How To Clean Data in Excel With 9 Steps (Plus Tips)

Top 8 Excel Data Cleaning Techniques to Know
  1. Remove Duplicates. …
  2. Data Parsing from Text to Column. …
  3. Delete All Formatting. …
  4. Spell Check. …
  5. Change Case – Lower/Upper/Proper. …
  6. Highlight Errors. …
  7. TRIM Function. …
  8. Find and Replace.

When working with data in Microsoft Excel, it is important to clean the data in order to ensure accuracy and reliability of the results. Clean data is essential for any business or organization that relies on accurate data. Data cleaning, also known as data cleansing or scrubbing, is the process of detecting and correcting errors and inconsistencies in data in order to ensure accuracy and consistency. Cleaning data in Excel is a straightforward process, but there are a few key tips and tricks that can help make the process faster and easier. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to clean data in Excel, as well as provide some helpful tips to make the process simpler. By following these steps, you can ensure that your data is clean and accurate, leading to better results and decisions.

Cleaning Data in Excel | Excel Tutorials for Beginners

How to clean data in Excel

Here are nine steps to clean data in Excel:

1. Remove extra spaces

Sometimes large sets of data can have extra spaces. This can cause errors when making calculations. It can also make your data challenging to read. The TRIM function, which is “=TRIM(A1),” can be used to eliminate extra spaces from your cells. “Choose a blank cell and substitute the cell or range of cells from which you want to remove the extra spaces for “A1” in the formula.

2. Use spell check

A spreadsheet with perfect spelling can give you a professional and meticulous appearance. This is crucial if you’re working with others on a spreadsheet or submitting it to a manager. It can be beneficial to have few spelling errors when writing formulas or spelling names. Use the keyboard shortcut “F7” to apply spell checking to your workbook.

3. Delete formatting

Typically, databases from different systems may have unique formatting. It’s possible that the formatting of your spreadsheet will be messed up when you import this data into Excel. If you want your spreadsheet to be consistent and simple to use after importing data, you might want to remove all formatting. Locate the “Clear” option under the “Home” tab in the toolbar. To remove the formatting from your workbook, select “Clear Formats” from the drop-down menu.

4. Format blank cells

Your reports or dashboards may contain errors if your spreadsheet contains blank cells. Press “F5” on your keyboard while selecting the entire dataset to format all of your empty cells at once. In the new window, select “Special” to find more settings. Choose “Blanks” and press “OK” to confirm your changes. Once all of the blank cells have been chosen, you can format them by entering 0 or by highlighting them.

5. Use proper letter case

There may be times when you oversee a workbook that has already been started by someone else. You can change the letter case to make all the names, titles, and categories the same if there are any inconsistencies. The LOWER function converts the text into lowercase. Use the UPPER function to change your text into uppercase. Additionally, you can change the text to proper case, which capitalizes the first letter of each word, by using the PROPER function.

6. Remove duplicate data

Duplicate data can occasionally be produced by user error or by importing data from other systems. Having duplicate data might cause inaccurate calculations or reporting. Select the range of cells and look for the “Data” tab in the toolbar to eliminate duplicate data. In the “Data tools” section, select “Remove Duplicates. This opens a new window where you can select the columns from which you want to remove duplicate data by checking or unchecking them. Press “OK” to confirm your changes after choosing your columns.

7. Use the find and replace feature

Use the find and replace feature to find and remove any characters you decide are not necessary for your spreadsheet. Press “Ctrl” then “F” on your keyboard to open the find and replace window. Enter the word or character you want to replace in the “Find what” text box. To find every instance of the word or character you entered in the text box, choose “Find All.” You can then manually swap out each character and proceed to the subsequent appearance from here.

8. Change text into numbers

Excel may import some numbers as text rather than numerals when you import data from external databases. To correct this, enter “1” into a blank cell, click the cell to select it, and then press “Ctrl” and “C” on your keyboard. Then, select the cell or range of cells that you want to convert to numbers by highlighting them. Right-click on the cell and locate the “Paste” option. Select “Paste Special” to prompt a new window. To turn the text into numbers, choose “Multiply” in the “Paste Special” window and press “OK.”

9. Transpose cells

Transpose your vertical cells to make them horizontal if you want to. First, select a range of blank cells that correspond to the range of cells you want to transpose. Use “=TRANSPOSE()” after the range of cells to invoke the TRANSPOSE function. For example, this might look like “=TRANSPOSE(A1:B6). To transpose the chosen range of cells, use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl, Shift, and Enter.

Why is it important to clean data in Excel?

Spreadsheets can contain a lot of data, so it’s critical to clean it up in Excel. Cleaning up the data is beneficial to reduce errors and inconsistencies. The information may occasionally be duplicated or the formatting may be off when importing data into Excel. If this occurs, you can clean the data to better organize and utilize your spreadsheet. Excel is used by many businesses to organize, store, and analyze their data. Since these businesses depend on accurate information, it is advantageous for them to maintain clean data by removing errors or discrepancies.

Tips for cleaning data in Excel

Follow these tips for cleaning data in Excel:

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What is the fastest way to clean data in Excel?

There can be 2 things you can do with duplicate data – Highlight It or Delete It.
  1. Select the data, then select Home -> Conditional Formatting -> Highlight Cells Rules -> Duplicate Values to highlight duplicate values.
  2. Remove Duplicates from Data by selecting the data and choosing Duplicates from the Data menu.

How do you clean up dirty data?

How do you clean data?
  1. Step 1: Remove duplicate or irrelevant observations. Remove duplicate or irrelevant observations as well as other unwanted observations from your dataset.
  2. Step 2: Fix structural errors. …
  3. Step 3: Filter unwanted outliers. …
  4. Step 4: Handle missing data. …
  5. Step 5: Validate and QA.

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