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  • Bernard K

Using Tableau data interpreter to clean data

tableau data interpreter


Tableau data interpreter is a feature that detects things like titles, notes, footers, empty cells and so on and by passes them to identify the actual fields and values within your data set – a quick head-start to data analysis.

Note, Tableau data interpreter is a quick way to clean your data from Excel, CSV, PDF and google sheets.

How to use data interpreter

Notice when you connect data that contains things like titles, empty cells or notes right before the actual data, in most cases Tableau is unable to interpret the data correctly. A good example is when connecting to the sample excel file in the snapshot below – which has some empty rows and notes right before the actual table (data) you’re interested to use in Tableau.

snapshot of sample data

Connecting the above data results to the view below.

(Which doesn’t correctly interpret the column headers)

This can be easily corrected using the interpreter feature – which bypasses the empty cells and notes in this data to identify the actual data you’re interested in.

To use the data interpreter feature – on the left pane check the box Use Data Interpreter.

cleaning data with data interpreter in tableau

Notice once the data interpreter does its margin - the data will be correctly interpreted as expected.

Review Your Results

Before you can jump-in and begin your analysis. First take time to review how the data cleaning process took place - by clicking on the review the results link right below the data interpreter option.

review the results of cleaned data

(Notice once you click on this link – a copy of your data source opens in Excel – with a KEY that you can use to interpret how the data cleaning process took place)

Once you’re fully satisfied with the outcomes of the data cleaning. You can go ahead and start analyzing your data.

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About Me

More About the Author

Bernard K

Analytics Consultant | 3X Tableau Certified

Bernard is a data analytics consultant helping businesses reveal the true power of their data and bring clarity to their reporting dashboards. He loves building things and sharing knowledge on how to build dashboards that drive better outcomes.

Let’s discuss your data challenges! Let’s work together!

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