Something that infuriates me often with government datasets is the promiscuous heading. This is when a spreadsheet doesn’t just have its headings across one row, but instead splits them across two, three or more rows.
To make matters worse, there are often also extra rows before the headings explaining the spreadsheet more generally. Here’s just one offender from the ONS:
To clean this up in Excel takes several steps – but Open Refine (formerly Google Refine) does this much more quickly. In this post I’m going to walk through the five minute process there that can save you unnecessary effort in Excel. Continue reading