What Is An Array In Python?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Python arrays are used to manage how data is analysed and have the data in a structured form for the data analyst or data scientist to use.

What is an Array?

An array has the following properties:

  1. The data in it is of the same data type.
  2. The data is stored as contiguous memory locations, meaning the lowest value is at index 0 and the last value is at the highest index value.
  3. Arrays assign index values to each data point contained within it.
  4. You can append values to the array.
  5. You can delete values from the array, that is it is mutable.

What are the differences between arrays and lists?

For the most part arrays and lists are the same, but with one difference:

A list can store any data type you want e.g. strings, integers etc.

On the other hand, arrays can only store data that is of the same data type.

What are the different ways that I can create an array?

(A) Use Numpy

# Use numpy

import numpy as np

a = np.array([1,2,3,4])


[1 2 3 4]
<class 'numpy.ndarray'>

If we have one of the values as a string, all the other values are converted to a string , as follows:
# Use numpy

import numpy as np

a = np.array([1,2,3,'4'])



['1' '2' '3' '4']
<class 'numpy.ndarray'>

# <U11 - When this happens, it means one of the values was returning as a string
# All the other values in the array as a result are converted to strings

(B) Use array

import array as test_array

a = test_array.array('i',[1,2,3])


array('i', [1, 2, 3])
<class 'array.array'>

On the Python.org website, below are the list of values that can be populated into the above program, depending on what your need is:

When should I use arrays?

It really depends on the nature of your python program, but below are some examples that may help you make a decision:

(A) Many variables of the same type : There maybe a scenario where you have to create an array to store data that is of the same data type. For example you have a list of codes to look up against, which are all integers.

(B) Faster and more efficient : If speed is what you are looking for using arrays, will help improve performance of your computer program, using lists is much slower.

(C) Compactability and efficiency : If the nature of your program needs to store large amounts of data that needs to be accessed quickly , then this would be a good reason to use them.

(D) Ability to retrieve data quickly through indexing: As arrays have index values associated with them, they data can be easiy retrieved.

(E) Need to compute some mathematical values: Arrays are excellent for any numerical operations you need to complete, as the level of coding is minimal.

import array as test_array

a = test_array.array('i',[1,2,3])

mydivider = 2

mynewlist = [x / mydivider for x in a]

[0.5, 1.0, 1.5]

So in summary:

Speed , efficiency and ease of use are the main reasons to use an array.

We use arrays here in how to show percentage differences between files in python , why not go over and see it in action!

how to add sine and cosine in python code

Explaining what this post is about
I was recently online and providing help to a fellow python coder, and a query came up about how you would rewrite some code that had included the sine function  and the cosine function

We were asked to see if we could translate this code:

%Position of the end effetor
x= q_0+L_1*cos(q_1)-L_2*cos(pi()-q_1-q_2)

into its python equivalent.

Some background about the output

In order to get the desired result, there is a need to import a package to provide some of the mathematical analysis required, and was achieved through using Numpy statistical analysis

This package allows the following functions to be used in the logic:

  • Pi
  • Cosine
  • Sine

And the result is

As a result, the below shows the output of the above question converted to its Python equivalent:

import numpy as np

a= np.pi
print("PI value is ", a)


print("L_1 value is",L_1)
print("L_2 value is",L_2)
print("q_0 value is",q_0)
print("q_1 value is",q_1)
print("q_2 value is",q_2)

x= (q_0+(L_1*(np.cos(q_1)))-(L_2*(np.cos(a-q_1-q_2))))
y= (L_1*(np.sin(q_1))+(L_2*(np.sin(a-q_1-q_2))))

print("x value is " , x)
print("y value is " , y)

with its output showing:

PI value is  3.141592653589793
L_1 value is 1
L_2 value is 1.5
q_0 value is 0.5
q_1 value is 0.7853981633974483
q_2 value is 0.5235987755982988
x value is  1.5953353488403288
y value is  2.15599552062015


Python Tutorial: Add a column to a data frame

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

You have learnt addition, now learn how to add a column to a data frame!
In our last post on what are Python data frames, we introduced the concept,  but are you now searching how to add a column to a data frame?
To start, I was working away and wondering how I could accomplish this, as there were many posts about it.
Searching through the jungles of website articles, some topics of interest gave me ideas whereas follows:
(B) Lambda
(C) Numpy


Having tested the waters to see how you can approach:

After working through the above to:

  • Figure out how to use them.
  • Write some code to see how it all comes together.

The best thing to do was to put code into action!

Python for beginners or advanced programmers does not have to be hard!

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Support is on the way:

TutorialsPoint is an excellent resource if looking to understand some other examples see this post here: TutorialsPoint: Add Column

To see a related post on how to hide a column from a data frame look no further How to hide a column from a data frame

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