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Excel has various tools that can help you easily clean up your raw data for further analysis. Apart from using formulas and formatting, there are two useful Excel features that let you easily clean up. One method is text to columns feature and the other to import external data.
The Get External Data tool can be used to import and analyse data from other systems. This tool is also useful for importing data to run your dashboards or do further analysis using pivot tables, etc. Usually you can get data extracts from any system (e.g. “.dat” or “.csv” from Oracle, “.xml” files from SAP, etc.). These can be imported into Excel.
Importing External Data also gives you control over the decimals and thousand separator, especially if you’re dealing with international companies. In the US, the decimal is dot and the comma is a thousand separator and in most European countries it’s the other way round, where the comma is a decimal and the dot a thousand separator. It’s always safest to Import it properly with the Excel Data Import wizard!
After importing press Ctrl + T to create a table out of it. You can create a pivot table off this one, and when you do, even if you add more data to it, the pivot reflects the new data.
Importing Data from the Web / Internet into Excel – creating web queries that refresh automatically:
In Excel you can also import data directly from the web. You basically create a web query which you set to refresh automatically based on your preference.
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