Data Organization in Spreadsheets

UC Santa Barbara Library

Oct 11, 2022

9:30 am -11:30 am PST

Instructors: Renata Curty, Greg Janée, Seth Erickson

Helpers: Kristi Liu

Registration for this workshop begins on September 21, 2022 at 8:00 am PST.

Some adblockers block the registration window. If you do not see the registration box below, please check your adblocker settings.

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Davidson Library, 525 U-Cen Rd, Santa Barbara, CA. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Oct 11, 2022. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. For workshops at a physical location, the workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Setup Download files required for the lesson
09:30 1. Introduction What are basic principles for using spreadsheets for good data organization?
09:48 2. Formatting Data Tables in Spreadsheets What are some common challenges with formatting data in spreadsheets and how can we avoid them?
10:18 3. Formatting Problems What are some common challenges with formatting data in spreadsheets and how can we avoid them?
10:38 4. Dates as Data What are good approaches for handling dates in spreadsheets?
10:58 5. Quality Assurance How can we carry out basic quality assurance in spreadsheets?
How can we track changes on Google Sheets and prevent changes if needed?
11:23 6. Exporting Data How can we export data from spreadsheets in a way that is useful for downstream applications?
11:38 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.


See setup instructions