Pandas vs. NumPy: Comparison, Differences and Main Features

Pandas vs. Numpy comparison

Have you ever wondered what makes Python so powerful for numerical data analysis? Two of the most popular libraries that contribute to this are NumPy and Pandas. NumPy provides fast and efficient multi-dimensional array operations, while Pandas provides a high-level, easy-to-use interface for data manipulation and analysis. Together, these libraries have revolutionized the way we analyze and work with data. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of data analysis with Python.

Introduction to Pandas

Pyhton pandas library logo

Pandas is a popular Python library used for data manipulation and analysis. The library was created by Wes McKinney in 2008 to provide a flexible data analysis tool for Python users. It is named after “Panel Data,” which is data with time-based observations for the same entities. 

Pandas offer various data structures and functions for working with structured data like spreadsheets, tables, and databases. One of Pandas’ significant advantages is its flexibility in handling missing data and data alignment issues. It also offers powerful filtering, grouping, and merging capabilities, as well as functions for reshaping data, creating pivot tables, and applying custom functions. 

Pandas are used in various industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, and education, for data cleaning, preparation, exploratory data analysis, statistical analysis, machine learning, and data visualization. It has a user-friendly syntax and extensive documentation, making it easy to learn and use, even for beginners. 

Pandas provide a powerful and efficient way to manipulate and analyze data, making it a valuable tool for any data analyst or scientist. 

Main Features of Pandas 

As one of the most popular Python libraries for data science, Pandas offers a wealth of features that simplify working with structured data. Below are some of its key features:

  • Dataframes: Pandas provides a flexible and powerful data structure called DataFrames that can handle both structured and unstructured data.
  • Data cleaning and preparation: Pandas offers a range of functions for handling missing data, filtering, sorting, and removing duplicates.
  • Data visualization: Pandas makes it easy to create charts and graphs to visualize data using built-in plotting functions.
  • Time series analysis: Pandas has powerful capabilities for handling time series data, including resampling, shifting, and rolling calculations.
  • Merging and joining: Pandas provides functions for merging and joining datasets, making it easy to combine data from multiple sources.
  • Grouping and aggregating: Pandas makes it easy to group and aggregate data based on specific criteria, allowing for easy statistical analysis.

Introduction to NumPy 

NumPy Pandas logo

NumPy is a popular Python library that is widely used in the fields of data analysis, scientific computing, and machine learning. It is an open-source library that is designed to provide efficient and fast mathematical operations on arrays of data.

The library provides a range of functions and tools that allow users to manipulate, process, and analyze large amounts of data. NumPy is particularly useful for handling multi-dimensional arrays, which are commonly used in scientific and numerical computations.

With NumPy, users can perform various mathematical operations, such as linear algebra, Fourier transforms, and random number generation. The library is also used in machine learning algorithms to process and analyze large datasets.

NumPy has become a critical tool in data analysis because of its versatility, ease of use, and efficiency. It is widely used by data scientists, researchers, and engineers because it simplifies the process of handling large datasets and performing complex mathematical operations.

In summary, NumPy is a powerful and widely used library in Python that provides an efficient and flexible way to work with numerical data.

Differences Between NumPy and Pandas

NumPy and Pandas are two powerful and widely used Python libraries for data analysis and numerical computing. While they both serve different purposes, they share some similarities and differences that make them suitable for various tasks. In this article, we will compare NumPy and Pandas based on different aspects.

Data TypesHomogeneousHeterogeneous
Missing ValuesNo supportBuilt-in support
AggregationFewer built-inMany built-in
SpeedFastSlower for numerics
MemoryMore efficientLess efficient
UsageNumerical computingData manipulation and analysis

Data Types:

One of the significant differences between NumPy and Pandas is the type of data they work with. NumPy arrays are homogeneous, which means that they can only contain elements of the same type, such as integers or floats. On the other hand, Pandas DataFrames can contain different data types, such as strings, integers, and floats. This feature makes Pandas ideal for handling heterogeneous data sets.


Another significant difference between NumPy and Pandas is their indexing mechanism. NumPy arrays use integer-based indexing, where you access an element by its position in the array. In contrast, Pandas uses label-based indexing, where you access elements using row and column labels. This feature makes Pandas ideal for working with tabular data sets.

Missing Values:

Dealing with missing values is a crucial aspect of data analysis. While NumPy arrays do not support missing values, Pandas provides built-in support for missing values. This feature makes Pandas ideal for working with data sets that have missing values.


Aggregation is the process of summarising data using various mathematical operations such as mean, sum, median, and many others. Pandas provides a wide range of built-in aggregation functions, making it easier to perform various mathematical operations on data sets. In contrast, NumPy provides fewer built-in aggregation functions.


NumPy is known for its speed and efficiency in performing numerical operations thanks to its ability to perform vectorized operations on arrays. In contrast, Pandas can be slower than NumPy for numerical operations, mainly when working with large data sets.


Memory usage is another crucial aspect of data analysis, especially when working with large data sets. NumPy is more memory-efficient than Pandas, mainly because of its homogeneous nature. On the other hand, Pandas can consume more memory, mainly when working with heterogeneous data sets.


NumPy is ideal for numerical computations and arrays, making it suitable for scientific computing applications such as physics, chemistry, and engineering. On the other hand, Pandas is ideal for data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis, making it suitable for data analysis applications such as finance, marketing, and research.

To sum up, NumPy and Pandas are both powerful Python libraries for data analysis and numerical computing. While they share some similarities, such as their ability to handle arrays, they also have significant differences. NumPy is suitable for scientific computing applications thanks to its efficiency in performing numerical operations, while Pandas is ideal for data analysis applications thanks to its support for heterogeneous data sets and built-in functions for data manipulation and aggregation.


In conclusion, both NumPy and Pandas are essential libraries for data manipulation and analysis in Python, and the choice between them depends on the project’s requirements. WildLearner offers comprehensive courses on both libraries, providing tutorials, hands-on exercises, and real-world examples to help you improve your skills and become a more effective data scientist.