This lesson series covers the automation of analysis pipeline's using python's doit library. You should be familiar with functions, libraries and dictionaries in python. Additionally, knowledge of python generators would be very helpful.
Complex data analysis often involves a series of steps that all have to be carried out in a specific order, and may also require the creation of a number of intermediate files. These types of pipelines are well suited to automation using a class of software tools called "build tools". Although this lesson covers one specific tool, many of the key concepts should apply to other build tools. If you aren't a big python fan, there will almost certainly be tools available in the language of your choice.
The most popular build tool is Make. For a specific comparison between Make and doit, see Make vs. doit.