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Cleaning Spreadsheet Data with Open Refine Online

Class Overview

Got messy spreadsheets? Open Refine is a powerful, free, open-source software tool for cleaning and transforming data in a way that is easy to reproduce. This hands-on class is targeted at people who need to clean messy data, including spreadsheets of survey responses, patient encounters, financial records, or workshop attendance. Together we will work through the basics of cleaning data in OpenRefine and also go over some more advanced techniques including pulling in additional data from an API. If you want something more powerful than Excel but don't want to spend the time to learn a programming language like R or Python, OpenRefine could be the perfect tool for you!

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of the class learners should be able to:

  • Explain how OpenRefine works on their computer
  • Use OpenRefine to:
    • Facet data to find typos and errors
    • Cluster data to easily correct typos at scale
    • Split data into multiple columns
    • Pull in additional data from an API
  • Export their cleaned data in a variety of formats
  • Save their cleaning scripts so they can be re-used

Prerequisites / Preparation

Please complete the following tasks before coming to class:

  1. Download OpenRefine here: http://openrefine.org/download.html If you are having trouble with the download, you can refer to setup instructions here: https://datacarpentry.org/OpenRefine-ecology-lesson/setup.html or email me at ariel.deardorff@ucsf.edu

  2. Download the class data file from the course website


Ariel Deardorff, Data Services Librarian, UCSF Library

This will be an online class via Zoom conferencing. The zoom link will be sent out a week in advance.

When you register, the Library reserves class space for you. Since many of our classes have a waitlist, please cancel your registration if you can no longer attend.

Related LibGuide: Reproducible Data Management by Ariel Deardorff

Tuesday, Oct 12 2021
10:00am - 12:00pm
Time Zone:
Pacific Time - US & Canada (change)
  Data Science Initiative > Data Management     Data Science Initiative     ZSFG  
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

Registration is required. There are 48 seats available.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Ariel Deardorff
Ariel Deardorff

Data Services Librarian