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What Is Pandas In Python? A Guide For Beginners

Considering becoming a data scientist? Learning Python Pandas is a great first step. This open-source tool is a cornerstone of the data science world, offering powerful features and capabilities for manipulating, analyzing, and visualizing data.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the essential information you need to know about Python Pandas, including how it’s used, how it works, and how to install it on Mac or Windows. We’ll also provide you with a few helpful tips and resources to help you get started with Pandas in Python. 

So, let’s dive in!

What Is Pandas in Python?

Pandas is a flexible and easy-to-use open source data analysis and manipulation tool written for the Python programming language. It offers users a vast library of data to explore and is a common resource for data scientists and analysts.

Pandas was created in 2008 by Wes McKinney and has since grown into one of the most popular resources of its kind, boasting a community of contributors who actively grow and maintain the library. It can be accessed through a variety of tools, including the command line and various third-party applications.

What Is Python Pandas Used For?

Python Pandas is a powerful tool for data analysis and manipulation. It’s used to explore, clean, transform, visualize, and analyze data quickly and efficiently. It’s popular among data scientists, statisticians, and analysts for working with structured and unstructured datasets.

Common Pandas uses include:

  • Managing and cleaning data sets
  • Performing complex data analysis operations
  • Generating reports for sharing with others
  • Building machine learning models 

What Are the Key Features of Pandas?

Python Pandas features are varied and many; however, all are designed to make data manipulation and analysis easier.

The following are some of the most important features:

  • Data Structures. It offers a range of Python data structures, including Series and DataFrames, to help make working with data easier.
  • Indexing. Pandas allows you to index data quickly and easily, allowing you to access specific elements within a DataFrame.
  • Data Cleaning. Pandas provides several methods for cleaning and imputing data, making it easier for you to work with messy datasets.
  • Data Manipulation. Pandas provides a suite of built-in functions for manipulating data, including sorting, filtering, and aggregating.
  • Data Visualization. Pandas also offers built-in plotting libraries, making it easy to visualize data quickly and easily.

The Two Main Data Structures in Pandas Library

The two main data structures in Pandas Library are Series and DataFrames. Both of these data structures are used to organize and store data in an efficient manner. They differ in the way in which they represent data, and each has their own advantages. Below is an overview of each data structure and how they work.

Pandas Series

A Pandas Series is a one-dimensional array-like object that can store data of any type, including strings, integers, and floats. It has an associated index, which is an array of labels used to identify elements within the Series. Series can only contain a single list with index labels, but they are easy to construct and manipulate. 

Pandas DataFrames

A Pandas DataFrame is a two-dimensional data structure that contains columns and rows of data. It is similar to a spreadsheet, with each row representing an observation and each column representing a variable. DataFrames can contain multiple data types, including strings, integers, and floats. They are more complex to construct but offer a far greater range of capabilities and are ideal for working with larger datasets.

What Are the Advantages of Pandas in Python?

When it comes to data analysis and manipulation, there are many advantages of using Pandas.

  • It’s easy to learn and use. Pandas is written in Python, so it’s easy to understand and use. It also offers a range of built-in methods and functions, making it easier to access data quickly.
  • It’s faster than other libraries. Pandas is written in Cython, a language that compiles Python code and speeds up execution time. It’s one of the fastest libraries available for data analysis and manipulation.
  • It’s comprehensive and powerful. Pandas contains a wide range of built-in functions and methods that make it easy to analyze, manipulate and visualize data. It also offers powerful machine learning capabilities.
  • It’s versatile. Its wide range of features makes it suitable for a wide range of tasks.
  • It’s reliable. Pandas is well-maintained and regularly updated, so it is reliable and bug free.
  • It’s open source. Pandas is an open-source library, meaning that anyone can access the code and contribute to its development.

What Are the Disadvantages of Pandas in Python?

Although there are many advantages of using Pandas, there are also some potential drawbacks.

  • It can be difficult to debug. As with any code, there can be bugs and errors. Debugging Pandas code can be time-consuming and difficult.
  • It’s not suitable for large datasets. While the Python Pandas library is powerful, it can struggle to handle very large datasets. It’s best to use other libraries for datasets that exceed a few hundred gigabytes.
  • It requires a strong understanding of Python. Pandas can be difficult to use for people who are new to programming. It requires a strong understanding of Python and object-oriented programming. Luckily, you can learn Python on your own if you’re determined enough. 
  • It’s not suitable for deep learning. Pandas is mainly designed for data analysis and manipulation, so it isn’t suitable for deep learning tasks. For this, it’s best to use other libraries such as TensorFlow or PyTorch. 

How To Install Pandas in Python

Pandas is incredibly valuable for the degree of accessibility it offers programmers. As an open-source library, anyone and everyone can  download and install it.

Installing Pandas is easy on both Windows and macOS, you simply need to follow the steps outlined below:

Install Pandas on Mac

  1. Install the latest Python3 in MacOS. Also verify that python3 and pip3 are correctly installed. Updating your pip3 should help avoid any errors during the installation process.
  2. Open your terminal and type the following command: ‘pip3 install pandas’.
  3. If all goes well, the required files will begin to download and Pandas will be ready to use on your computer.

Install Pandas on Windows

  1. Install the latest version of Python3 and ensure your pip is updated.
  2. Launch your terminal and enter the command ‘pip install manager’
  3. Wait for the files to finish downloading and Pandas will be ready to use.

Learn Pandas in Python at Coding Dojo

Once you have Pandas installed on either your Mac or Windows computer, start learning how to use it with Coding Dojo. Our comprehensive data science boot camp is designed to help you gain a full understanding of tools like Pandas, as well as other key programming language and data science topics.

You’ll learn best practices for working with Pandas data structures, how to manipulate and analyze data, and how to design powerful visualizations. Our experienced instructors will also help you master Python fundamentals such as object-oriented programming, functional programming, and more.

At Coding Dojo, you’ll get the opportunity to practice coding with real-world projects that give you hands-on experience with the concepts you’ll be learning. As you progress through the boot camp, you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to apply what you’ve learned to the real world and walk away with tangible projects to help boost your resume.

Register for our online data science boot camp today and start taking your coding skills to the next level.

Pandas in Python FAQ

If you have questions about Pandas, we’ve got answers.

Is Pandas Worth Learning?

Yes! Pandas is one of the most popular resources for data analysis and manipulation. It’s fast, reliable, and offers a wide range of features that make it an invaluable tool for any programmer. Learning the ins and outs of Pandas early on in your endeavors will pay off in the long run.

How To Learn Pandas in Python?

You can learn Python and Pandas in many ways. Some people opt to do it themselves by making use of the internet’s vast library of instructional content. Others prefer to attend formal classes, such as Coding Dojo’s data science boot camp. Whichever method you choose, make sure your learning materials are high quality and that you are able to practice what you learn.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Pandas?

The amount of time it will take you to learn Pandas depends entirely on the way you choose to  learn it and the effort you put into studying. For those taking Coding Dojo’s data science boot camp, you’ll cover Pandas and other programming concepts in about 14 weeks. There is, however, no set timeline for learning Pandas; it all depends on your individual level of proficiency.