Essential data cleaning for ad-hoc tasks in R

September 18, 2018

(This article was first published on R Programming – DataScience+, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)


    1. Data Management


    1. Data Manipulation
    2. R Programming
    3. Tips & Tricks

    I must admit that data cleaning sometimes feels like the necessary data step before the fun and also much more value creating process: Analysis!

    But in every coding project that a data scientist is involved in, the first step is always to get a clear understanding of the dataset by descriptive statistics and to clean the dataset.

    These steps are typically done in a large coding scale, which typically is a big problem for the data scientist because it leaves less time for the much more interesting and also value creating process: AI analysis and data analysis. Furthermore, when the data scientist is working with ad-hoc data analytical tasks, data cleaning can be a huge problem due to short deadlines. Most articles I have read use coding instead of packages by combining descriptive statistics with data cleaning.

    Therefore I here present the most essential data cleaning code for ad-hoc task in R done with R packages. I use two of the most elegant and efficient R packages for descriptive statistics and data cleaning: skimR and Hmisc. This frees the data scientists time schedule and leaves much more time for the more value creating process: AI analysis and data analysis.

    # Datamanagement packages 
    # Load dataset
    # Fast data management & data cleaning
    # Descriptive statistics before data cleaning
    # Data cleaning 
    cleandata <- mydata[complete.cases(mydata),]
    cleandata <- unique(cleandata)
    # Descriptive statistics after data cleaning

    And there you have it – elegant and essential data cleaning and also Descriptive statistics including histograms – before and after cleaning of the dataset. Done with the most efficient coding!
    Happy data cleaning!

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