9/9/2016

CSV Lint

 

Double check your CSV file's readability.

CSV Lint is a tool developed by the Open Data Institute to help you validate your data by checking that its CSV file is readable.

To check your file, you simply need to enter its URL or upload it from your computer. If you have a schema which describes the contents of the CSV file, you can also give its URL or upload it.

csvilint.PNG

Image: The CSV Lint data validation tool.

Once you've hit the validate button, CSV Lint will take you to a page that tells you how to improve your CSV file - if it needs improvement. For example, this page might outline:

  • Errors: things you really need to fix, because they'll stop people from being able to use your data
  • Warnings: things you should fix if you can because doing so will help people to use your data
  • Information messages: hints and tips of things that could make the data easier to use

Common errors that CSV Lint detects include:

  • Invalid encoding: if there are any odd characters in a file which could cause encoding errors
  • Line breaks: if line breaks are not the same throughout the file
  • Undeclared header: if you do not specify in a machine readable way whether or not your CSV has a header row
  • Ragged rows: if every row in the file doesn't have the same number of columns
  • Blank rows: if there are any blank rows
  • Stray/Unclosed quote: if there are any unclosed quotes in the file
  • Whitespace: if there is any whitespace between commas and double quotes around fields

Some minor errors, like bad encoding, can be automatically fixed by downloading an automatically generated Standardised CSV File of your data. Its important to note that this file won't clean up all the problems - it won't delete empty lines or try to fix up values that are in the wrong format, for instance.

Other features of CSV Lint include a Recent validations page, which gives a list of other files people have been validating, and a Recent schemas page, which provides a list of schemas that people have been using to validate their CSV files.

recentvalidations.PNG

Image: The Recent validations page.

Find out more on the CSV Lint webpage here.

Comments