Supporting data preparation software

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Software products to support data preparation

In addition to the core reBiND software [Installation|described in the installation guide] several other software tools were created to support data preparation, by data cleaning, data substitutions and other modifications. These are outlined below.

Data Splitter

A Java-based program was written to facilitate preparation of data where a single field of data in a text file needs to be split into several fields. This ‘Data Splitter’ program requires the user to specify a regular expression where data in a single field should be split.

The user interface is shown in the screenshot below.

Data splitter.PNG

For example the user enters a regular expression in the Regex box which atomises the data by splitting it at the specified character, in this case it was a comma separated value (csv) file. In the example file the full locality information occurred in one field but we required it to be atomised. After clicking ‘Split Data’ the original data shown in column 1 is split into several numbered columns (1-7) to the right of this data.

After splitting if any of the atomised data needs to be re-combined, highlighting cells (for example cells 5,6,7) and pressing Ctrl + J can be used to re-join any columns.

Character Encoding Correcter

Stand-alone Correction Manager

The correction manager has been described in detail, in the context of the reBiND data portal. It could also be used in stand-alone mode. To enable this an additional Java main method, to specify the import and export files and the correction configuration file could be written. This enables the correction modules to be used directly from the command-line or via an entirely different user interface, thus it could be incorporated into other projects which required automated correction of XML files.