Managing Large Collections of Data? Thankfully There’s OpenRefine

Large Collections of Data are surely difficult to manage and update, especially when they are littered with an array of mistakes and errors. This is why getting familiar with OpenRefine can be such a benefit.

The instructor for the ASIST (Association for Information Science and Technology) sponsored OpenRefine tutorial event last Thursday  at Pratt started off her presentation saying: “I wish I would have known about this program 5 years ago.”

Although I didn’t know about the program before the event, I’m thankful I know about OpenRefine now. And what a time saver it is! When it comes to cleaning up database spreadsheets, I’m not sure there’s a better program.

In the tutorial, we learned the basics of spreadsheet data collection cell editing, row and column editing, and also got an introduction into structural editing. Most of these processes in OpenRefine, we found, took only seconds, compared to performing the same tasks in Microsoft Excel. Just knowing the program exists I feel will make future data projects much easier.

Be sure to take a minute and check the program out at

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