Babase Training Course
Before you can successfully retrieve data from Babase with full understanding of what the data mean, you will need to familiarize yourself with the data collection methods, the nuances of the data, SQL, and the workings of the database itself.
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the data. Take at least two to three work days to read and orient yourself to the paper data that come in from the field. We may request that you spend more than two or three days at this.
- You may be asked to file data or enter data into Excel; contributions like these are considered integral to maintaining the database and understanding data retrieved from it.
- Follow a baboon for a few years and see what happens to him or her. This will give you a sense of baboon life and a feel for the data.
- Follow several years of one type of data that would be of use in your research.
Step 2: Read the Monitoring Guide for the Amboseli Baboon Research Project to obtain an understanding of the field protocols employed to obtain the project’s data. Then, go back to the data you looked at in Step 1 and have another look with new eyes. Feel free to also peruse the ABRP website and our bibliography.
Step 3: Take this online SQL course. You must pass the test before moving on to the next step. This will help you learn to write Babase queries more effectively and efficiently.
Step 4: Read The Babase System Technical Specifications to orient you to the tables, views, and inner workings of Babase. Everyone should read Chapter 1 Introduction, most of Chapter 2 Babase System Architecture (you can skip the last sections, beginning with Special Values), and the Group Membership and Life Events sections of Chapter 3 Baboon Data: Primary Source Material, Chapter 4 Baboon Data: Analyzed, Chapter 5 Support Tables, & Chapter 6 The Babase Views. You will also want to read any other sections of Chapters 3 through 6 that are relevant to your research questions.
Step 5: You are now ready to get started with Babase. This page on the wiki will guide you through how to get logins for Babase and how to sign up for the Babase mailing lists to keep you informed on important Babase happenings, as well as where to get logins for the wiki and Papio, if needed. The Getting Started with Babase document provides a guide for using the Babase interface and also lists other useful resources.
Once you have passed the quiz you are ready to begin querying Babase. While using the database, please keep in mind the tips and suggestions given in Babase Best Practices.
To keep from tying up Babase, please remember to limit the returns on new, difficult queries by adding “limit 100” to the end of your queries until you are sure they work. If you do run a query that gets hung up in Babase, please alert Niki or Jake so it can be killed ASAP. Good luck and we hope you’ll enjoy your time here at the Amboseli Baboon Research Project!