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Python: Combining unique values in list of dicts where keys are the same?

I'm not sure if I am asking the question in the right way, but this is my issue:

I have a list of dicts in the following format:

[
{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': 'a'}, 
{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': 'a'},
{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': 'a'},
{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': 'b'}, 
{'user': 'admin', 'IndexUsed': 'a'}, 
{'user': 'admin', 'IndexUsed': 'c'},
{'user': 'hugo', 'IndexUsed': 'a'},
{'user': 'hugo', 'IndexUsed': 'd'},
...
]

I want my final result to look like this:

[
{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'b']}, 
{'user': 'admin', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'c']}, 
{'user': 'hugo', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'd']},
]

In essence, combining/deduplicating the unique fields in IndexUsed and reducing them to only one dict per user

I have looked into using reducers, dict comprehension, and searched on StackOverflow but I have some trouble finding use cases using strings. The majority of examples I have found are using integers to combine them into a final int/float, but here I rather want to combine it into a single final string. Could you help me understand how to approach this problem?


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1 Answer

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from collections import defaultdict


data = [{'IndexUsed': 'a', 'user': 'joe'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'a', 'user': 'joe'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'a', 'user': 'joe'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'b', 'user': 'joe'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'a', 'user': 'admin'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'c', 'user': 'admin'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'a', 'user': 'hugo'},
 {'IndexUsed': 'd', 'user': 'hugo'}]

indexes_used = defaultdict(set)
for d in data:
    indexes_used[d['user']].add(d['IndexUsed'])

result = []
for k, v in indexes_used.items():
    result.append({'user': k, 'IndexUsed': sorted(list(v))})

print(*result)

Outputs:

{'user': 'joe', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'b']} {'user': 'admin', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'c']} {'user': 'hugo', 'IndexUsed': ['a', 'd']}

Note: for the unaware, defaultdict uses the passed function (set in this case) as a factory to create the new missing key corresponding value. So every single key of indexes_used is set to a set filled with the used indexes. Using a set also ignores duplicates. In the end the set is converted to a sorted list, while creating the required key IndexUsed.


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