Data Cleaning in Google Sheets
Transform messy data into robust, usable datasets in Google Sheets
There's a joke in the data community that goes:
"You'll spend 90% of your time cleaning data, and the other 10% of your time complaining about cleaning your data."
Do you deal with badly formatted data that takes you hours to tidy up, preventing you from making progress on your "real" work?
Do you ever find yourself repeating a process manually, like extracting a zip code from an address?
This course is designed to help you work with messy, real-world datasets, and it's a fit for beginner-to-intermediate level Google Sheets users.
Through a series of video tutorials, you'll learn techniques and best practices for cleaning data and preparing it for analysis and reporting -- saving you hours of tedious, repetitive work, and helping you get accurate results for your company.
What is Data Cleaning?
Data cleaning is the process of identifying and correcting errors, fixing incomplete data or dealing with irrelevant data in your data sets.
The goal of data cleaning is to create a consistent, clean data set, which gives you the confidence that any subsequent analysis and conclusions you draw will be accurate and thorough.
Why should you care?
Data cleaning is a crucial first step in the data analysis pipeline, yet one that people often overlook.
If you start with "bad" data -- if your data contains duplicate records for example -- you're inevitably going to end up with "bad" conclusions. You might end up double counting revenue, for example, which could have disastrous consequences for your business down the line.
This training course runs through professional techniques and best practices, using formulas and pivot tables, to clean your data, in a Google Sheets setting. Once you've grasped these concepts, you (and your boss!) will feel confident that your conclusions are based on sound data.
What this course covers
- Best practices for working with data in Google Sheets.
- All the formulas required for data cleaning.
- Tips and tricks, such as shortcut keys, to make your workflow more efficient.
- Professional techniques for turning messy real-world data into clean, orderly data sets for your analysis.
- Two in-depth case studies that show all these techniques being used together, in the wider context of a real-world problem.
What this course does not cover:
- How to analyze your datasets or how to build dashboard reports (see my dashboard course if that's what you want to learn).
- How to use the scripting language, Apps Script, to work with data.
- How to create data visualizations or charts from your data.
What you get with this course:
- Over 3 hours of video tutorials that walk you step-by-step through techniques for cleaning data and using formulas.
- Access to all the raw data files used in the examples, copies of the formulas and links to online documentation and other great resources.
- Membership to our dedicated Facebook group, where you can post questions and get answers, share insights and interact with other students.
- All the videos are online and you'll have 24/7 access for life.
Who is this course for?
- Anyone who works with data in Google Sheets -- maybe you're a data analyst, a marketer, an educator, a scientist or someone in between.
- Anyones curious to learn more about working with data.
- Anyone who wants to learn best practices and how to be efficient with data.
- Anyone who wants to add new skills that will help you advance your career.
What are the prerequisites?
- A Google account.
- Access to Google Sheets.
- Basic familiarity with Google Sheets and spreadsheets.
- No assumptions are made about prior knowledge of Google Sheets -- all the topics are covered comprehensively from scratch, at a comfortable pace.
"I like how Ben shows multiple ways to do data cleaning and why you would choose one method over the other.
I enjoyed the case studies at the end because they brought the entire course together.
I will definitely be on the lookout for additional courses from Ben."
- Rachelle L.
"The course starts with a data cleaning section which is highly actionable and relevant to real world data sets that we all work with.
This course also took my efficiency to the next level which is exactly what I needed as more of my time and analysis is starting to take place in sheets.
I can't recommend this enough."
- John R.
"I am an academic librarian who has worked for years with massive raw data sets and pivot tables, and even gives related presentations at our regional conferences, and yet I learned from Ben's course several very useful tips and techniques that I didn't already know about and that will save me a lot of work.
I plan to recommend it to my colleagues as a very thorough course in getting data ready for the kind of data visualization contexts we need to provide to our decision-makers and stakeholders."
- Melissa B.
Who's teaching the course?
Hi, I'm Ben Collins!
I'm an experienced data analytics instructor and freelance spreadsheet developer, helping businesses better understand their data through analytical insights and visualizations, including dashboards.
I work primarily with Google Sheets, Apps Script and Data Studio, and also have extensive experience with Excel, SQL and Tableau. I've previously taught data courses and workshops for General Assembly in Washington, D.C.
In early 2019, Google recognized me as a Google Developer Expert for G Suite Technology, one of only a small number worldwide.
StartLesson 4: Data Types (8:01)
PreviewLesson 5: Handy Shortcuts for Data Tables (3:58)
StartLesson 6: Shortcut key reference
StartLesson 7: Find and Replace (7:19)
StartLesson 8: Trim, Clean and Dealing with Spaces (1:58)
StartLesson 9: Lower, Upper and Proper functions to deal with Case (2:35)
StartLesson 10: Searching within data strings (5:08)
StartLesson 11: Extracting data with Left, Right and Mid functions (11:26)
StartLesson 12: Changing data with Substitute and Replace formulas (8:53)
StartLesson 13: Splitting Data with Text to Columns (3:23)
StartLesson 14: Bringing Data Together (4:42)
StartLesson 15: Sorting and Filtering Data (8:59)
StartLesson 16: Dealing with Null Values (9:09)
StartLesson 17: Duplicates (7:07)
StartLesson 18: Duplicates Formula Method (15:40)
StartLesson 19: Using the IF function and logic to clean data (14:27)
StartLesson 20: Using VLOOKUP to clean data (7:55)
StartLesson 21: Spelling Tools and Transposing Data (5:32)