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Simple tools for wrangling data

CHICAGO — Data manipulation and analysis are far easier than you might imagine—in fact, using tools that come standard with your desktop computer, you can learn how to extract, manipulate, and analyze data (and metadata) of any size and complexity. In “The Data Wrangler’s Handbook: Simple Tools for Powerful Results,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, data wizard Kyle Banerjee will familiarize you with easily digestible concepts that will enable you to feel confident working with data. With his expert guidance, you’ll learn how to:

  • use a single-word command to sort files of any size by any criteria, identify duplicates, and perform numerous other common library tasks;
  • understand data formats, delimited text and CSV files, XML, JSON, scripting, and other key components of data;
  • undertake more sophisticated tasks such as comparing files, converting data from one format to another, reformatting values, combining data from multiple files, and communicating with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces);
  • save time and stress through simple techniques for transforming text, recognizing symbols that perform important tasks, a Regular Expression cheat sheet, a glossary, and other tools.

Banerjee has wrangled data for diverse purposes in academic, government, and nonprofit environments since 1996. A firm believer that understanding people is the key to building services of the future from the systems and data of the past, his professional interests revolve around understanding workflows and identifying opportunities in data previously thought inconsistent or incomplete. He has published several books and numerous articles on a variety of topics related to applying technology in library settings, including (with Terry Reese, Jr.) “Building Digital Libraries,” now in its second edition.

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