CSV files are foundational and are typically the lowest common denominator of importing and exporting data from any system. We’re working with a client right now that has a very large database of contacts (over 5 million records) and we need to filter, query, and export a subsegment of the data.
What is a CSV File?
A comma-separated values file is a delimited text file that uses a comma to separate values. Each line of the file is a data record. Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format.
Desktop tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have data restrictions.
- Microsoft Excel will import data sets with up to 1 million rows and unlimited columns into a spreadsheet. If you try to import more than that, Excel shows an alert that says your data has been truncated.
- Apple Numbers will import data sets with up to 1 million rows and 1,000 columns into a spreadsheet. If you try to import more than that, Numbers shows an alert that says your data has been truncated.
- Google Sheets will import data sets with up to 400,000 cells, with a maximum of 256 columns per sheet, up to 250 MB.
So, if you’re working with a very large file, you have to import the data into a database instead. That requires a database platform as well as a querying tool to segment the data. If you don’t want to learn a querying language and a new platform… there is an alternative!
CSV Explorer is a simple online tool that enables you to import, query, segment, and export data. The free version allows you to work with the first 5 million rows temporarily. The other versions allow you to have saved data sets of up to 20 million rows that you can easily work with.
I was able to import over 5 million records today within a matter of minutes, query the data easily, and export the records I needed. The tool worked flawlessly!
CSV Explorer Features Include
- Big (or Regular Sized) Data – A few rows or a few million rows, CSV Explorer makes opening and analyzing big CSV files quick and easy.
- Manipulate – CSV Explorer is simple to use. In a few clicks, filter, search, and manipulate data to find the needle in the haystack or to get the big picture.
- Export – CSV Explorer enables you to query and export files – even splicing the files up by the number of records you’d like in each.
- Visualize & Connect – Plot data, save graphs for presentations, or export the results to Excel for further analysis.