SQL Import Excel File to Table with Python Pandas

If you’re looking for a simple script to extract data from an excel file and put it in an SQL table, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will show you how to use python pandas and sqlalchemy to import an excel file to a SQL database (MySQL) in a free, fast and flexible manner. The same method also works for SQLite or other SQL databases, but the connection details will be different.

The Excel File

Image of Excel file to import
The Excel file to import into the SQL database as an SQL table.

The Excel file above is what we will be importing. It is a neatly organized four column file filled with randomly generated dummy data about people.

Ensure Required Packages are Installed

For this to work properly, make sure you have the required packages installed and are using Python 3. The packages are: pandas, xlrd, sqlalchemy. If you are missing these, install them with pip install [package] If using ubuntu, you may also need to ensure the python3-mysqldb package is installed with sudo apt install python3-mysqldb

Importing the Excel File in Python

The first step is to import the Excel file into python as a pandas dataframe. For this, we use the read_excel function. The function accepts a variety of options to deal with more complicated Excel files. See the documentation for more information. In my case, the function can import the excel file without any extra parameters.

import pandas as pd

df = pd.read_excel('NameNumbers.xlsx')
First Name Last Name Age Phone Number
0 Thersa Fullington 43 183-130-5288
1 Siu Hopf 54 957-849-2620
2 Ginger Eland 32 236-726-4747
3 Preston Putz 41 887-311-9146
4 Novella Robichaux 37 797-363-5038

Inserting the DataFrame as an SQL Table

Now that the data is in Python as a dataframe, we need to write that dataframe to an SQL table. In this case, I am connecting to a MySQL database named contacts. I will write to a table named people, which didn’t exist prior to running this script. The table is created with the to_sql function. Like with the read_excel function, a variety of options are available to customize the output (including appending or replacing existing tables). See the documentation for more information.

from sqlalchemy import create_engine

# format: mysql://user:pass@host/db
engine = create_engine('mysql://ryan:ryan@localhost/contacts')
df.to_sql('people', con=engine)

That’s all it takes to write the table. We can see that everything went according to plan with the HeidiSQL screenshots below.

Created table structure
The table structure is made with appropriate data types chosen for each column.
Created table rows
All the rows are inserted.

Specify data types, append table and turn off indexes.

The default behavior of the function will work just fine for many uses, but if you wish to append to an existing table you will want to make some changes.

from sqlalchemy.types import String, SmallInteger
df.to_sql('people', con=engine, if_exists='append', index=False, dtype={'First Name': String(length=255),
'Last Name': String(length=255),
'Age': SmallInteger, 'Phone Number': String(length=255)})

The above code tells pandas to append if the table exists, don’t include the indexes it creates (you can add an index in SQL, as shown in the YouTube video) and specifies data types to use in place of the ones it may have selected.

That’s it! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

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