Rachel’s Corner: Google Refine

In this new feature, Senior Research Methodologist Rachel Lovell finds and reviews new tools and resources for designing research, working with data, and writing up research results to save you time & frustration. If you have a tool or resource you love to use that might help other faculty, or if you’re looking for a tool to solve a specific research problem, let us know.  

Ever spent hours upon hours cleaning “dirty” data, transforming, or augmenting data? Well, Google has a FREE tool for that.

Google Refine assists with data management and analysis by cleaning it up, transforming it from one format into another, augmenting it, extending it with web services, and linking it to databases like Freebase. Google Refine’s homepage features several short videos that show how to use it.

Believe me—it’s worth your time to watch the videos. It might save you lots of grey hairs. Now, if only this handy tool was around when I was in grad school…


Author: Rachel Lovell

Rachel Lovell is the Senior Research Methodologist at the SSRC where she is responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and analyzing empirical research studies generated within SSRC and also by faculty researchers affiliated with SSRC. Rachel received her Ph.D. in sociology from The Ohio State University in 2007. Her more recent research interests include women, public health, and sex work.

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