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CSV Explorer: Work With Large CSV Files

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

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

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.

Get Started with CSV Explorer

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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