Understanding pandas.Series.pipe() method (with examples)

Updated: February 18, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


The pandas.Series.pipe() method is an invaluable tool for data scientists and analysts working in Python. It is designed to improve code readability and efficiency by allowing the application of user-defined or library functions directly to pandas Series objects. This tutorial will walk you through the basics, intermediate, and advanced uses of the pipe() method, complete with examples.

Purpose of pandas.Series.pipe()

Before delving into examples, let’s first understand what the pandas.Series.pipe() method is. In essence, it enables function chaining, allowing you to apply one or multiple operations to a pandas Series sequentially. This method takes a function (and optional arguments to that function) as input and applies it to the Series, returning a result which can be immediately passed to another pipe() call or assigned to a variable.

Basic Usage

To begin, we’ll look at a basic example of how to employ the pipe() method with a simple function that doubles the value of each element in a Series.

import pandas as pd

def double_values(series):
    return series * 2

s = pd.Series([1, 2, 3, 4])
result = s.pipe(double_values)


0    2
1    4
2    6
3    8
dtype: int64

Intermediate Usage

Now, let’s enhance our function to accept additional arguments by adding an option to square the values before doubling. This example showcases how to pass extra arguments to the function being piped.

def modify_values(series, square=False):
    if square:
        series = series ** 2
    return series * 2

s = pd.Series([1, 2, 3, 4])
result = s.pipe(modify_values, square=True)


0     4
1    16
2    36
3    64
dtype: int64

Advanced Usage

For more advanced applications, you can chain multiple pipe() operations or integrate pipe() with functions from other libraries like numpy or custom logic. The following example demonstrates chaining multiple operations and integrating with numpy to perform a log transformation followed by a custom operation.

import numpy as np

def log_transform(series):
    return np.log(series)

def custom_operation(series, add):
    return series + add

s = pd.Series([1, 2, 3, 4])
result = s.pipe(log_transform).pipe(custom_operation, add=5)


0    5.000000
1    5.693147
2    6.098612
3    6.386294
dtype: float64

Using pipe() for Data Cleaning

The pipe() method is also extensively useful in data cleaning tasks. For example, you might have a function that removes outliers from your data and another that normalizes it. By chaining these functions using pipe(), you can streamline the process of preparing your data for analysis.

def remove_outliers(series, threshold):
    return series[series < threshold]

def normalize(series):
    return (series - series.mean()) / series.std()

s = pd.Series([1, 100, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 200])
result = s.pipe(remove_outliers, threshold=50).pipe(normalize)


dtype: float64


The pandas.Series.pipe() method offers a streamlined approach to applying functions to Series objects, facilitating more readable and concise code. Through the examples provided, we’ve seen how it can be utilized for basic transformations, complex data manipulation, and data cleaning tasks, proving its versatility and power in data analysis workflows.