Analysing Your CSV Files

Most of us find that we will need to analyse a CSV file at some point, as many software packages and websites will export them. Whether you are exporting your social media statistics, your website analytics, your plugin statistics or details from a software programme, you will usually end up with a spreadsheet full of lines of data. The big question is, what does it all mean?

This is one of the beauties of Excel, it can be used to analyse data, and then analyse it some more. This is what it does. The problem is that it is time consuming to edit all of the data, and to create the formulas to work out what the data is telling you. The good thing about most CSV exports, is that they usually stay the same. Sometimes the person who created the website, software or plugin will change the CSV layout, but they usually understand that people are analysing that data, so they try and keep it consistent. This is good for us.

Take a moment, and think about any CSV files which you export. What data do you have lying around that you would love to get analysed? Do you get monthly or annual reports, which just get filed in some folder, never to be fully understood or appreciated? You’re not alone, most people do. I personally have at least 4 CSV exports which I download each month, all of which contain hundreds or thousands of rows of data, all pretty meaningless. Even when I understand the data, it still doesn’t help, as it is usually not in the most helpful layout. This is why I have used Excel to create templates, where I can paste the data of the CSV as it is, and they automatically give me all of the statistics that I require. No work, just copy, paste and result! Is it really that easy? Yes. Granted it takes time to create the spreadsheet, but then provided the CSV always has the same layout, you can use the same spreadsheet over and over again. Just use the ‘save as’ function to create a new file each month or year. Once you have the template, you can get your data analysed the way you want, in seconds. This is vital when you are trying to keep in control of your business.

So now the question is, how good are you with Excel? If you know your way around some formulas, why not create yourself some templates to analyse your CSV exports? It will be well worth your time when you get the statistics you require, when you need them. If you’re not that confident, or you don’t have the time, I’ll be happy to create a custom solution for you. If this is something that is of interest to you, please watch the short video advert at the end of this article, and then visit the Analysing CSV page on our website for more details.

Download a free tool to analyse your Twitter Analytics CSV Export in our downloads section, a free gift from me.

All the best,

Richard Sumner

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