Essential Open-Source Library pandas Awarded CZI Grant to Further Development


We’re pleased to announce that pandas, the open-source library providing high-performance data structures for tabular data analysis, has received grant funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as part of their Essential Open Source Software for Science program. This funding will help the pandas project continue to thrive. Anaconda has supported pandas development over the years, most recently through contributions from employees Brock Mendel and Tom Augspurger.

We were happy to see that the CZI request for applications explicitly acknowledged the importance of maintenance for foundational open-source projects. While pandas is fortunate to have some institutional partners — including Anaconda —- securing funding for development is difficult , and maintaining a project and community as large and active as pandas is a time-consuming endeavor. 

Basic project maintenance is often one of the first things to cut for over-worked maintainers. We’re explicitly dedicating a portion of the funding to increased project maintenance. This will mean fewer open issues, higher average quality and clarity of open issues, faster responses to new issues, and faster and better reviews on pull requests. All of this adds up to a better contributing experience and a more stable pandas.

We also plan to fund development time on some of our larger roadmap items. Specifically, we’ll work on:

  • Improved Extension Array Interface: We recently introduced an interface for storing custom array-like objects inside pandas’ data structures. This is a large change to pandas and would benefit from dedicated time to improve the interface and implementation.
  • Native String Refactor: Change how we store and process strings, resulting in lower memory usage and higher performance on text datasets.

We’re excited to put these funds to use to ensure the continued health of the pandas project and community.

More information about the Essential Open Source Software program is available in the CZI announcement.

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