Is this the most idiomatic way to convert matrix into dataset? (for Mathematica 10 or higher)

I was kind of hoping this would work:

Dataset[{{"a", "b", "c"}, {1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}, {7, 8, 9}, {10, 11, 12}}]

but it did not, instead I had to use this trick, the 4th line is a pretty arcane incantation:

m = {{"a", "b", "c"}, {1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}, {7, 8, 9}, {10, 11, 12}}
data = Drop[m, 1]
columnNames = First[m]
as = AssociationThread[columnNames -> #] & /@ data

Is there no way around it? I would have expected with guides like this that imply Mathematica matrix/tables can be used in place of a spreadsheets, converting to a DataSet could be done in a single step (with some sort of in memory equivalent to SemanticImport that received a matrix instead of a file name, a "SemanticImportMatrix" equivalent to SemanticImportString)

Is there anything like that?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Dataset[AssociationThread[m[[1]] -> #] & /@ Rest[m]] is a bit shorter but it probably does not appeal to you either. Notice that the input is a matrix; thus, you have to add the addition structure (column titles) by hand. $\endgroup$ – Henrik Schumacher Feb 11 at 10:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Currently, there is no better way to create a list of associations other than mapping AssociationThread over the matrix and I agree that this is a bit jarring. On the other hand: keep in mind that Dataset is not supposed to be a magical "turn everything into a nice data structure automatically" function: it's a wrapper that makes data easier to access and display (it also does some type checking in the background). Structuring your data is still a manual job. If a magic structuring function should be incorporated, it should be separate from Dataset, IMO. $\endgroup$ – Sjoerd Smit Feb 11 at 12:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ CSV and Excel formats have good support for interpretting the data as a dataset with headers using the "Dataset" and "HeaderLines" options.. I realize you have the data already in M though. I have honestly done a ImportString[ExportString[m, "CSV"], {"CSV", "Dataset"}, "HeaderLines" -> 1] as a workaround before, which works for this example. $\endgroup$ – GenericAccountName Feb 14 at 23:09

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