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Update columns

As you prepare your data in Data Prep, you will find times when you need to make changes to your columns. You can use the Columns tool to edit the column names, their order, and their availability in a project.

Note

The Columns tool lets you work with whole rows but if you need to work with column data, use the column menus, as well as the Filter and Column panes. See Work with column data for details.

Work with the Columns tool

The Columns tool serves multiple purposes. It displays the columns currently in your project and each column’s source and type—String, Number, DateTime. The Columns tool also gives you the ability to:

  • Rename columns.
  • Reorder columns.
  • Remove columns.

To access the Columns tool, click columns in the Tools bar:

The Columns in current dataset pane displays:

Following is an overview of the elements you will work with when you edit the columns in your project.

Element Description
Column filters Filter the Columns in current dataset list by:
  • Selected columns
  • Renamed columns
  • Data type
Column selectors Clear the selector for each column you want to remove. Check the selector to retain the column. Hiding a column removes it from the AnswerSet when you publish it.
Columns in current dataset list View your columns and the type of data they contain. The columns are listed in the order they appear in your data.
edit column name Update the name of a column.
Type View the data type of the column.
Move to top / Move to bottom Move the column to the beginning or end of your dataset.
Move Drag the column to a new location.
bulk rename Rename all columns using a single, comma-separated string.
Data Preview pane View the data in your project. You will see your data change as you prep it.

Rename columns

Rename an individual column

To change the name of a column:

  1. From the Tools bar, click columns.

    The Columns in current dataset pane appears.

  2. Click the name of the column you want to rename or click the pencil icon.

  3. Type the new name for the column and click Enter.

    The Old Column Name section appears and displays the column's original name. The Data Preview pane displays the updated column name.

    If you change your mind about the new name, click Reset to reset the column name to the original name.

  4. Click Save on the top left.

    Your change is saved as a step in your project. The column is updated in the Data Preview pane.

Rename columns in bulk

The bulk renaming feature allows you to rename all columns at once.

To rename a list of columns, follow this step:

  • In the bulk rename field below the Columns in current dataset list, type the new column names separated by commas.

    The column names in the list update accordingly. You can also paste in new column names from header files separated by commas to quickly rename all of the columns in your dataset.

Reorder columns

To change the location of a column:

  1. From the Tools bar, click columns.

    The Columns in current dataset pane appears.

  2. In the Type section, position your pointer over the Move icon for the column you want to move and drag the column to a new location.

    The Data Preview pane displays the column in its new position.

    You can instead use the Move to top or Move to bottom icons to move the column to the first or last position.

  3. Click Save.

    Your change is saved as a step in your project. The column is updated in the Data Preview pane.

Remove columns

The following procedure shows how to remove a column from a project.

Warning

After you remove a column, it’s no longer available for use in the project. You won’t be able to use the column for subsequent steps and errors will occur in any subsequent steps that rely on a column you removed. You can make a removed column available again by returning to the original step where it was removed and selecting it again to include in your data. You can hide a column rather than remove it using the hide column operation.

To remove a column:

  1. From the Tools bar, click columns.

    The Columns in current dataset pane appears.

  2. Clear the column selector on the left for each column you want to remove.

    The column is shaded in the Columns in current dataset list and is removed from the Data Preview pane below.

  3. Click Save.

    Your change is saved as a step in your project.


Updated October 28, 2021
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