Pandas – Using DataFrame.pipe() method (5 examples)

Updated: February 22, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Pandas is a highly versatile library in Python, making data manipulation and analysis more accessible and more efficient. Among its many features, the pipe() method stands out for its ability to apply complex transformations effortlessly. This tutorial will delve into the DataFrame.pipe() method, guiding you through its application with five illustrative examples, from basic to advanced.

The Purpose of DataFrame.pipe()

The pipe() method allows us to apply one or more functions to a DataFrame. It is particularly useful for creating readable code by enabling method chaining. Essentially, pipe() enables the application of user-defined functions (or transformations) on a DataFrame, passing the DataFrame as the first argument implicitly.

import pandas as pd

def example_function(df, arg1=1):
    return df + arg1

# Creating a simple DataFrame
df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': [7, 8, 9]})

# Applying the pipe method
df_modified = df.pipe(example_function, 3)

This code snippet demonstrates the basic application of pipe(), where a simple user-defined function is applied to a DataFrame, modifying its values.

Example 1: Data Cleaning

Often in data analysis, the initial step involves cleaning the data. Let’s apply pipe() to streamline this process.

def remove_missing_values(df):
    return df.dropna()

def capitalize_column_names(df):
    return df.rename(columns=str.upper)

df = pd.DataFrame({'name': ['Alice', None, 'Charlie'], 'age': [25, None, 28]})

df_clean = df.pipe(remove_missing_values).pipe(capitalize_column_names)

Here, pipe() is used to sequentially apply two functions: one removes missing values, and another capitalizes column names, illustrating how multiple transformations can be streamlined.

Example 2: Data Transformation

Transforming data is a critical step in preparing it for analysis. Let this example demonstrate how to use pipe() for more complex transformations.

def scale_data(df, factor):
    return df * factor

def shift_data(df, shift_value):
    return df + shift_value

# Using pipe for a composite transformation
df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': [4, 5, 6]})
df_transformed = df.pipe(scale_data, 10).pipe(shift_data, -3)

This example shows how pipe() can be applied for composite data transformations, first scaling the data and then shifting it, in a fluent and easily readable manner.

Example 3: Conditional application of functions

Applying functions conditionally to data enhances the flexibility of data manipulation routines. Let’s explore how pipe() can be utilized in this context.

def apply_if_contains(df, column, substring, function):
    if substring in df[column].to_string():
        return df.pipe(function)
    return df

def highlight(df):
    return x: 'background-color : yellow' if x > 2 else '')

df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': [4, 5, 6]})
df_highlighted = apply_if_contains(df, 'A', '3', highlight)

This example illustrates conditional application of functions using pipe(). The highlight function is only applied if a specified condition (here, the presence of a specific substring in a column) is met.

Example 4: Combining External Data

Another powerful application of the pipe() method is in the combination of external data into the analysis pipeline. Let’s explore this through an example.

import requests

def fetch_additional_data(df, url):
    response = requests.get(url)
    external_data = pd.read_json(response.text)
    return pd.concat([df, external_data], axis=1)

df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1], 'B': [2]})
url = ''
df_enriched = df.pipe(fetch_additional_data, url)

In this example, pipe() is used to fetch and incorporate external data from a specified URL into the DataFrame, demonstrating how external APIs can be integrated into the data transformation pipeline.

Example 5: Advanced Data Analysis Techniques

For our final example, let’s look at applying advanced data analysis techniques using pipe().

from sklearn.preprocessing import StandardScaler

def standardize_data(df):
    scaler = StandardScaler()
    scaled_array = scaler.fit_transform(df.to_numpy())
    return pd.DataFrame(scaled_array, columns=df.columns)

df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': [4, 5, 6]})
df_standardized = df.pipe(standardize_data)

This example integrates pipe() with the scikit-learn library to standardize data, a common preprocessing step in machine learning pipelines, showcasing pipe()‘s ability to work in tandem with other Python libraries for data analysis.


The DataFrame.pipe() method is indispensable for making code more modular, readable, and efficient. By understanding and utilizing this function, you can significantly streamline your data manipulation and analysis workflows. Each of the examples provided has illustrated a unique and powerful way to leverage pipe() for data processing, from basic transformations to advanced data analysis techniques.