6. Data Tables in Python¶
Tabular data, like the datasets we have worked with in Data 8, are one of the
most common and useful forms of data for analysis. We introduce tabular data
pandas, the standard Python library for working with
tabular data. Although
pandas’s syntax is more challenging to use than the
datascience package used in Data 8,
pandas provides significant performance
improvements and is the current tool of choice in both industry and academia
for working with tabular data in Python.
It is more important that you understand the types of useful operations on data
than the exact details of
pandas syntax. For example, knowing when to perform a
group-by is generally more useful than knowing how to call the
to group data. Since this chapter contains many snippets of code, we
encourage you to read through this chapter twice: once to understand the syntax
and once to understand when each operation is appropriate.
Because we will cover only the most commonly used
pandas functions in this
textbook, you should bookmark the
pandas documentation for reference
when you conduct your own data analyses.
We begin by talking about the types of dataset structures that
pandas can read.
Then, we introduce indexes, grouping, apply, and strings.