People at conferences and meetups often ask me what I would recommend to learn X or Y. And I’m always happy to give some suggestions depending on the experience level of the person that asked. Unfortunately, this doesn’t scale very much, so here are my general recommendations on learning something very effective. This time: pandas.
Pandas is a very powerful data analysis framework for the Python programming language. It’s like a programmable Excel worksheet but can process tons (aka gigabytes) of tabular data. Pandas is the de facto standard in the Data Science universe (OK, beneath R) and will help you to get your own data analyzed quickly. But there is a first learning barrier that you need to cross to get into the philosophy and thinking behind pandas. So here are my TOP 5 learning resources that I think can support you in learning pandas effectively:
TOP 1: Introduction to Python for Data Science (Interactive Online Course)
This is a fabulous online course that introduces you not only to pandas but also to the Python programming language itself as well as concepts and the libraries used under the hood of pandas. In interactive, hands-on tutorials, you will solve your first Data Science problems on your own. The course is for free and you can even get your own certificate for a rather small amount of money.
TOP 2: Programming with Python for Data Science (Interactive Online Course)
Yes, the second place is also an interactive online course. But this one is huge, too: It takes a deep dive into the Data Science area and teaches your not only the basics of pandas. You get also to know the machine learning library scikit-learn and the plotting library matplotlib. Together with plenty of mathematics and demanding exercises, you will be able to do your own data analysis in a real-world setting after completing this course successfully. But note that I may be a little bit biased here because I’ve learned pandas and machine learning with this course :-).
TOP 3: Python for Data Analysis (Book)
This is the book from the original creator of pandas, Wes McKinney. It’s kind of the reference book but also guides you step by step towards learning and understanding how pandas works. It also features a short introduction to the Python programming language that helps you repeating the parts that are important for using pandas.
TOP 4: Introduction to data analytics with pandas (Online video)
If you are really exhausted after a hard day at work but want to get a first impression of what you can do with pandas, then this video is for you. It introduces you to the most important topics that you need to know to process a variety of datasets with pandas as well as its core features. As a beginner, you don’t have to understand everything that’s mentioned in here. Just see it as an very entertaining overview.
TOP 5: Pandas Tutorials (Online Tutorials)
- In case you just need a very brief introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDAnFZqJDvI
It’s not common to recommend the webpage of a library as an introduction for beginners. But the pandas team does a great job to list learning resources and create tutorials for people with very different pre-knowledge levels. Just browse thourgh all the resources and choose the one that fits your needs.
How did you start to learn pandas? Do you know other effective ways of learning pandas? I’d be great to know! Just leave a comment down below so that we can discuss!