It is said, and rightly so, that more and more companies’ adoption of data science will inevitably lead to a data-first environment. And as technology progresses, implementation becomes more commercial, and therefore more cost-effective. But in some areas of data analytics, entry barriers exist. Data wrangling, or data munging, is one of them. In this article, we will learn about what is data wrangling, data wrangling meaning, data wrangling tools, and what are data wrangling steps.

  1. What Is Data Wrangling?
  2. What are Data Wrangling Tools?
  3. Data Wrangling in Data Science
  4. What are Data Wrangling Steps?
  5. What are the Goals of Data Wrangling?
  6. Importance of Strong Skills in Data Wrangling

1. What Is Data Wrangling?

Data wrangling Meaning: It is the method of cleaning, arranging, and enriching raw information into the desired format for better decision-making in less time. Data wrangling is increasingly prevalent at today’s top firms. Data has become more diverse and unstructured in advance of larger analysis, requiring increased time spent culling, cleaning, and organizing data. 

It is possible to define the primary objective of data wrangling as bringing data into a coherent form. In other words, it makes raw knowledge available. For further proceedings, it offers substance.

As such, Data Wrangling serves as a planning step for the process of data mining. These two operations are combined process-wise, as you can’t do one without another.

2. What are Data Wrangling Tools?

Around 80% of data analysts invest much of their time on data wrangling and not on actual analysis, it has been observed. If they have one or more of the following skillsets, data wranglers are also recruited for the job: knowledge of a statistical language such as R or Python, knowledge of other programming languages such as SQL, PHP, Scala, etc.

As shown below, they use some data wrangling tools:

Excel spreadsheets: this is the most simple data-mixing structuring method

OpenRefine: a computer program which is more advanced than Excel

Tabula: often referred to as the data wrangling solution “all-in-one

CSVKit: for Data Conversion

Python: With many organizational functions, numerical Python comes with many. The Python library provides NumPy array style vectorization of mathematical operations that speeds up performance and execution.

3. Data Wrangling in Data Science 

Cliché to say, but it’s true that before doing some advanced analytics, most data scientists spend 70-80% of their time on data clean-up. . Getting an old-fashioned cheatsheet is still a valuable commodity, whether printed on paper or written in a notebook from Jupyter. It can save a large amount of time and energy to have the most commonly used codes in one place. The rest of the data science method obviously does not proceed in any significant way without strong data wrangling skills. Data scientists may attempt to get through data wrangling with the cheapest effort, but they will quickly find they have little idea what to look for from their data sets. Yeah, it takes a lot of time to wrangle data and needs a lot of work, but in the end, it is all worth it. Everything about keeping your efforts successful and consistent is an essential goal in gaining excellent data wrangling skills.  Without data wrangling, there is no Data Science. 

4. What are Data Wrangling Steps?

Although in data wrangling steps, the most critical first step in data analysis, it is also said to be the most neglected, since it is also the most boring. As part of data munging, there are 6 simple steps one needs to follow to prepare the data for review.

They are:

  • Data Discovery: This is an all-encompassing concept that explains knowing all about your knowledge. You get to know your data in this first step,
  • Data Structuring: Initially, when you obtain raw data, it is in all types and sizes and does not have a definite structure. This knowledge needs to be restructured to suit the analytical model your organization wants to deploy.
  • Data Cleaning: Certain errors that need to be corrected before data is moved on to the next stage come with raw data. Cleaning means fixing outliers, making changes, or eliminating bad data.
  • Data Enriching: You have kind of become acquainted with the data at hand at this point. Now is the time for this question to ask yourself do you need to embellish the raw data? Would you like to extend it with other data?
  • Data Validation: This process addresses data quality problems, and they need to be resolved with the required changes. The validation rules require repeated programming steps to verify the validity and accuracy of your information.
  • Data Publishing: After all the above measures have been completed the final production of your efforts to wrangle data is moved downstream for your analytics needs.

Data wrangling is a crucial iterative process that before you start your actual analysis, throws up the cleanest, most accessible data possible.

5. What are the Goals of Data Wrangling?

  • The aggregation of data from various sources shows a “deeper intelligence”
  • Provide precise, actionable data in the hands of company analysts on a timely basis
  • Reduce the time spent gathering and arranging unruly information until it can be used
  • Enable data scientists and analysts to concentrate on data analysis instead of wrangling.
  • Develop the decision-making capabilities of senior corporate leaders

6. Importance of Strong Skills in Data Wrangling

Many can dismiss the position of a data wrangler as ordinary custodial work, but it can help lead to precise insights based on valuable enterprise data assets when done correctly. However, the first move is to ensure that your data wrangling skills are up to snuff.  A good data wrangler knows how to incorporate information from different sources of data, solve common problems with transformation, and solve problems with data cleansing and consistency.

A data wrangler knows their information intimately, too, and is constantly searching for ways to enrich the information. Many leading technology companies usually ask new data science applicants to perform a series of data transformations, including combining, ordering, aggregation, etc., using R, Python, Julia, or even SQL data science programming languages, along with a particular data set designed to demonstrate their capabilities in this field. Data wrangling skills are so important to the job.


A major part of any data processing is data wrangling. Before you apply any algorithms to it, you’ll want to ensure your data is in tip-top shape and ready for convenient consumption. The preparation of data is a key component of excellent data analysis. You can ensure that any machine learning or treatment that you apply to your cleaned-up data is completely productive by dropping null values, filtering and selecting the correct data, and working with time series.

You’ll have explored a suite of the most efficient data wrangling techniques out there by using Python and Pandas. We hope that you can use this information to boost your data science projects and move towards a future career in data science!

If you are interested in making a career in the Data Science domain, our 11-month in-person Postgraduate Certificate Diploma in Data Science course can help you immensely in becoming a successful Data Science professional. 

Also Read


Are you ready to build your own career?