Data never arrive in the condition that you need them in order to do effective data analysis. Data need to be re-shaped, re-arranged, and re-formatted, so that they can be visualized or be inputted into a machine learning algorithm. This course addresses the problem of wrangling your data so that you can bring them under control and analyze them effectively. The key goal in data wrangling is transforming non-tidy data into tidy data.
This course covers many of the critical details about handling tidy and non-tidy data in R such as converting from wide to long formats, manipulating tables with the dplyr package, understanding different R data types, processing text data with regular expressions, and conducting basic exploratory data analyses. Investing the time to learn these data wrangling techniques will make your analyses more efficient, more reproducible, and more understandable to your data science team.
In this specialization we assume familiarity with the R programming language. If you are not yet familiar with R, we suggest you first complete R Programming before returning to complete this course.
Wrangling Data in the Tidyverse
Data never arrive in the condition that you need them in order to do effective data analysis. Data need to be re-shaped, re-arranged, and re-formatted, so that they can be visualized or be inputted into a machine learning algorithm. This module addresses the problem of wrangling your data so that you can bring them under control and analyze them effectively. The key goal in data wrangling is transforming non-tidy data into tidy data.
Working With Factors, Dates, and Times
In R, categorical data are handled as factors. By definition, categorical data are limited in that they have a set number of possible values they can take. For example, there are 12 months in a calendar year. In a month variable, each observation is limited to taking one of these twelve values. Thus, with a limited number of possible values, month is a categorical variable. Categorical data, which will be referred to as factors for the rest of this lesson, are regularly found in data. Learning how to work with this type of variable effectively will be incredibly helpful.
Working With Strings and Text and Functional Programming
Working with text data is increasingly common in data science projects. Text manipulation is often needed to clean up messy datasets and to create numerical measurements out of text input. In addition, often the text themselves are the data and this module covers tools to extract information from the text.
Exploratory Data Analysis
The goal of an exploratory analysis is to examine, or explore the data and find relationships that weren’t previously known. Exploratory analyses explore how different measures might be related to each other but do not confirm that relationship as causal, i.e., one variable causing another. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Correlation does not imply causation,” and exploratory analyses lie at the root of this saying. Just because you observe a relationship between two variables during exploratory analysis, it does not mean that one necessarily causes the other.
Now we will demonstrate how to import data using our case study examples. When working through the steps of the case studies, you can use either RStudio on your own computer or Coursera lab spaces provided for each case study.
Project: Wrangling data in the Tidyverse
In this project, you will practice data exploration and data wrangling with the tidyverse using consumer complaint data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Carrie Wright, PhD, Shannon Ellis, PhD, Stephanie Hicks, PhD and Roger D. Peng, PhD