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Beginner’s Guide to Effective Data Collection

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Data Collection

Lesson 1 - The 14 Day Data Cleaning Challenge

The 14 Day Data Cleaning Challenge

If you're following The 14 Day Data Cleaning Challenge (14D2C2 for short), this is your starting point!

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this before, but when I was a Medical Statistician it used to take me about 2 weeks to clean and prepare each dataset that was brought to me before I could start to analyse it.

This caused me great anguish and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

There just had to be a better way of cleaning data than scrolling down an Excel worksheet trying to spot errors by eye and then fixing them as I went along.

From Weeks to Hours

So I went on a quest to discover the Holy Grail of data cleaning.

This is starting to sound a bit like a Monty Python sketch…

Anyway, after years of trial and error, I eventually created a data cleaning technique that allows you to get your dataset clean and analysis-ready in just a couple of hours instead of a couple of weeks.

I taught it to colleagues – dozens of them – and they helped me refine it.

And now I’m going to teach it to you, so you can get your data clean in hours rather than weeks.

From Hours to Minutes

Since then I’ve discovered a way to get your data clean in minutes rather than hours, and I’m going to teach you how to do this too!

Everything you need to know to go from 2 weeks to 2 minutes is in the 14 Day Data Cleaning Challenge.

In this challenge there is a series of 6 courses, each dedicated to achieving a specific task:

  1. 1
    Data Collection (Dirty Data Dojo 1: Data Collection)
  2. 2
    Data Cleaning (Dirty Data Dojo 2: Data Cleaning)
  3. 3
    Preparing Your Data For Analysis (Dirty Data Dojo 3: Data Preparation)
  4. 4
    Getting Your Data Fit-For-Purpose  (Dirty Data Dojo 4: Data Validation)
  5. 5
    Automating Your Data Cleaning (Dirty Data Dojo 5: DataKleenr)
  6. 6
    Full Course Recap and Project (Dirty Data Dojo 6: Grand Project)

One Hour Per Day

In total, the video courses will take you 8 hours to complete. Adding in practice time with the fully-prepared Excel worksheets, this challenge should take you about 14 hours in all.

That’s just 1 hour per day!

Just think about that for a second – with the investment of just one hour per day, within 14 days you will be a total expert on everything you need to know about how to clean and prepare data.

It doesn’t matter whether your data are to be used for data analysis, statistics, machine learning or storing in a database – you will learn everything you need to know!

Get Your Full 14 Day Curriculum

Your first job is to download your full 14 day curriculum, so you know what to expect.

When you download it you will get a document detailing everything you need to do over the next 14 days, and you will also receive one email every day for 14 days to keep you on track.


When you fill in your details, make sure you

tick the 'Send me product updates' box

If you don't, the email sequence will not be triggered!

14D2C2 - Tick Box Instructions

Day 1 - Let's Get Started!

Today you're going to learn how to:

  1. import data into Excel using a variety of methods
  2. record data on paper
  3. manually enter data into Excel, using
    • Excel's Data Entry Form
    • Excel's Data Validation

Once you've completed the video lessons there will be a series of exercises, so you can practice everything you've learned.

So are you ready to get started with the 14 Day Data Cleaning Challenge?

Let's go!

  • Learning Outcomes

Below are all the downloads you're going to need for this lesson - please download them before you start the lesson.

If there aren't any links or buttons then no lesson materials are required (or maybe I just forgot to add them, in which case - let me know in the comments below!)

Chi-Squared Innovations
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