What People Say

dfhuynh edited this page Feb 8, 2013 · 8 revisions

Curated list of quotes, references, uses and extensions about OpenRefine (previously called Google Refine & Freebase Gridworks) in the wild

About Google Refine


"Damn! Wish I had this 5 years ago! RT @swiertz nice tools ! Format & clean your data with Google Refine http://goo.gl/UniR6 #cleanup #tools"

Xavier Bartholome view

"YIPEEEE! Google Refine works with OAI-PMH XML out of the box. This is going to make my life much easier."

Richard Urban view

"It’s kind of ridiculous how exciting I find this: https://code.google.com/p/google-refine/"

kb, view tweet

"Google Refine is like a dream come true. #grefine http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/01/06/tools-for-transparency-google-refine/ "

Liam Arbetman, tweet

"I rarely feel the desire to kiss a corporation on the mouth, but Google Refine is making me come close http://goo.gl/8pvKB #datageek"

litcritter, view tweet

"For those who haven't looked yet, Google Refine / Gridworks 2.0 blows the doors off. Its the single best tool I'm using."

Christopher Groskopf, view tweet

"I'm sold on #Google #Refine used it most of the day with "messy" data and managed to clean nearly all of it."

Learon Dalby, view tweet

"Today google #refine saved my afternoon. Every #data #hacker should try it"

roolio, view tweet

"Google refine is awesome. Never before have I been home this early."

Salesient, view tweet

"I am having far, far too much fun with Google Refine. This tool is ridiculously powerful, even without Freebase integration."

Jerry Towler, view tweet

"Not only will it clean your data, Google Refine will slice, dice and put bows on your hairdo! http://bit.ly/cPGn1E Rocks data exploration."

Mario Talavera, view tweet

"Google Refine: Making interns unneccesary since 2010."

Mark Labedz view tweet

"i'm completely in love with Google Refine. fo' reals."

Nater Kane view tweet

"Using #Google #Refine makes me happy. Even for the easy stuff."

Learon Dalby view tweet

"Google Refine: love at first click"

Loran Cook, view tweet

"Um, this intro to Google Refine makes the data-lover in me uber-horny. http://bit.ly/8XN0xU [humps monitor]"

Kim M. view tweet

"Google Refine 2.0 makes this reporter so happy he could hug it. Except that he has a rule: no hugging Google products."

Jeff Severns Guntzel view tweet

"Google Refine is gonna change my life"

Tracy Tran view tweet

Oh man! Google Refine is making our lives so much easier, shaving hours off analysing keyword data: http://t.co/WQotutC

woofonline view tweet

Google Refine, I freakin' love you. #Badass #NerdLove #fangirl #NewBoyfriendDay

Rhiannon Coppin view tweet

If only more people knew how amazingly powerful Google Refine was, the world would be a different place.

irwin view tweet

Mind officially blown by how great Google Refine looks for cleaning messy data. Thank you, @dfhuynh: http://ow.ly/43YnO #nicar11

Tom Meagher view tweet

Dear Google #Refine, thank you for existing and saving me from my Cut and Paste nightmares. http://code.google.com/p/google-refine/

David Monroe view tweet

Google you have made my world 400% easier with google refine. Im your friend.

davvyk view tweet

Not too many programs are a pleasure to work with to the level of Google Refine

Victor Castell view tweet

Google Refine, in one minute, has saved me hours of work! http://bit.ly/d3mIXG

Aaron Rubinstein view tweet

@mattwaite tells of his despair over the hours spent cleaning data that can now be cleaned in a few minutes in Google Refine #IRE11 #gannett

Mark Schaver view tweet

@mattwaite also says #IRE2011 "It makes me want to drown in a bathtub when I look at Google Refine... all the hours of my life I've lost."

alicitabrennan view tweet

Google Refine: An empiricist's new best friend. - If you’ve never seen it before, Google Refine is a free... http://tumblr.com/x8r34dba7z

[http://twitter.com/#!/Jaron_In_Theory/status/83582754364735488 view tweet]

Finally played around with @google refine. In two clicks it did what took me several steps in #Access. #prettyawesome http://t.co/8Pj7ebE

[http://twitter.com/#!/lisachiuster/status/83315910613540865 view tweet]

Today my life was made much easier by Google Refine (http://t.co/gZm3T9X). I love it.

VanL view tweet

Totally and utterly in love with Google Refine right now...

Joanna Geary view tweet

@timesjoanna google refine is the proverbials, one of the most useful bit of data manipulation software i've used in, well, ever

Andrew Walkingshaw view tweet

The more I learn about Google Refine the more excited I get about using it. #Analyst4Life

Kim Z Dale view tweet

@edwardog @leslieyoung GRefine = godsend ... :)

buzzdata view tweet

Cleaning up data using Google Refine. It's a gift sent from heaven

Ben Poston view tweet

I think I've fallen in love with google refine #infovis

Jeremy Field view tweet

Google Refine might be the greatest thing on the planet.

Greg Reda view tweet

Crushin' on a project. The object of my affect doesn't even have to be human. Google Refine is so sharp!

Kasia Hayden view tweet

Google Refine is my friend today.

mrgunn view tweet

The award for the biggest timesaver goes to Google Refine and its data reconciliation #epic

[https://twitter.com/#!/electricbum Hannes Ebner] [https://twitter.com/#!/electricbum/status/164789954059309056 view tweet]

10 minutes into the Google Refine session and I'm in love. #dirtydata #Nicar12

[https://twitter.com/#!/amyjo_brown AmyJo Brown] [https://twitter.com/#!/amyjo_brown/status/173138136489136129 view tweet]

I may be late but this is quite possibly the coolest thing I've seen recently since the other side of the pillow: http://code.google.com/p/google-refine/

Jeff Rush view tweet

Google Refine is amazing - fast cluster heuristics intelligently clean up your data. Best find of 2012 so far... #analytics #data

Senan view tweet

I seriously love Google Refine. Dead simple and very useful. You don't want a Swiss army knife. Just a simple, simple hammer.

Eric Feng view tweet

I love Google Refine.

Michael Grimes view tweet

Where does Google come up with this stuff? Amazing data manipulation tool!

(eaɹsmack) view tweet

Waking up and trying to organize data with Google Refine is my version of Saturday morning cartoons.

Troy Griggs view tweet

Google Refine.. absolutely beautiful. @Reggieonthereg @IUSamParsons rock

John Sibo view tweet

@cspenn I LOVE Google Refine -- super fast to clean up tons of data! cc @johnjwall @iPullRank

Slavik Volinsky view tweet

not sure how i ever did my job without google refine, now that i've figured it out

kevin clair view tweet

Goble says google refine - the lords' work! ‪#jcdl2012‬

maureen henninger view tweet

Google Refine, take my pain away.

[https://twitter.com/#!/MrDys Sean Hannan] [https://twitter.com/mrdys/status/220246953596948481 view tweet]

Google Refine: Where the hell have you been all my life? Excel for Big Data/Regex geeks

[https://twitter.com/#!/geoffreymccaleb Geoffrey McCaleb] [https://twitter.com/geoffreymccaleb/status/220158210361929730 view tweet]

Google Refine is (an outstanding) power tool for working with messy data. http://bit.ly/ak6gfC Thank you, GR devs! #DataScience

Harlan Harris view tweet

Just spent 10 hours playing with Google Refine like it was my new favorite video game.

Kim Witten view tweet

Today is yet another day where Google Refine made my life better.

Chris Weber view tweet

Oh Google Refine, you compl33t me.

[https://twitter.com/doriantaylor Dorian Taylor] [https://twitter.com/doriantaylor/status/258771194520686592 view tweet]

I would have sold my soul for this in 1999. https://t.co/FKw6U7XZ

https://twitter.com/k808a Ken Andrade https://twitter.com/k808a/status/299352748577677312 view tweet

Kind of in love with Google Refine right now.

https://twitter.com/Margaret_Heller Margaret Heller https://twitter.com/Margaret_Heller/status/299607414754398209 view tweet


"Google Refine isn’t going to solve the problem of poor data availability, but for those who manage to gain access to existing records, it can be a powerful tool for transparency."

Rebekah Heacock, co-director of the Technology for Transparency Network and a Project Coordinator at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society - Sunlight Foundation, Tools for transparency: Google Refine.

"Google Refine is an immensely powerful tool for dealing with "messy" data, and it sports a myriad of advanced features for massaging and analyzing complex data sets"

Dmitri Popov (Linux Magazine) - Use Google Refine to Massage Your Data

"For anyone who’s ever had to sort through messy data to try to turn up a meaningful treatment, and who hasn’t, this tool is a godsend."

Michael Lines, SLAW - Google Refine 2.0

"Google Refine 2.0 will serve an excellent back-end for data visualization services. It has been well received by the Chicago Tribune and open-government data communities. Along with Google Squared, Refine 2.0 can create a powerful research tool."

Chinmoy Kanjilal, Techie Buzz - Google Refine 2.0: Power Tools for Working With Data

Google Refine (the program formerly known as Freebase Gridworks) is described by its creators as a “power tool for working with messy data” but could very well be advertised as “remedy for eye fatigue, migraines, depression, and other symptoms of prolonged data-cleaning.”

Dan Nguyen, ProPublica - Chapter 1. Using Google Refine to Clean Messy Data

The functionality offered by Google Refine is paramount and provides the user with a simple interface with powerful data manipulation capabilities. ... I solicited Ryan Boyles to develop a script to sanitize the data which, in total, took about 45 minutes to get the data into a proper format. Utilizing Google Refine I was able to replicate the work of his script in about 15 minutes!

Logan Lynn, The Data Revolution - Get Started With Google Refine 2.0

Google Refine for SEO: [["When I first saw Freebase Gridworks I was a very happy man. Here was a tool that tackled one of the biggest problems in data journalism: cleaning dirty data (and data is invariably dirty). The tool made it easy to identify variations of a single term, and clean them up, to link one set of data to another – and much more besides."

[http://ojb.journallocal.co.uk Online Journalism Blog|http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/find-keyword-modifiers-with-google-refine]]] post Data cleaning tool relaunches: Freebase Gridworks becomes Google Refine

Google Refine bills itself as a “power tool for working with messy data,” and it does not disappoint. While not a turnkey solve-all for data integrity, it makes this tedious task far less intimidating. ... Dirty data is here to stay. But with Refine, at least it’s no longer the daunting task it once was.

Matt Wynn - How journalists can use Google Refine to clean ‘dirty’ data sets

About Freebase Gridworks 1.x

Blog Posts

"Refine really shines when it is used to combine or transform data from multiple sources, so it's no surprise that it has been popular for open government and data journalism tasks. ... Best of all, Google Refine keeps a running changelog that lets you review and revert changes to your data -- so go ahead: play around."

Julie Steele (O'Reilly Radar) - Strata week: Keeping it clean

"As the open data juggernaut picks up steam, a lot of folks are going to discover what some of us have known all along. Much of the data that’s lying around is a mess. That’s partly because nobody has ever really looked at it. As a new wave of visualization tools arrives, there will be more eyeballs on more data, and that’s a great thing. But we’ll also need to be able to lay hands on the data and clean up the messes we can begin to see. As we do, we’ll want to be using tools that do the kinds of things shown in the Gridworks screencasts."

Jon Udell (Microsoft) - Freebase Gridworks: A power tool for data scrubbers

"... PowerPivot and Gridworks. Each, on its own, is an amazing tool. But the combination makes my spidey sense tingle in a way I haven’t felt for a long time."

Jon Udell (Microsoft) - PowerPivot + Gridworks = Wow!

"...the tool looks absolutely fantastic."

Simon Willison - Preview: Freebase Gridworks

"This is a tremendous contribution to the community, especially given that comparable commercial products are priced well out of range of small businesses, independent developers, and newsrooms. While we can’t tell you about any of the projects we are using it on just yet, we can say that its changing the way we look at data on a daily basis. We really can’t say enough about what a great application Gridworks is and about its myriad uses for hacker journalists and data-nerds of all stripes."

Christopher Groskopf (Chicago Tribune) - Data normalization par excellence–the gift of Freebase Gridworks

"If you’re concerned with building and maintaining collections of semi-structured data, or building your own technology for this purpose, I suggest you check out these state-of-the-art tools."

Daniel Tunkelang (Google) - Gridworks and Needlebase

"Gridworks is a simply amazing tool for data cleansing, analysis and, as we’ve seen, transformation. It’s set to become more so for our purposes in the near future, as it comes to support the mapping of names for things to URIs using configurable reconciliation services (which might allow it to automatically map Government Department names to URIs, for example), and the creation of RDF using a more intuitive and user-friendly approach than the templates that I’ve illustrated here."

Jeni Tennison - Using Freebase Gridworks to Create Linked Data


"Gridworks is like crack for data junkies"

Chris Amico (PBS NewsHour) view

"I think @thejefflarson is going to name a dog after Gridworks (speaking of his colleague Jeff Larson)"

Scott Klein (ProPublica) view

"I just got to know old data all over again using Freebase Gridworks"

Rich Vázquez (ImpactNews) view

"@fbase's Gridworks has taken a good day and made it truly epic. http://bit.ly/c9Ttdv Thanks for the boost guys."

Christopher Groskopf view

"Gridworks is a gamechanger, no doubt! RT @stefanomaz theory and practice behind clustering in Gridworks http://bit.ly/b0EyyB"

Jon Voss view

"I'm done here - after google (prediction-api) and metaweb (gridworks) have been through there is nothing left to do."

Gunnar Grimnes view

"http://bit.ly/93pTSL @judell "Freebase Gridworks will make you weep with joy' (via @rdmpage) Wow! Why wasn't this invented earlier"

Peter Desmet view

"Freebase releases Gridworks 1.0 This is a the most useful tool I have seen in a long time. http://bit.ly/c8emxf"

Zac Witte view

"I've had so much fun alpha testing Freebase Gridworks. It is very much the powertool for working with datasets I had been waiting for."

Raymond Yee view

"@JeniT freebase gridworks proves you don't need RDF to be semantic :) used it heavily over the weekend"

Rob McKinnon view

"Using gridworks to clean up @farmsubsidy data. This is fun :)"

Sym Roe view

"I <3 scatterplot matrix and scatterfacets! Don't know what they are? Watch this gridworks screencast: http://vimeo.com/11854491 "

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth view

"Freebase Gridworks very impressive http://bit.ly/cjx3ZX, covers many features we want in pub workbench (discovered via @JeniT)" Dave Reynolds view

"Gridworks looks amazing. Great UI for data cleansing, record linkage, schema mapping. We need this for #linkeddata! http://bit.ly/diAw4a "

Richard Cyganiak view

"Well, @stefanomaz. Haven't got as excited as I just did from Gridworks since… Cocoon in 1999!!! I'm OLD! Congrats!"

Vincent Olivier view

"Getting over excited about using Freebase Gridworks for data cleanup, munging, and maybe, just maybe easy generation... http://ff.im/k73kf "

Cameron Neylon view

"Judging by the number of people searching for Freebase Gridworks and landing on my mini-review, it's getting some use. http://bit.ly/cvsSTh "

Anthony DeBarros view



- Fadi Maali, Richard Cyganiak, and Vassilios Peristeras (DERI)

[https://github.com/newsapps/refine-stats Refine Stats]

- Joe Germuska and Christopher Groskopf


Anthony DeBarros (USA Today) - Test Drive: Freebase Gridworks 1.1

Jay Luker (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) - Exploring Astronomy Dataset Links with GridWorks

Paolo Ciccarese (Harvard Medical School) - First Steps with Gridworks - part 1 (part 2, part3)

Jeff Larson (ProPublica) - The Rainbow Connection: How We Made Our CDO Connections Graphic

Where to sleep in Turin: un esempio d’uso dei raw data piemontesi con Google Refine e SIMILE Exhibit

Tim Davies - Sliced and diced aid data with google refine

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