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Beginner's Guide to Efficiently Using Pandas Query with Variables


Pandas Query with Variable Tutorial


This tutorial aims to provide a comprehensive guide on using variables in pandas query operations. We will explore the basics of the pandas library, learn about query operations, and understand how to incorporate variables into the queries. By the end of this tutorial, you will be equipped with the knowledge to efficiently filter and manipulate data using pandas query with variables.


Data analysis often involves filtering, manipulating, and extracting information from large datasets. The pandas library in Python provides powerful tools to handle data effectively. One such tool is the query function, which allows us to filter a pandas DataFrame based on specific conditions. With the ability to use variables in these queries, we can make our code more dynamic and flexible.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started with Pandas
  2. Understanding Query Operations
  3. Using Variables in Pandas Queries
  4. Step-by-Step Guide
  5. Conclusion

Getting Started with Pandas

To begin, make sure you have pandas installed. You can install it using pip:

pip install pandas

Once installed, import the pandas library in your Python script:

import pandas as pd

Understanding Query Operations

Pandas provides different methods and functions to filter and manipulate data. Let’s explore the most commonly used approaches.

Filtering Data with Boolean Expressions

One way to filter data in pandas is by using Boolean expressions. For example, let’s say we have a DataFrame called df and we want to filter rows where the ‘age’ column is greater than 30:

filtered_df = df[df['age'] > 30]

Using the query() Function

Pandas also provides the query() function which allows us to write more complex conditions using a syntax similar to SQL. For instance, we can filter rows where ‘age’ is greater than 30 and ‘gender’ is ‘female’:

filtered_df = df.query('age > 30 and gender == "female"')

Using Variables in Pandas Queries

Now, let’s explore how to use variables to make our queries more flexible and dynamic.

Assigning Variables

Before using variables in queries, we need to assign values to them. Variables can hold different data types such as integers, strings, or booleans. For example:

age_threshold = 30
gender = 'female'

Using Variables in Boolean Expressions

To use variables in Boolean expressions, simply replace the hardcoded values with the variable names. For instance:

filtered_df = df[df['age'] > age_threshold]

Incorporating Variables in the query() Function

When using variables in the query() function, we can directly reference the variables within the query string. For example:

filtered_df = df.query('age > @age_threshold and gender == @gender')

Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s go through a step-by-step guide to apply the concepts we’ve discussed using a practical example.

Step 1: Import Required Libraries

Start by importing the necessary libraries:

import pandas as pd

Step 2: Load Data into a DataFrame

Next, load your data into a pandas DataFrame. You can use various methods like read_csv(), read_excel(), or from_dict(). For example, to load a CSV file:

df = pd.read_csv('data.csv')

Step 3: Assign Variables

Assign values to your variables. For example:

age_threshold = 30
gender = 'female'

Step 4: Filtering Data using Variables

Filter the DataFrame based on the assigned variables:

filtered_df = df[df['age'] > age_threshold]

Step 5: Using Variables in query() Function

Finally, demonstrate the use of variables in the query() function:

filtered_df = df.query('age > @age_threshold and gender == @gender')


In this tutorial, we’ve covered the basics of using variables in pandas queries. We learned how to assign variables, use them in Boolean expressions, and incorporate them in the query() function. By utilizing variables, we can make our code more dynamic and reusable. Remember to experiment with different conditions and explore additional functionalities of pandas to enhance your data analysis capabilities.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q: Can I use multiple variables in a single query?
    A: Yes, you can use multiple variables in a single query by referencing them within the query string.

  2. Q: Are variables case-sensitive in pandas queries?
    A: Yes, variables in pandas queries are case-sensitive. Make sure to use consistent variable names.

  3. Q: Can I use variables in conjunction with other filtering methods in pandas?
    A: Yes, you can use variables in conjunction with other filtering methods like loc or iloc in pandas to further refine your data selection.

  4. Q: Can I modify the assigned values of variables during the execution of a script?
    A: Yes, you can modify the assigned values of variables during the execution of a script to dynamically change the filtering conditions.

  5. Q: How can I handle missing data when using variables in pandas queries?
    A: Pandas handles missing data gracefully. When using variables in queries, pandas automatically excludes rows with missing data from the result.