Skip main navigation

Wrangling data in Excel

Practice wrangling data in Excel with an example.
In this activity you’ll practice wrangling data.

Download the spreadsheet.

The worksheet has information about songs that have reached number one in the US charts. Unfortunately, the data contains some errors.

For example:

  • Dates have been captured as strings.
  • Some of the label data is inconsistent, and some labels have been combined.
  • Some collaborations between artists need to be separated.
  • There are missing values.
  • Some song titles contain unnecessary artefacts.

Using what you have learned so far, and referring to the support documents linked earlier, try to wrangle the data to match the format shown in the table below. When you handle missing values, consider which should be removed and which can be corrected easily.

Where data is intentionally absent, record this as ‘N/A’ e.g.:

year artist supporting_artist
1983 Kenny Loggins Dolly Parton
1984 Kenny Loggins N/A
1985 Starship N/A

As you wrangle this spreadsheet, note any changes you make to the data. This is good practice for documenting your analysis.

When you’ve wrangled your data, share a description of your steps with your fellow learners in the comments.

Reflect on other posts.

  • Did they take a similar approach?
  • Can you see how they processed the data?

This article is from the free online

Excel for Data Analysis

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now