pandas read_html

pandas read_html best explanation with 2 example snippet

  • Introduction
    • Understanding the Blog Topic
    • The importance of Python in Data Analysis
  • The Basics of Pandas
    • Understanding the Pandas Library
    • Core Features and Functions
  • Introduction to Pandas read_html
    • Understanding pandas.read_html function
    • Use Cases
  • Getting Started with Pandas read_html
    • Installation Requirements
    • How to Use pandas.read_html
  • A Deep Dive into pandas.read_html
    • Inspecting the Output of pandas.read_html
    • Handling Complex HTML Tables with pandas.read_html
  • The Basics of NumPy
    • Understanding the NumPy Library
    • Core Features and Functions
  • Comparing Pandas and NumPy
    • When to Use Pandas and When to Use NumPy
  • Integrating Pandas and NumPy
    • How Pandas and NumPy Work Together
  • Conclusion
    • Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead
  • FAQs



pandas read_html


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NumPy and pandas are two fundamental libraries in Python that are widely used in data analysis and manipulation.

  1. NumPy: NumPy, short for ‘Numerical Python’, is a library for the Python programming language, adding support for large, multi-dimensional arrays and matrices, along with a large collection of high-level mathematical functions to operate on these arrays. With NumPy, mathematical and logical operations on arrays can be performed efficiently. It’s a crucial library for scientific computing with Python and serves as the foundation for many other Python libraries due to its ability to perform numerical computations fast and efficiently.
  2. Pandas: Pandas is another library in Python that’s built on top of NumPy and is used for data manipulation and analysis. It provides data structures and functions needed to manipulate structured data, including functionalities for manipulating and reshaping data, filtering data, merging and joining datasets, handling missing data, and performing data aggregation and grouping operations. The two main data structures used in pandas are Series (for one-dimensional data) and DataFrame (for two-dimensional data).

To put it simply, NumPy is best for numerical computations on large arrays of data, while pandas is best for working with structured, tabular data where the rows and columns can be of different types and have meaningful labels. Both are often used together in data analysis workflows, with NumPy serving as the backbone for numerical computations and pandas being used to handle more complex data manipulation tasks.

The Basics of Pandas

Pandas is a popular Python library for data manipulation and analysis. It’s designed to make it easier to work with structured data. The name ‘pandas’ stands for ‘panel data’, which is an econometrics term for multidimensional structured data sets.

Here are some basics about the pandas library:

  1. Data Structures: Pandas introduces two powerful data structures into Python, namely DataFrame and Series.
    • Series: This is a one-dimensional labeled array that can hold any data type such as integers, strings, floating points, Python objects, and so on. It is similar to a column in a spreadsheet.
    • DataFrame: This is a two-dimensional labeled data structure with columns of potentially different types. You can think of it like a spreadsheet or SQL table, or a dictionary of Series objects.
  2. Importing Data: Pandas makes it simple to import data from various formats such as CSV, Excel, SQL databases, and more. For example, you could use pd.read_csv('file.csv') to load a CSV file into a DataFrame.
  3. Data Cleaning: Pandas provides several methods for cleaning and filtering data, such as handling missing data, dropping or filling null values, replacing values, and so on.
  4. Data Manipulation: Pandas also allows for various data manipulation operations like merging, reshaping, selecting, as well as the ability to add, modify and delete the columns in the data structures.
  5. Data Analysis: Pandas includes functions for descriptive statistics, correlation, covariance, standard deviation, etc. You can also perform group by operations using groupby() function for data analysis.
  6. Data Visualization: While pandas is not a replacement for Matplotlib, Seaborn, or other data visualization tools, it does provide some basic plotting capabilities like bar, histogram, box, area, line, scatter, hexbin plot and pie plot.



import pandas as pd

# Create a simple dataframe
data = {
    'Apples': [3, 2, 0, 1], 
    'Oranges': [0, 3, 7, 2]
purchases = pd.DataFrame(data)


In this code, we first import the pandas library. We then create a dictionary where the keys will be used as column headers and the values as column values. We pass this dictionary to the pd.DataFrame function to create a DataFrame. Finally, we print the DataFrame, which will display our data in a structured, table-like format.

Pandas is a vast library with a multitude of functions and methods, and this is just a basic introduction. It’s a powerful tool for any data scientist or data analyst’s arsenal.


Understanding the Pandas Library

andas is a popular open-source data analysis and manipulation library for Python. It’s used for cleaning, transforming, manipulating, and analyzing data. It is built on top of two core Python libraries – Matplotlib for data visualization and NumPy for mathematical operations.

Here are some key features and aspects to understand about the pandas library:

  1. Data Structures: Pandas primarily uses two data structures: “Series” (one-dimensional, similar to an array, list, or column in a table) and “DataFrame” (two-dimensional, similar to a SQL table, or Excel spreadsheet).
  2. Handling of Data: Pandas can handle a variety of data types, including numerical, categorical, datetime, and text data. It provides extensive operations for data cleaning, data filling, and data wrangling.
  3. Importing/Exporting Data: Pandas can read data from a variety of formats such as CSV, XLSX, and SQL databases, and it can export data in similar formats.
  4. Merging and Joining Data: Pandas allows for advanced merging and joining operations on data sets, similar to SQL.
  5. Grouping and Aggregating Data: With pandas, you can group similar entries together and run functions to aggregate the data, similar to the GROUP BY and aggregate functions in SQL.
  6. Data Reshaping: Pandas can pivot, melt, concatenate, and reshape data in many ways to suit your needs.
  7. Time Series Functionality: Pandas is fantastic for working with time series data, with built-in methods for date and time fields, resampling, time shifts, and lagging.
  8. Data Visualization: Though not as extensive as Matplotlib or Seaborn, pandas integrates well with these libraries and has some built-in convenience plotting methods for DataFrames and Series.

Core Features and Functions

andas is a powerful data analysis library for Python that provides a wide range of features for handling, processing, and analyzing data. Here are some of the core features of pandas:

  1. DataFrame Object: This is a two-dimensional table of data with rows and columns. The columns can be of different types (like in a SQL table), and both the rows and the columns can be labeled.
  2. Series Object: This is a one-dimensional labeled array capable of holding any data type (integers, strings, floating-point numbers, Python objects, etc.). A Series is essentially a single column in a DataFrame, but can also exist independently.
  3. Handling of Missing Data: Pandas provides tools for handling missing data, including methods to drop or fill missing values, or to interpolate the missing values based on other data.
  4. Data Import and Export: You can easily read and write data in many formats including CSV, Excel, SQL databases, and more.
  5. Data Cleaning: Pandas provides many functions to clean and normalize data, including functions to strip whitespace, replace characters, and identify duplicates.
  6. Data Wrangling: You can easily reshape, pivot, transpose, join, or split your data. This makes it easier to transform raw data into a more suitable format for analysis.
  7. Aggregating Data: Pandas makes it easy to group data in different ways and to calculate aggregate values like sum, mean, minimum, or maximum.
  8. Merging and Joining Data: You can combine datasets in various ways (like SQL JOIN operations) using the merge and join functions in pandas.
  9. Time Series Functionality: Pandas has strong support for time series data and provides many functions for resampling, moving window statistics, date shifting, and more.
  10. Data Visualization: Pandas integrates well with Matplotlib to provide easy plotting capabilities directly from DataFrame and Series objects.

Introduction to Pandas read_html

‘Pandas read_html’ is a lifesaver when it comes to extracting tables from HTML sources.

Understanding pandas.read_html function

The read_html function in pandas is a convenient way to read HTML tables directly into pandas DataFrame objects. This function essentially allows you to scrape tabular data from HTML pages, which can be useful when you’re trying to extract structured data from web pages.

Here is a basic usage example:


import pandas as pd

tables = pd.read_html("")

In this example, pd.read_html is used to read HTML tables from the webpage at the given URL. The function returns a list of DataFrame objects, one for each HTML table found on the page.

Here are some key points to note about pd.read_html:

  • By default, pd.read_html searches for <table> elements in the HTML and attempts to convert them into DataFrame objects.
  • It uses the libraries lxml and BeautifulSoup4 to parse the HTML.
  • You can specify the header parameter to use a particular row as the column names.
  • The index_col parameter can be used to define the first (0th) column as index of the resulting DataFrame.
  • It automatically converts numerical values, which are initially read as text, into the appropriate numerical type.

Please note that while pd.read_html is convenient, it’s also somewhat basic. If you’re dealing with complex web scraping tasks, you may need to use more sophisticated tools, like BeautifulSoup or Scrapy.


Use Cases

This function can be handy when dealing with HTML content that includes well-structured tables, such as reports, statistics, or other forms of structured data published online.

Getting Started with Pandas read_html

Before diving into how to use ‘pandas.read_html’, let’s look at the installation requirements.

Installation Requirements

To use the ‘pandas.read_html’ function, you need to have both Pandas and lxml installed on your system.

How to Use pandas.read_html

The syntax for using ‘pandas.read_html’ is quite straightforward. You pass the URL or the HTML text and it returns a list of dataframes, with each dataframe corresponding to a table in the HTML.

A Deep Dive into pandas.read_html

Understanding the output of ‘pandas.read_html’ and learning to handle complex HTML tables can be key to mastering this function.

Inspecting the Output of pandas.read_html

The ‘pandas.read_html’ function returns a list of DataFrame objects, representing all the tables in the HTML content. You can iterate over this list or access individual dataframes using their index.

Handling Complex HTML Tables with pandas.read_html

To handle complex HTML tables, you can use the ‘attrs’ parameter to match tables with specific attributes or ‘match’ parameter to match tables with specific text.

The Basics of NumPy

NumPy, which stands for Numerical Python, is another open-source Python library used for numerical computations.

Understanding the NumPy Library

NumPy provides support for arrays, along with a collection of mathematical functions to perform operations on these arrays.

Core Features and Functions

NumPy offers features such as sophisticated functions, tools for integrating C/C++ code, and useful linear algebra, Fourier transform, and random number capabilities.

Comparing Pandas and NumPy

While both Pandas and NumPy are crucial tools for data manipulation, their use cases differ.

When to Use Pandas and When to Use NumPy

NumPy is best suited for performing mathematical and logical operations on large datasets. On the other hand, Pandas is better suited for data cleaning and exploration.

Integrating Pandas and NumPy

Pandas and NumPy are not mutually exclusive and often used together in data analysis workflows.

How Pandas and NumPy Work Together

Pandas and NumPy are two of the most foundational libraries for data analysis in Python, and they work together in several ways to enable powerful data operations.

  1. Shared Data Structures: At the core of how Pandas and NumPy work together is the fact that Pandas is built on top of NumPy. This means that Pandas uses NumPy’s array structures to store data. Specifically, each column of a Pandas DataFrame is a NumPy array. This relationship allows for fast, efficient operations on data within a DataFrame.
  2. Shared Operations: Because Pandas is built on NumPy, many operations that work on NumPy arrays will also work on Pandas DataFrames and Series. This includes mathematical operations, logical operations, and certain types of indexing and slicing.
  3. Data Types: Pandas makes use of NumPy’s data types for its columns. For instance, if you have a column of integers in a DataFrame, it’s actually stored as a NumPy array with dtype int64.
  4. Efficient Calculations: Both Pandas and NumPy have the ability to perform operations on entire arrays at once, which leads to efficient calculations. This is much faster than using Python’s built-in sequences and performing operations in loops.
  5. Interchangeability: It’s easy to convert between Pandas and NumPy structures. A DataFrame column can be turned into a NumPy array, a NumPy array can be reshaped and turned into a DataFrame, and so on. This makes it easy to switch back and forth between the two as needed.


Python’s data libraries, particularly Pandas and NumPy, have revolutionized the way we handle and analyze data. The ‘pandas.read_html’ function, in particular, simplifies the process of scraping web tables and converting them into manageable dataframes. With a basic understanding of these tools, you’re now ready to dive into your data analysis projects with greater efficiency and effectiveness.


  1. What is pandas read_html?
    • ‘pandas.read_html’ is a function in the Pandas library that reads HTML tables into a list of DataFrame objects.
  2. Why should I use the pandas read_html function?
    • This function simplifies the process of extracting and structuring data from HTML sources, making it a valuable tool for web scraping and data analysis.
  3. What is the difference between Pandas and NumPy?
    • While both are data manipulation libraries in Python, Pandas is best suited for data cleaning and exploration, and NumPy is ideal for performing mathematical and logical operations.
  4. Can I use Pandas and NumPy together?
    • Yes, you can. In fact, Pandas data objects are built on top of NumPy arrays, which means you can seamlessly use them together.
  5. Do I need to install any other libraries to use pandas.read_html?
    • Yes, in addition to Pandas, you need to have lxml installed on your system to use ‘pandas.read_html’.



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