3 posts
Cleaning your data with Excel and Google Spreadsheets

For Datawrapper, Lisa Charlotte Rost outlines the steps to prepare and clean your data in Excel or Google Spreadsheets. From the beginning: When you download an Excel file, it often has multiple sheets. Our data set has three of them, as seen on the bottom: “Data”, “Metadata – Countries” and “Metadata – Indicators”. Look through all of your sheets and make sure you understand what you’re seeing there. Do the...

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An uncertain spreadsheet for estimates

A lot of data you get are estimates with uncertainty attached. Plus or minus something. Standard error. So when you try to do math with those numbers straight up, ignoring the uncertainty, you end up with a result that seems concrete but it's actually more squishy. Guesstimate, made by Ozzie Gooen, is an effort to include the uncertainty in your spreadsheets. The first reaction of many people to uncertain math...

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Spreadsheets for life

Planet Money goes back to a 1984 article by Steven Levy that discusses this new thing called a spreadsheet. It was taking the place of the paper version that accountants manually edited, added to, and taped together. From the original article, a fine use of quotation marks: All this powerful scenario-testing machinery right there on the desktop induces some people to experiment with elaborate models. They talk of "playing" with...

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