What is OpenRefine?

OpenRefine is a free, open source, standalone Java application for exploring, cleaning, and transforming data, that runs offline in a web browser.

The original creator David Huynh said Refine is:

“A power tool for working with messy data”

  • more powerful than a spreadsheet
  • more interactive and visual than scripting
  • more provisional / exploratory / experimental / playful than a database
openrefine interface

Although Refine works with tabular data similar to spreadsheet programs, the interface is unique, providing column-centric menus used to manipulate views and subset your data. It is not useful for traditional data entry, but is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for a variety of data wrangling tasks.

Use Cases

Explore - navigate and evaluate quality with visualizations and filters that help dig deeply into the data so you can get to know it better…

Clean - efficiently discover and fix inconsistency with faceting, clustering, cell transforms, GREL expressions…

Enrich - extend and enhance data by combining files, merging projects, fetching URLs, reconciliation with online databases…

Transform - easily change formats, subset, or reshape with split/join multi valued cells, split columns, transpose columns/rows…

Automate - record and preserve your processing routine for transparency, then automate reuse by exporting operation history in JSON!