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I have some data either in a list of lists or a list of tuples, like this:

data = [[1,2,3], [4,5,6], [7,8,9]]

data = [(1,2,3), (4,5,6), (7,8,9)]

And I want to sort by the 2nd element in the subset. Meaning, sorting by 2,5,8 where 2 is from (1,2,3), 5 is from (4,5,6). What is the common way to do this? Should I store tuples or lists in my list?

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To sort (list/tuple) of lists/tuples by the element at a given index you can use the following pieces of codes:- 

sorted_by_second = sorted(data, key=lambda tup: tup[1])

or:

data.sort(key=lambda tup: tup[1]) # sorts in place

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