I’ve heard very little about Google Refine, and finally squared away some time to watch this video today. It’s really, really good. Google has created a wonderfully intuitive way to “scrub” data. Let’s face it, data is often messy. Humans generate data poorly, and Refine gives you all sorts of tools to clean up and analyze tabular data. This is a statisticians dream.
This the first video of three. Surprisingly, Refine is a desktop-ish app, not a service (it actually starts a web server – you interact through a browser talking to localhost on an obscure port).