This versatile and user friendly application allows users to efficiently accomplish tasks that would be too time-consuming or even impossible in Google Docs. At the same time, OpenRefine offers solutions that are much more effortless than writing custom scripts, making it a great tool for solving specific problems of particular data sets. For instance, students or graduates of the Medical University of Silesia provided the name of their university in a variety of ways using both abbreviations, full official name and colloquial forms, written in uppercase, lowercase or each word capitalised, with occasional misspellings, etc.
OpenRefine algorithms identify similarities between different records, while all unrecognised phrases can be changed to appropriate alternatives with just a few clicks. The same applies to other variables, such as university degrees pursued, names of cities and districts, etc. The application also spots numbers and dates, organises numerical data into columns, provides for quick data filtering and performs, automatically or semi-automatically, dozens of other operations useful at this stage, such as e.g. removing unnecessary characters from text fields. After checking the consistency of the data, we can export it to a csv text file, i.e. the most universal tabular data format which is compatible with all applications used in further stages of data analysis and visualisation.