Mark Morrisson Mark Morrisson - 22 days ago 16
Python Question

How to set a cell to NaN in a pandas dataframe

I'd like to replace bad values in a column of a dataframe by NaN's.

mydata = {'x' : [10, 50, 18, 32, 47, 20], 'y' : ['12', '11', 'N/A', '13', '15', 'N/A']}
df = pd.DataFrame(mydata)

df[df.y == 'N/A']['y'] = np.nan


Though, the last line fails and throws a warning because it's working on a copy of df. So, what's the correct way to handle this? I've seen many solutions with iloc or ix but here, I need to use a boolean condition.

Answer Source

just use replace:

In [106]:
df.replace('N/A',np.NaN)

Out[106]:
    x    y
0  10   12
1  50   11
2  18  NaN
3  32   13
4  47   15
5  20  NaN

What you're trying is called chain indexing: http://pandas.pydata.org/pandas-docs/stable/indexing.html#indexing-view-versus-copy

You can use loc to ensure you operate on the original dF:

In [108]:
df.loc[df['y'] == 'N/A','y'] = np.nan
df

Out[108]:
    x    y
0  10   12
1  50   11
2  18  NaN
3  32   13
4  47   15
5  20  NaN