Data preparation is occasionally referred to as data plumbing, suggesting that it is dirty grunge work that is an unglamorous necessity. We will see how this point of view misses entirely the discovery potential, value, and “thrill of the chase” that data preparation can offer. Data prep includes the all important first step in any analytics project: “Know Thy Data” (which is one of the fundamental principles of data science). We discuss data profiling, data transformations and normalization, feature selection and engineering, and more data prep approaches that empower you to begin learning from your data right out of the “starting gate” on your analytics project. Learning from Data (i.e., data science) doesn’t begin after data prep, but right from the start.