Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas

by Chris Moffitt | at MinneBar 11 | 11:45 – 12:35 in Harriet | View Schedule

Excel is ubiquitous in the business world and can be an extremely powerful tool. However, there are way too many instances where it is abused and used to create unsustainable solutions to very real business problems. Fortunately python is an open source language with a powerful data manipulation library called pandas that can help relieve some of this pain.

This talk will discuss some of the challenges with trying to use Excel as the primary tool for data wrangling including:

  • Scalability for larger data sets
  • Ability to version control and document the process
  • Managing complex formulas
  • Building repeatable processes that can be executed by non-technical users

After discussing some of the types of problems with an Excel-based solution, I will cover:

  • High level overview of python and why it is a good choice for the solution
  • Overview of the pandas library
  • Highlights on how to approach these types of problems and items to consider when introducing this technology into an organization.

The purpose of the talk is to give a broad overview of a potential solution and provide pointers on next steps to implement in your own organization. The topic does not require any specific technical experience or knowledge.

All levels

Chris Moffitt

Chris has been working with python and other open source technologies for many years. He frequently blogs at Practical Business Python.