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Inciter | 2020 April
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What’s Better, Faster, and Cheaper than a New Data System?

“We need a new data system”. The stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whether you aren’t storing the right data in your system, or you can’t get what you want out of it, you either have considered a new data system, or you were in the process of implementing one.So you got everyone on board, figured out what you needed out of a data system, did an inventory of your current systems, lined up the funding, and then …coronavirus. There’s a lot of uncertainty going around. We don’t know whether we need to disinfect our mail. We’re not sure how often (or whether) we should be going to the grocery store. No one can say for sure whether this pandemic has peaked or not or when the second wave will be....

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Data Cleaning in Excel 101, Part 2: Splitting Up Cell Contents Into Multiple Columns

Having the right data in the right columns to meet specific requirements for your analysis plays a major role in the data cleaning process. Over the next 3 parts in our Data Cleaning in Excel series, we’ll show you how to solve common issues by utilizing both standard and Excel’s powerful “Flash Fill” shortcut. Part 2 focuses on splitting data from one cell to multiple cells. Part 3 covers the opposite: combining data from multiple columns into one column. Part 4 showcases some incredibly useful and time-saving things you can do with the mystical powers of Excel’s “Flash Fill” function.Classic Methods and an Introduction to Excel’s Magical Mind-Reading Shortcut “Flash Fill”While straightening up datasets, you may encounter cells containing text strings of data that need to be organized into multiple...

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Quarantine Data Project: Four Things You Can Do Now to Be a Stronger Organization on the Other Side of This

At the risk of adding more peer pressure to be productive right now, I wanted to propose to those of you responsible for the data maturity of your organization (this includes CTOs, CIOs, database managers, data analysts, and other data nerds) that there ARE things you can do right now, in the middle of all this, that will make your organization stronger when it’s all over. You might be feeling like you can’t possibly move forward with anything data-related, because of uncertainty ahead. But, this could be the perfect time to tackle things you normally don’t have time for. A month or two from now, everyone currently cleaning their garages and handling all those long put off home repair projects will look around and, if nothing else, have a cleaner,...

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Data Cleaning in Excel 101, Part 1: Three methods for removing blank rows (without deleting anything important!)

At Inciter, we use many tools to clean data. Google Sheets and Excel are widely available and powerful tools for basic data cleaning of small to medium data sets. In this series, we will describe different methods for cleaning data that have common problems such as blank rows, duplicates, multiple values in one column, data split into too many columns, leading zeroes, numbers that don’t act like numbers, basic data recoding, and comparing two versions of a spreadsheet. Method #1: Sort them out.Excel’s column sort function won’t order blank cells. If it makes sense to organize your data by a certain column, (i.e. date from newest to oldest), you can sort the entire sheet and watch the completely blank rows fall off. Just be sure all of your data is...

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