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Working with Data

What you need to know for Data Management and Data Wrangling

OpenRefine ( is free and open source software useful for data cleaning. It was derived from Google Refine. 

Access to OpenRefine

It is run through a web browser, but uses a local server so no data is shared.

Tutorials and Documentation


Getting Started with OpenRefine

1. Download OpenRefine from their website. OpenRefine runs as a small web server on your own computer and you point your web browser at the web server in order to use OpenRefine. It works best on Chrome, Chromium, Opera, and MS Edge. For more information on this, see their installation instructions.

2. Once OpenRefine is running in one of your browsers, create a project by importing data. OpenRefine supports TSV, CSV, *SV, Excel, JSON, XML, RDF as XML, and Google Data documents. You can import data from your computer, a URL, clipboard, database, or Google Data. 

3. Your data will load. You can parse your data, create a project name, and add tags. Click create project when done. 

4. You are able to perform several different functions to your data, including filtering and faceting; editing cells, columns, and rows; undoing and redoing changes to you've made to your data; reconciling your data; and increasing the functionality of OpenRefine through extensions. For more information on these various functions, see OpenRefine's documentation. 

5. Export your data by clicking on the export button in the upper right hand corner. You are able to export your data in multiple formats: TSV, CSV, Excel, and an HTML table. 

Help With GREL

GREL is the scripting lanugage for OpenRefine.