Using pandas to read less than ideal excel formats. Experience it because it is very useful for you.
As data scientists, we often interface with non-technical colleagues. When they provide data in the form of a spreadsheet, they probably don’t think about how
pd.read_excel() will perform on our end, it’s just not their job to format their data to favor our tech stack.
Luckily, there are ways we can remedy this using pandas. In this article, I will walk you through some code I wrote to handle such a spreadsheet. One thing to note is the
pd.read_excel() file will usually return something, so debugging issues with spreadsheet structure rests solely on manually inspecting the resulting dataframe.
Let’s start by taking a look at the spreadsheet. This was generated by software used internally, so it’s something I encounter regularly. You’ll see that the spreadsheet has the following hurdles:
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