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1.0 (stable)
CSV Import Tips

Below is a collection of tips to help when attempting to import complex CSV files. In the examples, we use the flights.csv file.

Override the Header Flag if the Header Is Not Correctly Detected

If a file contains only string columns the header auto-detection might fail. Provide the header option to override this behavior.

SELECT * FROM read_csv('flights.csv', header = true);

Provide Names if the File Does Not Contain a Header

If the file does not contain a header, names will be auto-generated by default. You can provide your own names with the names option.

SELECT * FROM read_csv('flights.csv', names = ['DateOfFlight', 'CarrierName']);

Override the Types of Specific Columns

The types flag can be used to override types of only certain columns by providing a struct of nametype mappings.

SELECT * FROM read_csv('flights.csv', types = {'FlightDate': 'DATE'});

Use COPY When Loading Data into a Table

The COPY statement copies data directly into a table. The CSV reader uses the schema of the table instead of auto-detecting types from the file. This speeds up the auto-detection, and prevents mistakes from being made during auto-detection.

COPY tbl FROM 'test.csv';

Use union_by_name When Loading Files with Different Schemas

The union_by_name option can be used to unify the schema of files that have different or missing columns. For files that do not have certain columns, NULL values are filled in.

SELECT * FROM read_csv('flights*.csv', union_by_name = true);
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Last modified: 2024-06-18