How to Use my Data Science Anki Decks

Efficient learning is one of the most valuable skills for a data scientist. The scope of data science technologies is ever-increasing, and more efficient learning means better performance and a better career.

The goal behind my data science Anki decks is to help you speed up your learning and ensure that you get more value out of what you learn by retaining it forever. Below are some tips on how to best use these decks to your advantage.

If you’re not familiar with Anki, it’s a flashcard tool that uses “spaced repetition” to help you retain your knowledge with a minimal time investment. It is an absolute godsend – the key to my performance in university and continues to be an invaluable tool in my career. Download it and start experimenting with these shared decks!

How to Explore a Shared Data Science Deck

Let’s look at one of my shared decks and how you might incorporate it into your Anki collection. As an example, we’ll use the Mastering Oracle SQL shared deck. Here are some suggested steps to incorporate the deck into your current Anki repetitions:

  • Before opening the deck, first open up Anki and create a new deck where you’ll temporarily store the Mastering Oracle SQL cards.
  • Click on “Import File” and select the mastering_oracle_sql.apkg file you downloaded. This will add all of the cards to the “Default” deck.
  • This is probably not what you want, especially if you already have a bunch of cards in your Default deck. So next we’ll move all the cards you just imported into your Default deck to the “Mastering Oracle SQL” deck. To do this, click Browse, and then in the search bar, search tag:mastering_oracle_sql (each card in a shared deck my_shared_deck.apkg is tagged my_shared_deck so you can easily pick out all the cards). Select all of these cards, click “Change Deck” and move the cards to Mastering Oracle SQL deck.
  • Now that all the cards are moved to a separate deck, you can look through them using Anki’s “Browse” feature and add them one-by-one to your main deck(s) as you work through the Mastering Oracle SQL book and decide what you want to commit to memory – simply move them to the deck of your choice by selecting the card and clicking “Change Deck”. Cards in my shared decks are tagged with chapter numbers when applicable (e.g. ch1, ch2, …), which will help you find relevant cards as you work through the source material.

Tips for Making the Most of the Decks

  • Study the source first. These Anki decks are all about retaining important material, not learning it for the first time. The source texts contain more explanation and context around the material to help you learn for the first time. If you just jump into reviewing the decks, you’ll learn something, but it will be much less efficient.
  • Add your own cards. There will almost certainly be some material in the source documents that you want in your personal deck that is not included in my shared decks. Fill in any gaps with your own cards.
  • Cut ruthlessly. There may be material in the decks that is redundant for you or lacks relevance for your personal situation. Cut these cards without thinking twice.
  • Use the tags. For many of the longer sources, such as books, the cards are tagged by chapter number. This means that when you work through the source material, you can immediately hone-in on cards of relevance by searching tag:mastering_oracle_sql in the Anki browser search bar.

I hope you enjoy these decks and they are useful for you on your data science journey. I’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback on these decks: