Understanding the “This result object does not return rows” Error in Pandas

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will delve into the intricacies of handling and comprehending the error message “This result object does not return rows” when utilizing pandas’ .read_sql() function. By the end of this tutorial, you will be adept at identifying the root cause of this issue and effectively resolving it.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When working with pandas in Python, particularly for data analysis or database manipulation tasks, encountering the perplexing error message “This result object does not return rows” while executing a query using .read_sql() is not uncommon. This error often arises due to the type of SQL statement being executed. Statements like SELECT are expected to retrieve data, whereas statements such as INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE typically alter the database without returning rows.

To address this issue, it is crucial to distinguish between queries that fetch data and those that do not. For operations that modify the database but do not return records, leveraging methods like .execute() from SQLAlchemy’s execution options is recommended over using pandas’ .read_sql(). In scenarios where data retrieval is intended but the error persists, validating the correctness of your SQL query becomes paramount. Let’s explore practical solutions to tackle this challenge effectively.


# Example demonstrating correct usage for fetching data:
import pandas as pd
from sqlalchemy import create_engine

# Create an engine instance for establishing a connection to your database
engine = create_engine('your_database_connection_string')

# Assuming 'your_table' exists and you wish to retrieve all records from it.
query = "SELECT * FROM your_table"
dataframe = pd.read_json(query, con=engine)


# Copyright PHD

For non-returning statements (e.g., INSERT), consider utilizing SQLAlchemy directly:

with engine.connect() as connection:
    result = connection.execute("INSERT INTO your_table (column_names) VALUES (values)")
    print(result.rowcount)  # Displays the number of affected rows.

# Copyright PHD


The key to resolving this issue lies in understanding two fundamental aspects: 1. Differentiating between SQL operations that yield data and those that do not. 2. Selecting the appropriate method (pd.read_sql() vs. SQLAlchemy’s .execute()) based on the operation’s objective.

In our code examples: – We employ pd.read_sql() with a valid SELECT statement designed for fetching and loading data into a DataFrame. – For actions altering the database state without expecting row results (INSERT), leveraging SQLAlchemy�s context manager ensures proper connection management while .execute() efficiently executes our command.

By adhering to these practices, we mitigate common pitfalls leading to errors like �This result object does not return rows� by aligning our code with expected behaviors from both pandas and SQLAlchemy frameworks.

  1. How do I install SQLAlchemy?

  2. A: You can install SQLAlchemy using pip: pip install sqlalchemy

  3. What is a connection string?

  4. A: A connection string contains essential information required by SQLAlchemy to connect to your database, including username, password, host, port, and database name.

  5. Can I use .read_sql_query() instead of .read_sql()?

  6. A: Yes! If your operations involve running SELECT statements only,.read_sql_query()\ can be used interchangeably with`.read_sql(), offering similar functionality tailored towards querying purposes.

  7. Do I always need SQLAlchemy for pandas� .read_sql()?

  8. A: While direct usage of connectors like SQLite with pandas is possible,.utilizing_SQLAlchemy_is_highly_recommended_for_its_extended_capabilities_and_flexibility`.

  9. Why am I still encountering errors even after verifying my query?

  10. A: Ensure that your database user possesses adequate permissions and thoroughly inspect your query for any potential syntax errors.

  11. Is there a distinction between .fetchall() in SQLAlchemy and .read_sql() in Pandas?

  12. A: Certainly,.fetchall()\ retrieves raw tuples from query executions,.whereas_. read_sql()_loads results directly into a pandas DataFrame,enabling enhanced data manipulation and analysis capabilities`.


By discerning between queries aimed at fetching data versus those executing actions without returning results, you can proficiently navigate around issues leading to errors such as �This result object does not return rows.� Employing suitable tools�pandas for retrieval tasks into DataFrames and SQLAlchemy for executing alterations�ensures seamless interaction with databases through Python scripts. Always validate query accuracy while ensuring their alignment with respective functionalities within these libraries guarantees smoother workflow integration.

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