What Are Some Challenging Datasets You Have Cleaned?


    What Are Some Challenging Datasets You Have Cleaned?

    Data cleaning can be a complex task, but with the right techniques, it can be streamlined effectively. We've gathered insights from Data Scientists and technology leaders on this topic. From implementing data partitioning to using iterative imputation, here are the top four strategies they've shared based on their experiences with challenging datasets.

    • Implement Data Partitioning
    • Standardize Formats and Impute Data
    • Utilize OCR and Fuzzy Matching
    • Use Iterative Imputation

    Implement Data Partitioning

    Dealing with any large dataset can be challenging due to its complexity. One of the most challenging datasets I worked with was notable for its size and quality issues. What helped me streamline the cleaning process was implementing data partitioning alongside automated cleaning pipelines. This approach enabled efficient management and processing of the data, ensuring consistency and enhancing overall data quality.

    Manal AlduraibiData Scientist

    Standardize Formats and Impute Data

    In sales revenue prediction, I've dealt with difficult data, from a large chain of retail datasets for cleaning. The dataset included sales records with different formats and data schemas from various areas. Accurate analysis required standardizing forms, including money symbols and date standards.

    Some sales records were missing information such as product IDs, sales volumes, and income amounts. To fill in the missing data points, I used methods like imputation based on historical averages or, when practical, regression models. Because of the demographics, sales data frequently contained outliers due to large bulk orders, refunds, or seasonal increases.

    Identifying and treating these outliers necessitated the use of statistical approaches such as Z-score analysis or domain expertise to establish appropriate outlier detection thresholds.

    Throughout the cleaning process, I used Python (Pandas, NumPy) for data manipulation and cleaning, SQL for querying and combining datasets, and statistical approaches for outlier detection and imputation.

    Dr. Manash Sarkar
    Dr. Manash SarkarExpert Data Scientist, Limendo GmbH

    Utilize OCR and Fuzzy Matching

    In today's era, data is the fuel of any digital processing system. When it comes to a highly regulated industry such as healthcare, the importance of having a clean data set becomes crucial. I worked on a really exciting yet challenging healthcare project that had data in varied formats, including handwritten notes, PDFs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets. The challenge was to standardize and integrate this diverse data.

    I used OCR tools like Google Tesseract to digitize handwritten notes and text extraction libraries such as PyPDF2 and python-docx for PDFs and Word documents. Regular expressions and the Pandas library helped clean and transform the data, while fuzzy matching techniques using FuzzyWuzzy enabled effective entity resolution and deduplication.

    Automating these processes with scripts and ETL pipelines streamlined the entire workflow,

    resulting in a standardized and high-quality dataset ready for analysis.

    Swagata Ashwani
    Swagata AshwaniPrincipal Data Scientist

    Use Iterative Imputation

    We dealt with a difficult dataset that included client transaction records with anomalies, inconsistencies, and missing information. Iterative imputation was one method that made the cleaning process go more quickly.

    In iterative imputation, missing values are modeled for each feature as a function of the other features, and these estimates are refined iteratively. First, we supplied initial values for the missing data using a straightforward initial imputation technique, such as mean imputation. Next, we constructed regression models utilizing the other features as predictors for each feature that had missing values. We made sure the imputations converged to stable values by repeatedly forecasting and updating the missing data.

    As a result, we were able to produce a cleaner dataset, which made it possible to analyze consumer behavior more accurately and make better decisions.

    Dhari Alabdulhadi
    Dhari AlabdulhadiCTO and Founder, Ubuy New Zealand