Visualizing data is powerful! Thanks to WordPress.com for sending me the 2012’s report – a statistic that I found very encouraging was that people from 162 countries visited this blog! All thanks to the power of Inter webs!
After data profiling you realize that there are records such as “my Company Inc.” and “my Company Incorporated” – so you set out to automatically find these mismatches in terms inside a value and correct them.
BEFORE cleaned data, the report showed that “my company Inc” revenue is less than that of Google:
AFTER cleaned data, the report correctly shows that “my company Inc” revenue is more than that of Google:
Steps taken to clean data:
(Just an overview, not covered in a step by step fashion)
1. Created the Knowledge Base w/ Two domains Company Names & Revenue
2. Term Based Relations Tab of Company Names domain:
3. Published the KB > Let’s create a DQS project
4. Mapped the domains:
5. DQS cleaned following records:
6. Exported the data and created a report out of clean data-set!
Business user is happy 🙂
In this post, we saw how to correct a word/term within a value in a domain. The example we used was Inc. , Inc and Incorporated . It can be used to correct terms like Jr. and Junior. Sr. and Senior. etc. Things like this are difficult to catch during data entry – But using Term Based Relations, a person who knows the Data can clean it so that it generates correct reports.
After all reports like this are of little to no use, are they? So Let’s NOT create confusing reports anymore.
The revenue figures shown are just for demo purposes. I pulled up these numbers from Wikipedia. Please don’t make any financial decision based on these reports and if you do, I am not responsible for that.
The name “my Company Inc” is a fictional firm. It’s not any firm that I am/was associated with in past, future of present. It’s a fictional name!
And Writing disclaimers like this are NO fun – sucks the joy out of “Thinking out Loud” 🙂
I am always interested in how such advanced computers was built. In case of Watson, It’s fascinating how technologies such as Natural language processing, machine learning & artificial intelligence backed by massive compute & storage power was able to beat two human world champions. And as a person interested in analytic’s and Big Data – I would classify this technology under Big Data and Advanced Data Analytics where computer analyzes lots of data to answer a question asked in a natural language. It also uses advanced machine learning algorithms. To that end, If you’re interested in getting an overview of what went into building WATSON, watch this:
If you’re as amazed as I am, considering sharing what amazed you about this technology via comment section:
Note: These projects may not be ready to be used in your production environment as some of them are in Beta/Experimental stages and their support/development may be deprecated in future.
Thanks: I thought of writing this blog post after a discussion I had with Parth Acharya about Google and it’s projects for Data Professionals. He pointed me to some of the most interesting samples that used Google Fusion Tables and here’s his one of the blog post on related topic: Google Fusion Table & Data Visualization
In this blog – post, I’ll share a quick demo of how you can use Regular Expressions in Data Quality services to clean records. For the purpose of the demo, I’ll show how to clean perform a preliminary cleaning procedure on email records.
Before we begin, just a primer on Regular Expressions:
“a regular expression provides a concise and flexible means to match (specify and recognize) strings of text, such as particular characters, words, or patterns of characters. Common abbreviations for “regular expression” include regex and regexp.” – source: WikiPedia Regular Expressions
Let’s take an example:
using Regular Expressions you can:
check if a text starts with A or a
check if a text contains the word “data”
check if a text follows the following pattern: email@example.com.
among other things..
Now, Note the power of Regular Expressions to check for a pattern like firstname.lastname@example.org – now can we not use it to perform a basic cleaning on email records? I think, we can! and so, let’s try that:
for the purpose of the blog post, let me quickly show how you can create a Domain in a Knowledge Base that uses Regular Expressions to clean email records:
1) Open Data Quality Client > New Knowledge Base > Domain Management > create a domain
2) Switch to Domain Rules Tab
3) create a new Domain domain rule which uses the Regular Expression: [A-Za-z0-9._-]+@[A-Za-z0-9.-]+.[A-Za-z] to perform a basic cleaning on email records:
4) You can use this Knowledge base to clean email records in Data Quality Records But for now, let’s test our Regular Expression > click Test Domain Rule > Enter few records > Test them!
Note: This is just a basic demo to show Regular Expressions in action. For cleaning Email records, there are other options like using third-party data sets or writing an advanced regular expression. The RegEx I shared was just meant for quick demo but if you want to read more about Regular Expressions used to clean emails then I will strongly recommend you to read email regular expressions that I got to know from Erik Eckhardt via the discussion on a Beyond Relational Tip that I had posted.
In this blog post, we saw how to do basic cleaning on email records using regular expressions in Data Quality Services
4) Now via DQS client, let’s create a Knowledge Base!
5) I’ve created following domains:
And a composite domain: Full Address which contains domains: Address line, city, state and zip in the composite domains.
6) And for the composite domain Full Address – this is how you configure reference data-sets:
7) After creating the Knowledge Base, start a new DQS project. Here the cleaning happens at the composite domain level and this is a demo of how DQS uses third party reference data-set to classify records as suggested, new, invalid, corrected or correct:
You can see that DQS corrected few records and mentions that the reason in this case was Melissa data’s address verify reference data-set:
I like to keep an eye on Technology Trends. One of the ways I do that is by subscribing to leading magazines for articles – I may not always read the entire article but I definitely read the headlines to see what Industry is talking about. during last 12 months or so I have seen a lot of buzz around Big Data and I thought to myself – It would be nice to see a Trend line for Big Data. Taking it a step further, I am also interested in seeing if there is a correlation between growing trend in “Hadoop” and “Big Data”. Also, I wanted to see how it compares with the Terms like Business Intelligence and Data Science. With this, I turned to Google Trends to quickly create a Trend report to see the results.
Here’s the report:
Here are some observations:
1) There’s a correlation between Trend of Big Data and Hadoop. In fact, it looks like growing interest in Hadoop fueled interest in “Big Data”.
2) Trend line of Big Data and Hadoop overtook that of Business Intelligence in Oct 2012 and sep 2012 respectively.
3) Decline in Trend line of Business Intelligence.
4) There seems to be a steady increase in Trend line for Business Analytics and Data Science.
When you see a price of an item as -10 (negative 10) – you know it’s not right! It’s BAD data!
When you see some person’s height as 120 inches (10ft!) – you know that’s just not true! Again, BAD data!
It’s not uncommon to see such values in REAL data sets. In this post, we’ll see how SQL Server 2012’s Data Quality Services would help us clean unrealistic a.k.a invalid values in our datasets and bring us a step closer to a CLEAN data!
You’re an analyst for professional basketball team Dallas Mavericks and You need a Player Roster of your Basketball players having CLEAN data for analysis purposes. Someone recently passed you a player roster, great! you have data!
Some of the Data about Height of players just doesn’t look right! A player with named Dominique Jones had height of just 5 inches.
That’s just not right. So for now, you may clean this data-set manually by looking up right values but wouldn’t it be great if you had a Data Cleaning solution that flags unrealistic values for your review every time you get such data-sets? So the analyst decided to build a solution in Data Quality Services – Here are the steps:
Steps to create a Knowledge Base in DQS and clean the invalid values:
Now, First let’s create the Knowledge Base:
You decide to create a rule that checks for player heights that’s less than 5ft and greater than 7ft 6inches for your review. So here’s what the Knowledge Base would look like:
Now after the Knowledge base (KB) has been published, it’s time to use this KB for a Data Quality Project.
Note: This KB can be re-used for creating KB’s for other teams too.
Here’s the result of running the results on our Data – Set:
Note that it says that height has 3 invalid records. Let’s correct them!
In the next tab, you can see the invalid records:
You can correct this invalid values one by one and then approve them:
After that in the next steps, you can see the results – I have highlighted records that we cleaned!
And here’s our clean data-set:
Yay! An analyst of a professional basketball team was able to quickly clean a data-set. And he can re-use the knowledge base he had built to clean other data-sets too in the future! Isn’t that nice?
In this post, we saw how to clean unrealistic or invalid records in a data set by using domain rules in SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services.
I was playing with Data Quality Services when I though that it would be nice if I could implement what I had learned and create a quick demo that shows how to standardize data using the technology. So here it goes:
Note: This is not a step by step Guide – I am assuming that you are aware of different pieces of DQS. I am going to post a brief outline of how did I go about implementing a quick demo.
1) SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services
2) SQL Server Integration services to show the DQS cleansing component in action.
We want to standardize to Gender to have only two values M & F – but now data coming from two files creates data inconsistency issues:
Two files that look like this:
File 1: (Excel)
File 2: (CSV)
Let’s see how SQL server 2012’s data quality services would help us solve this problem:
1) I created a Knowledge base with a domain Gender and created domain values that looks like this:
2) Tested the Knowledge base quickly by creating a Data Quality Project. It worked!
3) Switched to SSIS and created a Data Flow which uses following components:
What would be interesting to you to see mapping tab in the DQS cleansing transformation component, so here it is:
5) And let me show you the Target File – note that you can choose to NOT have Gender_Source, Gender_Status & Record Status. The column of interest is Gender_Output