There is a wide variety of tools to use for cleaning and preparing data. Each tool will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. In general tools typically fall into one of two categories:
Often times a data wrangling project is best accomplished through a combination of general purpose tools and specialized tools.
General purpose tools are less focused than other tools, but offer functionality to support a wide range of data wrangling tasks. Since they are designed to fill many roles, general purpose tools may lack capabilities offered by other more specialized tools.
Spreadsheet software is an excellent option when dealing with tabular data. In particular, spreadsheet software is useful for performing bulk operations on columns of data.
Database software provides a robust platform for managing data over the lifecycle of a project in addition to powerful capabilities for querying, reporting, and filtering data.
Database software can be complex so a time investment may be required to get the full value out of a database product.
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