6 Best Python IDEs for Data Science & Machine Learning [2024]

In programming, especially in data science and machine learning, the choice of tools significantly impacts efficiency and effectiveness. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are essential tools combining code writing, editing, debugging, and compiling in one place, simplifying project management. My experience has led me to appreciate Python’s simplicity and flexibility and to know why Python is popular with developers. Python IDEs, specifically designed for data science and machine learning, streamline the development process, catering to the unique needs of these fields. Exploring the best Python IDEs for data science and machine learning has been a journey of discovery, underscoring Python’s popularity among developers. These IDEs are not merely tools but gateways to innovative problem-solving, enhancing productivity and enabling the creation of impactful solutions in data science and machine learning.  

List of Best Python IDEs for Machine Learning and Data Science

Data Science is a field where data sets are studied, understood, and various inferences are made using various scientific methods. Given its popularity and ease of reading, Python is a great language for data science as well as Machine Learning as it proficiently manages statistical analysis. Python is well suited for both fields since it also contains a number of tools for machine learning, natural language processing, data visualisation, data analysis, etc. The following list includes a list of the best Python IDE for data science and machine learning.

1. Spyder

Scientific Python Development Environment (Spyder) is a free & open-source python IDE. It is lightweight and is an excellent python ide for data science & ML. It is used by a lot of data analysts for real-time code analysis. Spyder has an interactive code execution pattern which gives you the option to compile any single line, a section of the code, or the whole code in one go.

You can find the redundant variables, errors, syntax issues in your code without even compiling it in Spyder via the static code analysis feature. It is also integrated with many DS packages like NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, IPython, etc. to help you in doing data analytics.

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You can control the execution flow of your source code from the Spyder GUI (Graphical User Interface) via the Spyder debugger. The history log page of Spyder records all the commands used in the editor for further references. You can also know about any built-in function, method, class, etc. in Spyder via the Help Pane of Spyder. It is an excellent tool for data science enthusiasts.

Spyder is primarily designed for scientific computing, data analysis, and machine learning using Python. It has its pros and cons. 


  • Spyder is particularly for computing tasks, suitable for data analysis and numerical simulations. 
  • It is a feature-rich editor with syntax highlighting, code completion, and other features that help enhance productivity. 
  • It provides tools for direction creation and visualization of plots within the IDE. 


  • Compared to the text editors, Spyder can be a little intensive in terms of resources. So, working on complex projects might get challenging. 
  • It has limited language support as it is primarily associated with Python.  

2. Thonny

 Thonny is an excellent Python IDE that will run on Windows, Linux, and Mac. The debugger of Thonny helps in debugging codes line by line, this process helps a lot for beginners who are learning to code. The excellent GUI of Thonny makes the installation of third-party packages much easier.

Thonny autocompletes code according to its prediction and inspects the code for bracket mismatching and highlights the error which is a great feature for beginners. It is completely free to download. When you call a function in Thonny, it will be done in a separate window which makes the user understand the local variables & call stack of the function better. The package manager of Thonny helps you in downloading them and increasing the functionality of python.

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Thonny is a user-friendly Python IDE that focuses on simplicity and education. It is designed for beginners and educators. Some of its pros and cons are: 


  • Thonny is user-friendly and has a simple interface. 
  • It offers a built-in package manager, making it easy to install and use. 
  • It supports the creation and management of virtual environments. This feature helps in removing project dependencies. 


  • It may lack some advanced features in order to retain the simplicity of its functionalities. 
  • It may not be the best choice for large organizations with complex projects that require advanced features and tools. 

3. JupyterLab

It is a web-based python IDE for Machine Learning & DS professionals. You can test your code as you write via the interactive output system of JupyterLab. The interface of JupyterLab is quite good as it provides you a simultaneous view of the terminal, text editor, console, and file directory.

Features like auto code completion, auto-formatting, autosave, etc. make it one of the best free Python IDEs for ML and DS professionals. There is a zen mode in JupyterLab which allows users to minimise distractions, unrequired screens, and focus on the project under process. The files created in JupyterLab can be downloaded in various formats like .py, pdf, etc. You can also download them as slides i.e. ‘.png’.

 It is an interactive IDE for data science, scientific computing, and machine learning. Listed below are its pros and cons: 


  • It supports interactive notebooks, with which the users can combine live programming code, equations, and text in the same document. 
  • Though it is associated with Python, it supports various programming languages through kernels, including R. 
  • Jupyter Lab provides integration with version control systems, enabling users to track changes in their notebooks. 


  • It can be resource-intensive, especially while doing complex computations. 
  • It might not be the best choice for traditional software development. 

4. PyCharm

It is an excellent python IDE which has features like auto code completion, auto code indentation, etc. It has a smart debugger that analyses the code and highlights errors. DS & ML professionals who are into web development prefer PyCharm also because of its easy navigation facility. You can search for any particular symbol used in long codes via the navigation feature in PyCharm. Interlinking multiple scripts is also easier in PyCharm.

One can restructure their code easily via PyCharm’s refactoring feature where you can change the method signature, rename the file, extract any method in code. ML professionals use integrated unit testing to test their ML pipelines.

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It helps in knowing the performance of any particular ML model. PyCharm comes with inbuilt integrated unit testing and one can see the results in a graphical layout. It also has a version control system that helps in keeping track of the changes made to any particular file/application.

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PyCharm is another popular Python IDE. Here are some of its pros and cons: 


  • It is a highly feature-rich IDE with a wide array of tools and features for Python development. 
  • It provides excellent code navigation features, such as “Go to Definition” and “Find Usages,” making it easy for developers to understand the codebase. 
  • You get a built-in test runner that supports various testing frameworks. 


  • It can be resource-intensive, particularly for larger projects. 
  • The professional edition has additional features and support, but it comes with a cost. 

5. Visual Code

Visual Code is one of the most used Python IDE by ML & DS professionals. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. VS Code supports many languages besides Python like C, C#, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, etc. Visual Code is a lightweight, open-source Python IDE that has a free version as well as a paid version for businesses/enterprises.

It is also a good platform for beginners as you will get hints in the VS Code whenever you create functions or classes. The auto code completion also helps users to save time while coding. VS Code is also integrated with PyLint which checks errors in the source code. You can perform unit testing on your ML or DS models easily via VS Code.

The REPL (read-evaluate-print loop) helps in seeing quick results of any small python code in a separate window. It helps a lot when one is experimenting with any new API or function.

VS Code makes working with SQL, Unity, .NET, Node.js, and many other tools easier. One can rename a file, extract methods, add imports, etc. in your code via the VS Code refactor. VS Code is an excellent IDE for ML & DS to optimise and debug codes easily.

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Visual Code (VS Code) is a versatile and widely used code editor for Python development. Here are some of its pros and cons: 


  • It is lightweight and fast as compared to the traditional IDEs. 
  • It is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, ensuring cross-platform development experiences. 
  • Visual Code offers excellent code completion for Python, providing suggestions for variables and enhancing productivity. 


  • Visual Code is a powerful IDE. However, it may lack some of the advanced features and integrations. 
  • It is lighter than traditional IDEs, but may consume more system resources. 

6. Atom 

Atom is an excellent IDE for ML & DS professionals which supports many other languages besides python like C, C++, HTML, JavaScript, etc. You can use it on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Atom supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server which helps you in writing and executing SQL queries/commands.

There are many useful packages in Atom like the atom-beautify package which beautifies your code and makes it more accurate. The outline view feature of Atom lets you see a tree-based view of your code and you can cross-check your classes, functions, etc. easily. Atom will provide you many themes and templates from GitHub to choose from.

ML & DS professionals also prefer Atom because of its ability for cross-platform editing. It is one of the best open-source free IDEs to use currently.

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Atom is highly customizable, and due to its installation packages and plugins, it can extend support to various programming languages, including Python. Some of its pros and cons are: 


  • It is an open-source text editor that allows users to inspect and modify the source code. 
  • Atom has an active community contributing packages and themes, offering multiple options to customize the development environment. 
  • It is easy to use and accessible to developers, including those new to programming. 


  • It can be more resource-intensive compared to lightweight text editors. 
  • Few users complain that it may not be as performant as other text editors. 

How to pick the Best Python IDE for Data Science and Machine Learning?

Microcontroller-based projects generally need the usage of software packages to code them. Integrated development environments (IDEs) vary widely, though. Choosing the best one is a necessary and difficult choice!

The first step is to choose exactly what you need – 

You should consider carefully what features and tools the IDE need to offer before selecting it to utilise for your project. Not every Python IDE for data science and machine learning program is created equal, so although some could feature helpful debugging technology, others might be simple to use. Although the list of characteristics and features below is not exhaustive (an IDE may have many more deciding factors), it should help you decide which IDE is best for your upcoming project.

Here is a list of certain things you should keep in mind – 

  • Speed – Speed is among the key deciding factors when selecting an IDE, and MPLAB X is a prime example. The excellent IDE MPLAB 8.92, which is still accessible, included debugging tools, and a reliable C compiler for PICs, was quick to respond and barely crashed. Microchip introduced MPLAB X, which is built in Java and offers a variety of add-ons, in an effort to update the IDE. Though it might take a while to load, save, write code, and compile projects, MPLAB X has some major performance difficulties. When MPLAB X is applied to a machine with somewhat good hardware and a current operating system, these efficiency concerns can be substantially avoided. 
  • Cost – The majority of machine learning and data science IDE is available for free; however, it may not be the same for add-ons. IAR Embedded Workbench is a commercial product that costs money, unlike IDEs like the Python IDLE and Arduino IDE are totally open-source and free. Although paid programmes are frequently full of features, they are frequently well maintained and have customer service that may be useful when problems arise. open-source solutions have an economic advantage in addition to outreach. Closed-source technology, however, also depends on the business releasing updates and correcting issues regularly. Otherwise, an IDE could be considered worthless for a while.
  • Package and Easy-to-use – These two machine learning and data science IDE characteristics are related to one another since more packages make an IDE more difficult to use (because of an increase in GUI elements). However, because IDEs like the Arduino IDE are relatively basic, which also depends on how those packages are implemented. However, they have a wealth of library management staff and assistance, which makes adding more libraries a cinch. But why utilise a user-friendly IDE? In comparison to the more modern MPLAB X, MPLAB 8.92 supports fewer devices and includes significantly fewer add-ons and packages. It is really basic and straightforward to use, in contrast to MPLAB X, which might be a little challenging to use.
  • Debugging – Most individuals who have worked with microcontrollers are aware of how crucial debugging is. Programs frequently give very little information as to why they failed when they don’t work. The majority of Python IDE for data science and machine learning include an error reporting window that, when combined with Google, can shed light on the reason behind the error, however, these issues frequently relate to compilation rather than code execution. Debugging is essential because it enables the programmer to run the programme at every step and create thresholds that cause the programme to stop in certain places. Debuggers also provide the user with the option to inspect variable values, which may be very helpful when attempting to determine the cause of a software crash or unexpected outcome. 


Choosing the right Python IDEs for data science and machine learning is crucial. This guide through the six best Python IDEs aims to make that choice easier for you. Each IDE has its own set of features that can help you code better and faster, depending on what you need for your projects. The right tool can make a big difference, whether you’re working on analyzing data, creating models, or just coding more efficiently. Picking the best Python IDE for your work in data science and machine learning means finding the one that fits your project needs and how you like to work. These tools are here to help you do great things, so finding the right one is a step toward making your ideas come to life. 

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What are the characteristics of VS Code?

VS Code is one of the most popular IDE’s for Python. It has a bunch of features that make coding really convenient. Since VS Code is open-source, there are a lot of extensions from VS Code itself and other individuals available that compliments Python. VS Code also provides various in-built themes that you can choose and if you do not like them, you can install the extensions for themes as well. It is integrated with PyLint which picks out the errors in the source code.

What is the need for an IDE for Python if we can use the command line?

An IDE simply reduces your workload and saves your time so that you can focus more on development instead of rectifying errors in your code. IDEs are intelligent and provide various useful tools and features to increase productivity. To develop full-fledged applications, an IDE would be needed more than anything else. Debugging tools are one of the most significant reasons for choosing an IDE over a command line.

Why is PyCharm so popular among Python Developers?

PyCharm is majorly preferred because of its ease to create web applications using technologies like HTML, CSS, TypeScript, JavaScript, and CoffeeScript. You can use several editors supported for these technologies along with various tools. PyCharms also comes with a lot of functionalities and plugins. You can also easily customize the interface according to your needs. It has consistently been the most preferred IDE due to its ease of installation and it also comes with a professional edition giving you some wonderful features such as remote development and deployment.

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