Constructing pandas DataFrame from values in variables gives “ValueError: If using all scalar values, you must pass an index”

Constructing pandas DataFrame from values in variables gives “ValueError: If using all scalar values, you must pass an index” :

The error message says that if you’re passing scalar values, you have to pass an index. So you can either not use scalar values for the columns — e.g. use a list:

>>> df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [a], 'B': [b]})
>>> df
   A  B
0  2  3

or use scalar values and pass an index:

>>> df = pd.DataFrame({'A': a, 'B': b}, index=[0])
>>> df
   A  B
0  2  3

You may try wrapping your dictionary into a list:

my_dict = {'A':1,'B':2}
   A  B
0  1  2

You can also use pd.DataFrame.from_records which is more convenient when you already have the dictionary in hand:

df = pd.DataFrame.from_records([{ 'A':a,'B':b }])

You can also set index, if you want, by:

df = pd.DataFrame.from_records([{ 'A':a,'B':b }], index='A')

You need to create a pandas series first. The second step is to convert the pandas series to pandas dataframe.

import pandas as pd
data = {'a': 1, 'b': 2}

You can even provide a column name.


Maybe Series would provide all the functions you need:


DataFrame can be thought of as a collection of Series hence you can :

  • Concatenate multiple Series into one data frame (as described here )
  • Add a Series variable into existing data frame ( example here )

Pandas magic at work. All logic is out.

The error message "ValueError: If using all scalar values, you must pass an index" Says you must pass an index.

This does not necessarily mean passing an index makes pandas do what you want it to do

When you pass an index, pandas will treat your dictionary keys as column names and the values as what the column should contain for each of the values in the index.

a = 2
b = 3
df2 = pd.DataFrame({'A':a,'B':b}, index=[1])

    A   B
1   2   3

Passing a larger index:

df2 = pd.DataFrame({'A':a,'B':b}, index=[1, 2, 3, 4])

    A   B
1   2   3
2   2   3
3   2   3
4   2   3

An index is usually automatically generated by a dataframe when none is given. However, pandas does not know how many rows of 2 and 3 you want. You can however be more explicit about it

df2 = pd.DataFrame({'A':[a]*4,'B':[b]*4})

    A   B
0   2   3
1   2   3
2   2   3
3   2   3

The default index is 0 based though.

I would recommend always passing a dictionary of lists to the dataframe constructor when creating dataframes. It’s easier to read for other developers. Pandas has a lot of caveats, don’t make other developers have to experts in all of them in order to read your code.

I had the same problem with numpy arrays and the solution is to flatten them:

data = {
    'b': array1.flatten(),
    'a': array2.flatten(),

df = pd.DataFrame(data)

You need to provide iterables as the values for the Pandas DataFrame columns:

df2 = pd.DataFrame({'A':[a],'B':[b]})

You could try:

df2 = pd.DataFrame.from_dict({'a':a,'b':b}, orient = 'index')

From the documentation on the ‘orient’ argument: If the keys of the passed dict should be the columns of the resulting DataFrame, pass ‘columns’ (default). Otherwise if the keys should be rows, pass ‘index’.

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