Advanced: Access the Data Catalog in code

You can define a Data Catalog in two ways. Most use cases can be through a YAML configuration file as illustrated previously, but it is possible to access the Data Catalog programmatically through DataCatalog using an API that allows you to configure data sources in code and use the IO module within notebooks.


Datasets are not included in the core Kedro package from Kedro version 0.19.0. Import them from the kedro-datasets package instead. From version 2.0.0 of kedro-datasets, all dataset names have changed to replace the capital letter “S” in “DataSet” with a lower case “s”. For example, CSVDataSet is now CSVDataset.

How to configure the Data Catalog

To use the DataCatalog API, construct a DataCatalog object programmatically in a file like

In the following code, we use several pre-built data loaders documented in the kedro-datasets documentation.

from import DataCatalog
from kedro_datasets.pandas import (

io = DataCatalog(
        "bikes": CSVDataset(filepath="../data/01_raw/bikes.csv"),
        "cars": CSVDataset(filepath="../data/01_raw/cars.csv", load_args=dict(sep=",")),
        "cars_table": SQLTableDataset(
            table_name="cars", credentials=dict(con="sqlite:///kedro.db")
        "scooters_query": SQLQueryDataset(
            sql="select * from cars where gear=4",
        "ranked": ParquetDataset(filepath="ranked.parquet"),

When using SQLTableDataset or SQLQueryDataset you must provide a con key containing SQLAlchemy compatible database connection string. In the example above we pass it as part of credentials argument. Alternative to credentials is to put con into load_args and save_args (SQLTableDataset only).

How to view the available data sources

To review the DataCatalog:


How to load datasets programmatically

To access each dataset by its name:

cars = io.load("cars")  # data is now loaded as a DataFrame in 'cars'
gear = cars["gear"].values

The following steps happened behind the scenes when load was called:

  • The value cars was located in the Data Catalog

  • The corresponding AbstractDataset object was retrieved

  • The load method of this dataset was called

  • This load method delegated the loading to the underlying pandas read_csv function

How to save data programmatically


This pattern is not recommended unless you are using platform notebook environments (Sagemaker, Databricks etc) or writing unit/integration tests for your Kedro pipeline. Use the YAML approach in preference.

How to save data to memory

To save data using an API similar to that used to load data:

from import MemoryDataset

memory = MemoryDataset(data=None)
io.add("cars_cache", memory)"cars_cache", "Memory can store anything.")

How to save data to a SQL database for querying

To put the data in a SQLite database:

import os

# This cleans up the database in case it exists at this point
except FileNotFoundError:
    pass"cars_table", cars)

# rank scooters by their mpg
ranked = io.load("scooters_query")[["brand", "mpg"]]

How to save data in Parquet

To save the processed data in Parquet format:"ranked", ranked)


Saving None to a dataset is not allowed!

How to access a dataset with credentials

Before instantiating the DataCatalog, Kedro will first attempt to read the credentials from the project configuration. The resulting dictionary is then passed into DataCatalog.from_config() as the credentials argument.

Let’s assume that the project contains the file conf/local/credentials.yml with the following contents:

    aws_access_key_id: key
    aws_secret_access_key: secret

  con: sqlite:///kedro.db

  id_token: key

Your code will look as follows:

    load_args=dict(sep=",", skiprows=5, skipfooter=1, na_values=["#NA", "NA"]),
    credentials=dict(key="token", secret="key"),

How to version a dataset using the Code API

In an earlier section of the documentation we described how Kedro enables dataset and ML model versioning.

If you require programmatic control over load and save versions of a specific dataset, you can instantiate Version and pass it as a parameter to the dataset initialisation:

from import DataCatalog, Version
from kedro_datasets.pandas import CSVDataset
import pandas as pd

data1 = pd.DataFrame({"col1": [1, 2], "col2": [4, 5], "col3": [5, 6]})
data2 = pd.DataFrame({"col1": [7], "col2": [8], "col3": [9]})
version = Version(
    load=None,  # load the latest available version
    save=None,  # generate save version automatically on each save operation

test_dataset = CSVDataset(
    filepath="data/01_raw/test.csv", save_args={"index": False}, version=version
io = DataCatalog({"test_dataset": test_dataset})

# save the dataset to data/01_raw/test.csv/<version>/test.csv"test_dataset", data1)
# save the dataset into a new file data/01_raw/test.csv/<version>/test.csv"test_dataset", data2)

# load the latest version from data/test.csv/*/test.csv
reloaded = io.load("test_dataset")
assert data2.equals(reloaded)

In the example above, we do not fix any versions. The behaviour of load and save operations becomes slightly different when we set a version:

version = Version(
    load="my_exact_version",  # load exact version
    save="my_exact_version",  # save to exact version

test_dataset = CSVDataset(
    filepath="data/01_raw/test.csv", save_args={"index": False}, version=version
io = DataCatalog({"test_dataset": test_dataset})

# save the dataset to data/01_raw/test.csv/my_exact_version/test.csv"test_dataset", data1)
# load from data/01_raw/test.csv/my_exact_version/test.csv
reloaded = io.load("test_dataset")
assert data1.equals(reloaded)

# raises DatasetError since the path
# data/01_raw/test.csv/my_exact_version/test.csv already exists"test_dataset", data2)

We do not recommend passing exact load or save versions, since it might lead to inconsistencies between operations. For example, if versions for load and save operations do not match, a save operation would result in a UserWarning.

Imagine a simple pipeline with two nodes, where B takes the output from A. If you specify the load-version of the data for B to be my_data_2023_08_16.csv, the data that A produces (my_data_20230818.csv) is not used.

Node_A -> my_data_20230818.csv
my_data_2023_08_16.csv -> Node B

In code:

version = Version(
    load="my_data_2023_08_16.csv",  # load exact version
    save="my_data_20230818.csv",  # save to exact version

test_dataset = CSVDataset(
    filepath="data/01_raw/test.csv", save_args={"index": False}, version=version
io = DataCatalog({"test_dataset": test_dataset})"test_dataset", data1)  # emits a UserWarning due to version inconsistency

# raises DatasetError since the data/01_raw/test.csv/exact_load_version/test.csv
# file does not exist
reloaded = io.load("test_dataset")