We're going to have a virtual workshop covering Sparrow just before GSA 2020! The EarthCube workshop "Geochronology Frontier at the Laboratory-Cyberinformatics Interface" will run October 21-23, 2020 and cover design, usage, and implementation of the Sparrow laboratory information management system in geochronology and geochemistry labs.
I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin Madison. I have a B.S in Geosciences and I had NO training in coding besides a very limited course in Matlab. The summer before my senior year, I began working in the WiscAr lab in the Geoscience department collecting metadata for samples that had been processed in the lab.
As part of metadata collection, I searched primary literature for samples as well as reached out to P.I's in labs for missing data. Metadata was entered into an Excel Spreadsheet. The end goal for this metadata was a server based datasystem called Sparrow. Some metadata had already been entered in as well. To easily manipulate and compare the data I had in my excel sheet against the data already on Sparrow, I taught myself basic python. Python enabled me to efficiently sort through, and gain meaningful statistics about the metadata gathering proccess. It also enabled me to easily manipulate data to make it ready for import to Sparrow.
I have created several iPython notebooks with snippets of my code and explanations here.
I wrote this code to fetch data from Sparrow and from local excel sheets, and to then perform some basic analysis such as finding percentages of samples with data and those without data, etc. I also used python to generate JSON of samples with new data that could be uploaded to an API.