# Categorical Data

This lesson discusses what is categorical data and how Pandas provide support dealing with it.

## We'll cover the following

## Introduction to categorical data #

Sometimes you get categorical data which are variables with a limited and usually fixed number of values. For example, **male** and **female**. Machine learning algorithms need numbers to work, so how do you deal with these? We will discuss two ways:

- Label encoding
- One-hot encoding a.k.a. dummy variables.

## Dealing with categorical data #

### Label encoding #

**Label encoding** works by converting the unique values to a numeric representation. For example, if we have two categories **male** and **female**, we can categorize them as numbers:

- male as
**0** - female
**1**

Pandas provides an easy way to do this by using the `category`

type.

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