Understanding pandas.Series.asof() method (4 examples)

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


The pandas.Series.asof() method is a powerful tool in Python’s pandas library, especially when working with time series data. This method is designed to retrieve the last non-NA value at or before a specified time. It’s particularly useful in financial applications where you might need to find the most recent stock price prior to a given date. In this tutorial, we will explore the asof() method through four progressively complex examples. By the end, you’ll have a strong understanding of how to leverage this method in your data analysis tasks.


Before we dive into the examples, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  • A basic understanding of Python programming.
  • Familiarity with pandas library. If you are new to pandas, consider reading up on pandas DataFrame and Series objects.
  • pandas installed in your Python environment. You can install it using pip: pip install pandas

Example 1: Basic Usage

Let’s start with a basic example to understand how the asof() method works.

import pandas as pd

dates = ['2023-01-01', '2023-01-02', '2023-01-03']
values = [10, None, 20]

series = pd.Series(data=values, index=pd.to_datetime(dates))
result = series.asof('2023-01-02')


In this example, even though there’s a None value for ‘2023-01-02’, the asof() method returns 10, which is the last non-NA value at or before ‘2023-01-02’.

Example 2: Using asof() with a Series of Dates

Now, let’s look at how you can use the asof() method with a series of dates, rather than a single date.

import pandas as pd

dates = ['2023-01-01', '2023-01-02', '2023-01-03', '2023-01-04']
values = [100, None, 200, None]

series = pd.Series(data=values, index=pd.to_datetime(dates))
query_dates = ['2023-01-02', '2023-01-03', '2023-01-04']

results = series.asof(query_dates)

Here, the asof() method effectively returns the last non-NA value for each date in query_dates. For ‘2023-01-04’, it returns 200, which is the value for ‘2023-01-03’.

Example 3: Customizing with where

Another feature of asof() is the ability to narrow down the search using the where parameter, which accepts a boolean condition. This is particularly useful when you want to apply additional conditions to your search.

import pandas as pd

# Define a series with custom where condition
s = pd.Series([1, 2, 3, 4, 5], index=pd.date_range('20230101', periods=5))
r = s.asof('2023-01-03', where=s>2)


In this example, we specify a where condition to retrieve the last value greater than 2 at or before ‘2023-01-03’. The asof() method returns 3, adhering to our condition.

Example 4: Advanced Usage with DataFrame

While asof() is typically used with Series, it can also be applied to DataFrames for more complex scenarios. Here’s an example where we use asof() to find values in a DataFrame.

import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame({
    'dates': pd.to_datetime(['2023-01-01', '2023-01-02', '2023-01-03', '2023-01-04']),
    'values': [100, None, 200, 300],
    'conditions': [1, None, 2, 3]

# Using asof with a DataFrame
result = df.asof(['2023-01-02', '2023-01-03'])

This advanced example demonstrates how asof() can be used to retrieve the last non-NA values from multiple columns in a DataFrame, based on specified dates.


The pandas.Series.asof() method is an invaluable tool for working with time series data. Its ability to retrieve the last non-NA value up to a certain point makes it indispensable for financial analysis and other applications where timely data is crucial. With the examples provided, you should now feel comfortable utilizing asof() in both simple and more complex scenarios.