Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool. It is widely used by businesses and professionals for various data processing requirements. From interest calculation to accounting, Excel offers many in-built functions and tools for powerful data processing. But very few know that Excel can be used for data cleansing too! Here we share with you some of the interesting Data Cleansing Techniques available in Excel and that can be done using Excel.
This the very basic but makes a huge difference to your information quality. Correcting spelling errors is one of the first and basic tasks done in Data Cleansing. Once your data input is complete, run the spell check tool in Excel. Set the language to US or UK to make sure the spellings you want are proper.
The Data tab has options to remove data redundancy. All unintentional duplicates can be removed with this tool, resulting in non-redundant data, which is one of the major requirements of Data cleansing services.
Trim Extra Spaces
Extra spaces can make a difference when it comes to comparisons. Some databases consider spaces as characters, whether you see them or not! The safest way to tackle this situation is to remove those extra spaces using the Trim () function in Excel. All trailing and leading spaces will be removed by the Trim () function, while the spaces in between remain intact.
Blanks need to be stored consistently. Some databases store blank as Null, while some others as empty spaces. Numeric columns may store blank as zero. Since all these are treated differently, you need to bring in uniformity to ease data processing. Use the Fill Blank feature in Excel – Go To Special option. You can opt to fill blanks with any custom text or zero for a selected dataset.
Search and Replace
The simple Search and Replace option also serves the purpose of quick correction. Data Cleansing and Data Management services make sure that data is uniform. So, if you have a large dataset with repeated mistakes, you can use Search and Replace for quick correction.
Upper and Lower Case
Some databases and programs are case sensitive. The text case also need to be uniform when displayed or printed. To change case, you can use Upper (), Lower () or Proper () functions to change the text case into respective cases.
Format Checking and Correction
Excel lets you choose a format for each cell or set of cells. For example, if you want the amount column data to be displayed with two decimals and positive or negative sign, you can choose it under the cell format option. Every type of data has many in-built formats and Excel also allows you to specify custom formats.
Use Conditional Formatting
Conditional formatting lets you highlight specific cells that satisfy a condition. An accomplished India Data Entry Help Outsourcing Service Provider will use conditional formatting for business rule validations to highlight and then eliminate data that does not conform to business standards.
You already know that Excel lets you store information in rows and columns. You can parse text and store it in columns for quicker search and better processing. For example, if you want to store the information in your contacts file, which is separated using commas, you can mention comma as your delimiter to parse data and store it in different columns. Excel uses space as the default delimiter. You can add custom delimiter also.
Clear all formatting
Finally, if your text is pre-formatted, use clear formatting option to clear all formatting done. Most of the databases do not understand text formatting and hence comparisons may not yield proper results. The Clear formatting option will make the data plain, without any formatting, ready to be stored and compared to any normal text, date or number.