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Python for Data Analysis, 2nd Edition by Wes McKinney

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Section 1. New for the Second Edition

The first edition of this book was published in 2012, during a time when open source data analysis libraries for Python (such as pandas) were very new and developing rapidly. In this updated and expanded second edition, I have overhauled the chapters to account both for incompatible changes and deprecations as well as new features that have occurred in the last five years. I’ve also added fresh content to introduce tools that either did not exist in 2012 or had not matured enough to make the first cut. Finally, I have tried to avoid writing about new or cutting-edge open source projects that may not have had a chance to mature. I would like readers of this edition to find that the content is still almost as relevant in 2020 or 2021 as it is in 2017.

The major updates in this second edition include:

  • All code, including the Python tutorial, updated for Python 3.6 (the first edition used Python 2.7)

  • Updated Python installation instructions for the Anaconda Python Distribution and other needed Python packages

  • Updates for the latest versions of the pandas library in 2017

  • A new chapter on some more advanced pandas tools, and some other usage tips

  • A brief introduction to using statsmodels and scikit-learn

I also reorganized a significant portion of the content from the first edition to make the book more accessible to newcomers.

Section 2. Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:


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Section 3. Using Code Examples

You can find data files and related material for each chapter is available in this book’s GitHub repository at http://github.com/wesm/pydata-book.

This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, if example code is offered with this book, you may use it in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission.

We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Python for Data Analysis by Wes McKinney (O’Reilly). Copyright 2017 Wes McKinney, 978-1-491-95766-0.”

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Section 6. Acknowledgments

This work is the product of many years of fruitful discussions, collaborations, and assistance with and from many people around the world. I’d like to thank a few of them.

In Memoriam: John D. Hunter (1968–2012)

Our dear friend and colleague John D. Hunter passed away after a battle with colon cancer on August 28, 2012. This was only a short time after I’d completed the final manuscript for this book’s first edition.

John’s impact and legacy in the Python scientific and data communities would be hard to overstate. In addition to developing matplotlib in the early 2000s (a time when Python was not nearly so popular), he helped shape the culture of a critical generation of open source developers who’ve become pillars of the Python ecosystem that we now often take for granted.

I was lucky enough to connect with John early in my open source career in January 2010, just after releasing pandas 0.1. His inspiration and mentorship helped me push forward, even in the darkest of times, with my vision for pandas and Python as a first-class data analysis language.

John was very close with Fernando Pérez and Brian Granger, pioneers of IPython, Jupyter, and many other initiatives in the Python community. We had hoped to work on a book together, the four of us, but I ended up being the one with the most free time. I am sure he would be proud of what we’ve accomplished, as individuals and as a community, over the last five years.

Acknowledgments for the Second Edition (2017)

It has been five years almost to the day since I completed the manuscript for this book’s first edition in July 2012. A lot has changed. The Python community has grown immensely, and the ecosystem of open source software around it has flourished.

This new edition of the book would not exist if not for the tireless efforts of the pandas core developers, who have grown the project and its user community into one of the cornerstones of the Python data science ecosystem. These include, but are not limited to, Tom Augspurger, Joris van den Bossche, Chris Bartak, Phillip Cloud, gfyoung, Andy Hayden, Masaaki Horikoshi, Stephan Hoyer, Adam Klein, Wouter Overmeire, Jeff Reback, Chang She, Skipper Seabold, Jeff Tratner, and y-p.

On the actual writing of this second edition, I would like to thank the O’Reilly staff who helped me patiently with the writing process. This includes Marie Beaugureau, Ben Lorica, and Colleen Toporek. I again had outstanding technical reviewers with Tom Augpurger, Paul Barry, Hugh Brown, Jonathan Coe, and Andreas Müller contributing. Thank you.

This book’s first edition has been translated into many foreign languages, including Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. Translating all this content and making it available to a broader audience is a huge and often thankless effort. Thank you for helping more people in the world learn how to program and use data analysis tools.

I am also lucky to have had support for my continued open source development efforts from Cloudera and Two Sigma Investments over the last few years. With open source software projects more thinly resourced than ever relative to the size of user bases, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to provide support for development of key open source projects. It’s the right thing to do.

Acknowledgments for the First Edition (2012)

It would have been difficult for me to write this book without the support of a large number of people.

On the O’Reilly staff, I’m very grateful for my editors, Meghan Blanchette and Julie Steele, who guided me through the process. Mike Loukides also worked with me in the proposal stages and helped make the book a reality.

I received a wealth of technical review from a large cast of characters. In particular, Martin Blais and Hugh Brown were incredibly helpful in improving the book’s examples, clarity, and organization from cover to cover. James Long, Drew Conway, Fernando Pérez, Brian Granger, Thomas Kluyver, Adam Klein, Josh Klein, Chang She, and Stéfan van der Walt each reviewed one or more chapters, providing pointed feedback from many different perspectives.

I got many great ideas for examples and datasets from friends and colleagues in the data community, among them: Mike Dewar, Jeff Hammerbacher, James Johndrow, Kristian Lum, Adam Klein, Hilary Mason, Chang She, and Ashley Williams.

I am of course indebted to the many leaders in the open source scientific Python community who’ve built the foundation for my development work and gave encouragement while I was writing this book: the IPython core team (Fernando Pérez, Brian Granger, Min Ragan-Kelly, Thomas Kluyver, and others), John Hunter, Skipper Seabold, Travis Oliphant, Peter Wang, Eric Jones, Robert Kern, Josef Perktold, Francesc Alted, Chris Fonnesbeck, and too many others to mention. Several other people provided a great deal of support, ideas, and encouragement along the way: Drew Conway, Sean Taylor, Giuseppe Paleologo, Jared Lander, David Epstein, John Krowas, Joshua Bloom, Den Pilsworth, John Myles-White, and many others I’ve forgotten.

I’d also like to thank a number of people from my formative years. First, my former AQR colleagues who’ve cheered me on in my pandas work over the years: Alex Reyfman, Michael Wong, Tim Sargen, Oktay Kurbanov, Matthew Tschantz, Roni Israelov, Michael Katz, Chris Uga, Prasad Ramanan, Ted Square, and Hoon Kim. Lastly, my academic advisors Haynes Miller (MIT) and Mike West (Duke).

I received significant help from Phillip Cloud and Joris Van den Bossche in 2014 to update the book’s code examples and fix some other inaccuracies due to changes in pandas.

On the personal side, Casey provided invaluable day-to-day support during the writing process, tolerating my highs and lows as I hacked together the final draft on top of an already overcommitted schedule. Lastly, my parents, Bill and Kim, taught me to always follow my dreams and to never settle for less.

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