Decorating data

An early Christmas present has arrived from the DabbleDB team for the 100 million or so of us that have to work with data on a day to day basis.

They’ve created a do-what-I-mean web tool that lets you show how you want data to be restructured and bang! it’s done. Check out the video.

Cleanup data in action

It’s a great idea and a elegant, easy to use interface. There are so many directions I’d love to see them take this tool.

Cleanupdata is a great name, but they’re really giving you better ways to restructure data. This tool won’t help you find and fix errors and anomalies in data. At least not yet.

I also hope they extend cleanupdata to let people automate these data restructuring operations. If only you could apply a cleanup created in to 1,000 Excel spreadsheets or to a database table.

If you like this, it’s worth checking out DabbleDB. They have rethought the database with a database/spreadsheet/web forms/visualizer platypus of a tool. It lets your data be pliable in ways that databases don’t allow, while retaining structure that spreadsheets don’t recognize.

Added: Avi Bryant, one of the authors of the service notes that the example in the screencast is motivated by this post on cleaning data in Excel. Compare and contrast. I know most people would prefer to avoid ="("&MID(H2,1,3)&") "&MID(H2,4,3)&"-"&MID(H2,7,4) in order to format a phone number.