How to Create a Timeseries in Python



Time series is one of the most common analysis and modeling in Data Science. In this article, we will learn how to create time series in python.

Creating a Basic Time Series

To create a time series in Python, we use a normal DataFrame from python. However, we make one small change, which is we index the data by the date column. Let's see an example.

import pandas as pd

Let's say we have a list of sales numbers and a list of dates for those sales as below. We begin by creating a data frame from this data.

sales = [100, 300, 400, 200]
dates = ['2018-01-01', '2018-02-01', '2018-03-01', '2018-04-01']
df = pd.DataFrame.from_dict({
    'dates': dates,
    'sales': sales
dates sales
0 2018-01-01 100
1 2018-02-01 300
2 2018-03-01 400
3 2018-04-01 200

Next, we convert our data column to python datetimes using the to_datetime method from pandas. Then, we use the set_index method from the DataFrame to change our date from index by 0-N to our dates.

df['dates'] = pd.to_datetime(df['dates'])
2018-01-01 100
2018-02-01 300
2018-03-01 400
2018-04-01 200

And that's it! Now pandas will tree our data set like a time series.

df.plot(x = "dates", y = "sales")