Adventures in Machine Learning

Mastering Data Manipulation in Pandas: Updating Values using Merge()

Pandas is a powerful and widely-used library in Python for data manipulation and analysis. Besides its efficiency, it supports different kinds of operations, including updating values in a pandas DataFrame using the merge() function.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of this function and other common tasks in Pandas that can be useful in different types of projects. In this article, you will learn how to use the merge() function to update values in a pandas DataFrame.

Along with that, you will also find different resources for common tasks in pandas that can add value to your analysis and make you more productive when handling data.

Updating values in a pandas DataFrame using merge()

to merging two DataFrames

Before diving into updating values in a pandas DataFrame, it would be helpful to understand what merging two DataFrames means. Merging two DataFrames means combining two DataFrames to create a new table with a common set of columns.

The merge function in pandas combines multiple DataFrames into one by aligning one or more keys of common columns. This provides a simple way to perform operations on related data sets, such as aggregating or updating values.

Example of updating DataFrame values using the merge() function

Assume that you have a dataset of basketball players that includes their name, points scored, and assists made. But some players assist values are missing, and you need to update them with the correct ones.

You can accomplish this using the merge() function in pandas. Heres an example of how to merge the missing assists with the correct ones using this function:


import pandas as pd

# create first DataFrame

df1 = pd.DataFrame({‘Player’: [‘LeBron James’, ‘Kevin Durant’, ‘Stephen Curry’, ‘James Harden’],

‘Points’: [150, 120, 110, 100],

‘Assists’: [10,45,8, None]})

# create second DataFrame

df2 = pd.DataFrame({‘Player’: [‘Stephen Curry’, ‘Kevin Durant’, ‘LeBron James’, ‘James Harden’],

‘Assists’: [6, 9, 12, 5]})

# merge both DataFrames using ‘Player’ as the common key

updated_df = pd.merge(df1, df2, on=’Player’)

# update the ‘Assists’ column




Here, two DataFrames with the player’s names and their corresponding points and assist values are merged using the merge() function. The function matches the players’ names in both DataFrames by using the ‘Player’ column as the key.

Once the DataFrames are successfully merged, the ‘Assist’ column is updated to insert the missing values in the original DataFrame.

Additional Resources for Common Tasks in Pandas

Overview of other common tasks in pandas

Apart from updating values in a pandas DataFrame using the merge() function, pandas offers a range of other common tasks useful to data analysts. Cleaning data by removing duplicates, filling in missing values, and extracting useful information from text data are just a few examples of common tasks that require pandas.

Additionally, sorting values based on specific columns, filtering data based on certain conditions, and grouping data based on categories are common tasks that pandas supports, amongst others.

Links to tutorials for other tasks

If youre new to pandas or need help with a specific operation, you can find several resources and tutorials online. Here are a few notable ones:


Pandas documentation:

This is the official documentation for pandas. It provides a comprehensive reference guide for pandas and covers a wide range of topics such as data manipulation, data filtering, and statistics.

2. DataCamp:

DataCamp is an online learning platform for data science skills.

It has an extensive course library that includes pandas Foundations. This course covers the basics of pandas, data manipulation, and data cleaning operations in pandas.

3. Kaggle:

Kaggle is a platform for data scientists to compete in data science challenges and participate in community discussions.

Kaggle provides a pandas tutorial on their platform that covers the fundamentals of pandas, including data filtering, data manipulation, and data visualization. 4.

Towards Data Science:

Towards Data Science offers a range of tutorials on different data science topics, including pandas. This tutorial provides in-depth coverage of the pandas sorting functionality and how it can be used to filter data.


In summary, pandas is a powerful library for data manipulation and analysis, with its merge() function being useful for updating values in a pandas DataFrame. Other common tasks carried out with pandas include cleaning data, filtering, and grouping data.

Various tutorials and resources are available online to help you learn pandas and become proficient in using it to manipulate and analyze data. Whether youre new to pandas or seeking to improve your data analysis skills, knowledge of these common tasks will make you more efficient in handling data.

Overall, this article explored the use of merge() function in pandas for updating values in a pandas DataFrame, along with additional resources for performing other common tasks in pandas. The merge() function is an efficient way to merge multiple DataFrames and carry out operations on related data sets.

Pandas also supports other common tasks, such as cleaning data and filtering data, and there are various tutorials and resources available online to help you learn pandas. Therefore, understanding these tasks and knowing how to work with them can make you more efficient and effective when handling data.

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