Let's assume I have the following dataframe in PySpark:

Customer    |  product  |   rating
customer1   |  product1 |   0.2343
customer1   |  product2 |   0.4440
customer2   |  product3 |   0.3123
customer3   |  product1 |   0.7430

There can be several customer product combinations but every combination is unique already. I want to archive the following outcome in the most efficient manner:

Customer (Index) | product 1 | product 2 | product 3
customer 1       |   0.2343  |  0.4440   |  0.0000
customer 2       |   0.0000  |  0.0000   |  0.3123
customer 3       |   0.7430  |  0.0000   |  0.0000

Each combination which is not represented in the first table will be set to zero. It has to be efficient because the output matrix will have a size of 59578 rows × 21521 columns and I want to avoid the computational cost as good as possible.

Is there any solutions for this? I didn't found a good solution on the web so far.

Thanks for your help up front.


1 Answer 1


The way to do this in PySpark is to use groupBy and pivot. Since you don't want to do any actual aggregation, just the pivot, you can use first here.

from pyspark.sql.functions import first


pivot will give nulls when there is no value so fillna needs to be used as well to give the wanted result.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ sweet and fast. Thank you. For the solution with a huge dataset you mind need to configure the pivotMaxValues as well: spark = SparkSession.builder.getOrCreate() spark.conf.set('spark.sql.pivotMaxValues', u'200000'). $\endgroup$
    – Perl
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 9:10

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