[R] Cleaning up messy Excel data

jim holtman jholtman at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 22:42:16 CET 2012

First of all when reading in the CSV file, use 'as.is = TRUE' to
prevent the changing to factors.

Now that things are character in that column, you can use some pattern
expressions (gsub, regex, ...) to search for and change your data.

sub("<.*", "0", yourCol)

should do it for you.

On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM, Noah Silverman <noahsilverman at ucla.edu> wrote:
> Unfortunately, some data I need to work with was delivered in a rather messy Excel file.  I want to import into R and clean up some things so that I can do my analysis.  Pulling in a CSV from Excel is the easy part.
> My current challenge is dealing with some text mixed in the values.
> i.e.   118   5.7   <2.0  3.7
> Since this column in Excel has a "<2.0" value, then R reads the column as a factor with levels.  Ideally, I want to convert it a normal vector of scalars and code code the "<2.0" as 0.
> Can anyone suggest an easy way to do this?
> Thanks!
> --
> Noah Silverman
> UCLA Department of Statistics
> 8117 Math Sciences Building
> Los Angeles, CA 90095
>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Jim Holtman
Data Munger Guru

What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Tell me what you want to do, not how you want to do it.

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