When we perform a groupby across multiple columns, we often want to change how our data is stored. For instance, recall the example where we are running a chain of stores and have data about the number of sales at different locations on different days:

Location Date Day of Week Total Sales
West Village February 1 W 400
West Village February 2 Th 450
Chelsea February 1 W 375
Chelsea February 2 Th 390
We suspected that there might be different sales on different days of the week at different stores, so we performed a groupby across two different columns (Location and Day of Week). This gave us results that looked like this:
Location Day of Week Total Sales
Chelsea M 300
Chelsea Tu 310
Chelsea W 320
Chelsea Th 290
West Village Th 400
West Village F 390
West Village Sa 250
In order to test our hypothesis, it would be more useful if the table was formatted like this:
Location M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Chelsea 400 390 250 275 300 150 175
West Village 300 310 350 400 390 250 200

Reorganizing a table in this way is called pivoting. The new table is called a pivot table.

In Pandas, the command for pivot is:

df.pivot(columns='ColumnToPivot', index='ColumnToBeRows', values='ColumnToBeValues')

For our specific example, we would write the command like this:

# First use the groupby statement: unpivoted = df.groupby(['Location', 'Day of Week'])['Total Sales'].mean().reset_index() # Now pivot the table pivoted = unpivoted.pivot( columns='Day of Week', index='Location', values='Total Sales')

Just like with groupby, the output of a pivot command is a new DataFrame, but the indexing tends to be “weird”, so we usually follow up with .reset_index().

For more on the pivot function, see the pandas documentation.



In the previous example, you created a DataFrame with the total number of shoes of each shoe_type/shoe_color combination purchased for ShoeFly.com.

The purchasing manager complains that this DataFrame is confusing.

Make it easier for her to compare purchases of different shoe colors of the same shoe type by creating a pivot table. Save your results to the variable shoe_counts_pivot.

Your table should look like this:

shoe_type black brown navy red white
ballet flats

Remember to use reset_index() at the end of your code!


Display shoe_counts_pivot using print.

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