pandas: a Foundational Python Library for Data Analysis

pandas: a Foundational Python Library for Data Analysis and Statistics by Wes McKinney

From the abstract:

In this paper we will discuss pandas, a Python library of rich data structures and tools for working with structured data sets common to statistics, finance, social sciences, and many other fields. The library provides integrated, intuitive routines for performing common data manipulations and analysis on such data sets. It aims to be the foundational layer for the future of statistical computing in Python. It serves as a strong complement to the existing scientific Python stack while implementing and improving upon the kinds of data manipulation tools found in other statistical programming languages such as R. In addition to detailing its design and features of pandas, we will discuss future avenues of work and growth opportunities for statistics and data analysis applications in the Python language.

A quick listing of things pandas does well (from

  • Easy handling of missing data (represented as NaN) in floating point as well as non-floating point data
  • Size mutability: columns can be inserted and deleted from DataFrame and higher dimensional objects
  • Automatic and explicit data alignment: objects can be explicitly aligned to a set of labels, or the user can simply ignore the labels and let Series, DataFrame, etc. automatically align the data for you in computations
  • Powerful, flexible group by functionality to perform split-apply-combine operations on data sets, for both aggregating and transforming data
  • Make it easy to convert ragged, differently-indexed data in other Python and NumPy data structures into DataFrame objects
  • Intelligent label-based slicing, fancy indexing, and subsetting of large data sets
  • Intuitive merging and joining data sets
  • Flexible reshaping and pivoting of data sets
  • Hierarchical labeling of axes (possible to have multiple labels per tick)
  • Robust IO tools for loading data from flat files (CSV and delimited), Excel files, databases, and saving / loading data from the ultrafast HDF5 format
  • Time series-specific functionality: date range generation and frequency conversion, moving window statistics, moving window linear regressions, date shifting and lagging, etc.

Another data analysis library for your topic maps toolkit.

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