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Convert CSV to Pivot Table

Text::CSV::Pivot - 2018-12-07

The Wise Old Elf was working on a project to help refine the naughty-nice algorithm. A child's academic performance wasn't the only thing that they should consider - but someone who'd been working hard at school certainly needed that recognized.

As such, his team was working hard on taking raw data - a bunch of CSV files - and turning them into a pivot table he could use to help work out correlations.

Introducing Text::CSV::Pivot

If you ever wanted to convert data in CSV file to Pivot table then Text::CSV::Pivot is your friend. Let us work through the sample CSV file with content as below:

    "Smith, John",Music,7.0,"Year 1"
    "Smith, John",Maths,4.0,"Year 1"
    "Smith, John",History,9.0,"Year 1"
    "Smith, John",Language,7.0,"Year 1"
    "Smith, John",Geography,9.0,"Year 1"
    "Gabriel, Peter",Music,2.0,"Year 1"
    "Gabriel, Peter",Maths,10.0,"Year 1"
    "Gabriel, Peter",History,7.0,"Year 1"
    "Gabriel, Peter",Language,4.0,"Year 1"
    "Gabriel, Peter",Geography,10.0,"Year 1"

With above data in CSV file, this is what we would expect as result:

    "Gabriel, Peter","Year 1",10.0,7.0,4.0,10.0,2.0
    "Smith, John","Year 1",9.0,9.0,7.0,4.0,7.0

You can get the desired output with the help of Text::CSV::Pivot. Before we jump to the solution, let's understand the key parameters to the constructor.


This would have the input CSV file (full path). This is a mandatory parameter.


The column index in the input CSV file that you want to be the unique in the result CSV file. The index always starts with 0 (zero). This is a mandatory parameter.


The column index in the input CSV file that you want to become the column in the result CSV file. This is a mandatory parameter.


The column index in the input CSV file that would provide the value for the corresponding column with col_name_idx. This is a mandatory parameter.


The column index in the input CSV file that you do not want to show up in the result CSV file. This is optional. It expects the index as an array ref.

Now let's try to get the result as mentioned above. Let's call the input CSV as input.csv having data as mentioned above. This is what you would need to do get the desired result as above.

use strict; use warnings;
use Text::CSV::Pivot;

Text::CSV::Pivot->new({ input_file => 'input.csv',
                        col_key_idx => 0,
                        col_name_idx => 1,
                        col_value_idx => 2 })->transform;

When you execute the above code, you should get the result in input.pivot.csv file.


The distribution comes with a tool csv-pivot that can be used out of the box without writing a single line of code.

To get the same result as above using the tool csv-pivot, you would run something like below:

    $ csv-pivot --input-file input.csv --col-key-idx 0 --col-name-idx 1 --col-value-idx 2

If you want to know the details of all the command line options, then try this:

    $ csv-pivot --help

    Usage: csv-pivot [OPTIONS]...

          -i, --i, -input-file,    --input-file=s     input file (required)
          -o, --o, -output-file,   --output-file=s    output file (optional)
          -k, --k, -col-key-idx,   --col-key-idx=i    key column index (required)
          -n, --n, -col-name-idx,  --col-name-idx=i   name column index (required)
          -v, --v, -col-value-idx, --col-value-idx=i  value column index (required)
          -s, --s, -col-skip-idx,  --col-skip-idx=s   comma separated skip column index (optional)
          -h, --help                                  print this message

Let's try one more example, this time we don't want the column "Year" in the result CSV file. We can easily do that with the tool csv-pivot as below:

    $ csv-pivot --input-file input.csv --col-key-idx 0 --col-name-idx 1 --col-value-idx 2 --col-skip-idx 3

You should now have result CSV file input.pivot.csv as below:

    "Gabriel, Peter",10.0,7.0,4.0,10.0,2.0
    "Smith, John",9.0,9.0,7.0,4.0,7.0


If you have any suggestions to improve or found bugs in the code then please raise it on GitHub.

Gravatar Image This article contributed by: Mohammad S Anwar <mohammad.anwar@yahoo.com>