Introduction to Data Analysis Using Pandas


Working with data can be challenging: it often doesn’t come in the best format for analysis, and understanding it well enough to extract insights requires both time and the skills to filter, aggregate, reshape, and visualize it. This session will equip you with the knowledge you need to effectively use pandas – a powerful library for data analysis in Python – to make this process easier.

Pandas makes it possible to work with tabular data and perform all parts of the analysis from collection and manipulation through aggregation and visualization. While most of this session focuses on pandas, during our discussion of visualization, we will also introduce at a high level matplotlib (the library that pandas uses for its visualization features, which when used directly makes it possible to create custom layouts, add annotations, etc.) and seaborn (another plotting library, which features additional plot types and the ability to visualize long-format data).

Session Outline
Section 1: Getting Started with Pandas
We will begin by introducing the Series, DataFrame, and Index classes, which are the basic building blocks of the pandas library, and showing how to work with them. By the end of this section, you will be able to create DataFrames and perform operations on them to inspect and filter the data.

Section 2: Data Wrangling
To prepare our data for analysis, we need to perform data wrangling. In this section, we will learn how to clean and reformat data (e.g. renaming columns, fixing data type mismatches), restructure/reshape it, and enrich it (e.g. discretizing columns, calculating aggregations, combining data sources).

Section 3: Data Visualization
The human brain excels at finding patterns in visual representations of the data; so in this section, we will learn how to visualize data using pandas along with the matplotlib and seaborn libraries for additional features. We will create a variety of visualizations that will help us better understand our data.

Section 4: Hands-On Data Analysis Lab
We will practice all that you’ve learned in a hands-on lab. This section features a set of analysis tasks that provide opportunities to apply the material from the previous sections. The first 10 people to correctly complete the tasks will also win a copy of “Hands-On Data Analysis with Pandas – Second Edition”.

Background Knowledge
All code examples will be presented using Jupyter Notebooks. Attendees should have basic knowledge of Python and be comfortable working in Jupyter Notebooks.


Stefanie Molin is a data scientist and software engineer at Bloomberg in New York City, where she tackles tough problems in information security, particularly those revolving around anomaly detection, building tools for gathering data, and knowledge sharing. She is also the author of “Hands-On Data Analysis with Pandas,” which is currently on in its second edition. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in operations research from Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, with a specialization in machine learning, from Georgia Tech. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world, inventing new recipes, and learning new languages spoken among both people and computers.

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