time that Anaconda emerged, providing a set of Python data tools that saw rapid adoption across industries. The platform wrapped together different pieces of open-source software that would allow users to safely and reliably conduct data analysis or build and deploy Python-based applications. With this trusted platform, Anaconda was able to bring business users and non-programmers into the Python ecosystem and broaden the definition of a Python developer.

What’s next?

At Anaconda, we believe that making Python accessible to the world will empower individuals to engage with the technology influencing their daily lives. Over the years, we have invested nearly $30 million into incubating and maintaining a wide variety of open-source projects, including pandas, Dask, Numba, Bokeh, HoloViews, BeeWare, Pyston, and more. Most recently, we released PyScript, a new framework for Python development in the browser, and we acquired PythonAnywhere, a fully-loaded and easy-to-use web-based Python development environment.

The efforts that we’ve taken to grow and support the Python community has led to record periods of growth at Anaconda. In both 2021 and 2022, Anaconda’s customer growth rate has seen triple-digit growth. Making Python easy and accessible has been a cornerstone of Anaconda’s growth story, and supporting an open foundation for Python development will remain our priority.

In today’s environment where data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) have more and more influence on an individual’s daily life, understanding how these systems work is quickly becoming a requirement for participation. Unfortunately, on a planet with 8 billion people, less than .1% have the skills to understand, much less use, the AI and ML models that impact our world. To avoid locking people into an opaque, complex system that is difficult to understand, we must lean on open-source communities like Python where people can engage with these concepts and build a more equitable future.

Anaconda’s mission to democratize data literacy has fueled much of its decision making over the last decade and will continue to be a major focus of the company. The release of PyScript and acquisition of PythonAnywhere are examples of how we plan to grow the open-source Python community from 30 million people to 100 million. Geographical location doesn’t matter; Anaconda is making it possible for people around the world to access Python and start building applications, data visualizations, and analysis.

We couldn’t be more excited about the next decade and to continue growing the Python community. To join us on our journey, create a free Anaconda Nucleus account and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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