# Pretty Data Class Conversion

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Load data – check structure – convert – analyse.

Data class conversion is essential to gaining the right result… especially if you have left `stringsAsFactors = TRUE`

. The worst thing you can do is feed factor data into a function when you expected it to be characters.

If system memory is not a concern, I prefer to read data in as character strings and then convert accordingly, I view this as a safer option… it forces you to take stock of each field.

There are many ways to perform data conversion, for example, you can use `transfrom()`

in base R or dplyr’s `mutate()`

family of functions. For a single column conversion I prefer to use `mutate`

but for multiple conversions I use `mutate_each()`

and just specify the relevant columns. This avoids repeating the column names in code.

I still need to do some bench-marking to see which setup is faster, but for now I see `mutate_each()`

as the cleanest, aesthetically at least. I have also included an example of ‘all column’ conversion.

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