Zach Cochran
by Zach Cochran
2 min read



Having to learn how to process data for work, so started working with pandas tonight. I’d used it in an online course a while back, but honestly I’ve forgotten everything about it. So I started tonight by taking note of everything that I needed to be able to do and looking into how to do it. Here’s what I learned from my searching.

Things that I need to be able to do

Import from csv into memory

To create a dataframe from a csv, you can use the following:

df = pd.read_csv('pandas_dataframe_importing_csv/example.csv')

If you have a different delimiter than a comma, you can use the sep parameter:

df = pd.read_csv('pandas_dataframe_importing_csv/example.csv', sep="\|", engine="python")

Notice the escape character before the delimiter character.

With no headers, you need to add the following:

df = pd.read_csv('pandas_dataframe_importing_csv/example.csv', sep="\|", engine="python", header=None)

That will give you something like the following:

                         0            1    2       3
0  2018-06-22T23:59:47.965Z  123-456-789  200  12.203
1  2018-06-22T23:60:47.965Z  132-456-789  200  14.203
2  2018-06-22T23:61:47.965Z  312-456-789  400  15.203
3  2018-06-22T23:62:47.965Z  231-456-789  200  11.203

Calculate the min for a column

Assuming that you know the column you want to take the min of, you’ll use the column number as an index to the dataframe. For example, just using the index gives you all the column values:

In [13]: df[3]
0    12.203
1    14.203
2    15.203
3    11.203
Name: 3, dtype: float64

You can then take the df[i] format and tag it with the .min() method to give you the min value:

In [11]: df[3].min()
Out[11]: 11.203

Calculate the max for a column

Same as with the .min(), only we’re switching out for the .max() method:

In [12]: df[3].max()
Out[12]: 15.203

Calculate the average for a column

Second grade fun fact: mean = average. Evidently I lost that knowledge over the years.

Same as min and max:

In [19]: df[3].mean()
Out[19]: 13.203

Fun side note… use describe()

You can use the describe() method a dataframe to get a whole bunch of info on all of your numeric columns super quickly. See the following:

In [18]: df.describe()
          2          3
count    4.0   4.000000
mean   250.0  13.203000
std    100.0   1.825742
min    200.0  11.203000
25%    200.0  11.953000
50%    200.0  13.203000
75%    250.0  14.453000
max    400.0  15.203000

Calculate the 95th percentile of a column

You can calculate percentiles by using the quantile() method. This takes in some fractional value and returns that percentile. For example, to get the 95th, you’d use .95:

In [28]: df[3].quantile(.95)
Out[28]: 15.052999999999999

Calculate the 99th percentile of a column

Same as the previous, only using .99:

In [26]: df[3].quantile(.99)
Out[26]: 15.173

Filter by column value

Already explained above, but all you need to do is index on the dataframe with either the column header name or the index number:

In [29]: df[3]
0    12.203
1    14.203
2    15.203
3    11.203
Name: 3, dtype: float64

Turn a column into a list

Surprise, there’s another built in method to handle this too. Using the tolist() method, you can turn a specific column into a list:

In [30]: df[3].tolist()
Out[30]: [12.203, 14.203, 15.203, 11.203]

Compare csv lengths (whatever that term is in pandas)

Another method, count(), is your friend:

In [32]: df[3].count()
Out[32]: 4

However, this is potentially dangerous as it will only count rows where non NaN values are present. In that case, you can use shape[0]:

n [36]: df.shape[0]
Out[36]: 4

Still ToDo

  1. Merge two csv by value in column
  2. Generate graphs 💚