Hosting and joining the OpenRefine software workshop
Jing Qiao •
We recently had the pleasure of supporting a training session for the local Wikidata Meetup group and other passionate people from the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) and research community on the OpenRefine software.
Jing Qiao from our Research team joined the session and kindly shared her experience of the session.
What is OpenRefine?
This one-day training session was focused on the OpenRefine software, which is an open source software for data cleaning and transformation, the activity known as data wrangling.
As people working with data have all experienced, real world data is messy and comes in different forms. For example, different formats of dates, spelling variations, unstructured data, missing values, etc. A common complaint is that data wrangling is such a pain that absorbs time and energy which should otherwise be used on the subject.
This is where OpenRefine comes to the rescue. With the software, you can easily explore and apply common operations to your data through the web UI (user interface) without programming. Not only that, but a sequence of actions can be saved and replayed on another dataset, which can be very useful. You can check this lecture for more information.
The benefits of a workshop
Anton Angelo from Canterbury University presented everything in a clear and interactive way, with lots of hands-on activities for the group to better understand the way the software works.
Throughout the session, attendees shared their experiences of working with data and were amazed at how OpenRefine can solve so many problems.
From my point of view, it was totally worth attending the workshop. I can’t wait to use the tool on my next data analysis project to make my work more efficient and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to more workshops like this, which introduce good tools and practices to the local community and show how much we can do with data.
We send our thanks to Anton and the coordinator of the Meetup group, Victoria Leachman, who did a fantastic job of organising this event, which we hosted at the InternetNZ Wellington office on the 25th July 2020.