Converting CSV files to Parquet with Go

This blog post explains how to read data from a CSV file and write it out as a Parquet file.

The Parquet file format is better than CSV for a lot of data operations. Columnar data stores allow for column pruning that massively speeds up lots of queries.

Go is a great language for ETL. Writing out Parquet files makes it easier for downstream Spark or Python to consume data in an optimized manner.

The parquet-go library makes it easy to convert CSV files to Parquet files.

Sample CSV data

Let’s start with the following sample data in the data/shoes.csv file:


Let’s read this data and write it out as a Parquet file.

Check out the parquet-go-example repo if you’d like to run this code yourself.

Create Parquet file

Create a Shoe struct that’ll be used for each row of data in the CSV file:

type Shoe struct {
    ShoeBrand string `parquet:"name=shoe_brand, type=UTF8"`
    ShoeName  string `parquet:"name=shoe_name, type=UTF8"`

Setup the Parquet writer so it’s ready to accept data writes:

var err error

fw, err := local.NewLocalFileWriter("tmp/shoes.parquet")
if err != nil {
    log.Println("Can't create local file", err)

pw, err := writer.NewParquetWriter(fw, new(Shoe), 2)
if err != nil {
    log.Println("Can't create parquet writer", err)

pw.RowGroupSize = 128 * 1024 * 1024 //128M
pw.CompressionType = parquet.CompressionCodec_SNAPPY

Open up the CSV file, iterate over every line in the file, and then write each line to the Parquet file:

csvFile, _ := os.Open("data/shoes.csv")
reader := csv.NewReader(bufio.NewReader(csvFile))

for {
    line, error := reader.Read()
    if error == io.EOF {
    } else if error != nil {
    shoe := Shoe{
        ShoeBrand: line[0],
        ShoeName:  line[1],
    if err = pw.Write(shoe); err != nil {
        log.Println("Write error", err)

Once we’ve iterated over all the lines in the file, we can stop the NewParquetWriter and close the NewLocalFileWriter.

if err = pw.WriteStop(); err != nil {
    log.Println("WriteStop error", err)

log.Println("Write Finished")

The data will be written in the tmp/shoes.parquet file. You can run this on your local machine with the go run csv_to_parquet.go command.

Let’s read this Parquet file into a Spark DataFrame to verify that it’s compatible with another framework. Spark loves Parquet files 😉

Read into Spark DataFrame

You can download Spark to run this code on your local machine if you’d like.

The Parquet file was ouputted to /Users/powers/Documents/code/my_apps/parquet-go-example/tmp/shoes.parquet on my machine.

cd into the downloaded Spark directory (e.g. cd ~/spark-2.4.0-bin-hadoop2.7/bin/) and then run ./spark-shell to start the Spark console.

Let’s read the Parquet file into a Spark DataFrame:

val path = "/Users/powers/Documents/code/my_apps/parquet-go-example/tmp/shoes.parquet"
val df =

Run the show() method to inspect the DataFrame contents:

| shoe_brand|   shoe_name|
|       nike| air_griffey|
|       fila|grant_hill_2|
|steph_curry|      curry7|

Run the printSchema() method to view the DataFrame schema.


 |-- shoe_brand: string (nullable = true)
 |-- shoe_name: string (nullable = true)

You can use Go to build a Parquet data lake and then do further data analytics with Spark. Parquet is the perfect pass off between Go and Spark!

Reading into a Go DataFrame

qframe seems to be the most promising Go DataFrame library.

It doesn’t support Parquet yet, but hopefully we can get a qframe.ReadParquet method added 😉

Next steps

We need to create more examples and demonstrate that parquet-go can also write out other column types like integers.

Go is a great language for ETL. Parquet support makes it even better!


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