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Cleaning .csv files the easy way using Finitio(-rb)

As a database and software consultant I frequently face the requirement of cleaning and migrating legacy data to a new database structure. Such data often comes from excel or as CSV files extracted from a previous database. An invariant is that legacy data is noisy and must alway be cleaned first.

So suppose a CSV file, with noisy data (missing required fields, wrong dates, etc.). Your job is to split that CSV file: valid records on STDOUT, invalid ones on STDERR with an explanation.

The data


Given that,

  • Some dates are known to be wrong. It was a text field and some people inverted the month and the day, leading to dates such as 2013-26-08 instead of 2013-08-26 (see row 2).
  • The score field is required and supposed to be between 0 and 10. In practice it is sometimes missing or bigger than 10 (see rows 4 and 6).

Finition schema at the rescue

Let write a schema that will coerce the data and detect invalid values.

# String is an alias for Ruby's String
String  = .String

# We'll have to coerce Integer literals from ruby String
Integer = <literal> .String \( s | Integer(s) )       \( i | i.to_s    )

# We'll have to coerce Date literals from iso8601 String 
Date    = <literal> .String \( s | Date.iso8601(s) )  \( d | d.iso8601 )

# Valid scores are integers between 0 and 10 inclusive
Score = Integer( i | valid: i >= 0 and i <= 10 )

# One CSV row should meet the following tuple type
  id:   Integer,
  name: String,
  birthdate: Date,
  score: Score

Making the split using Finitio(-rb)

Here we go! Dress each CSV line using the schema, rescue on a type error:

require 'finitio'
require 'csv'

# Let load the schema
schema = Finitio.parse('schema.fio'))

# For each CSV row'data.csv', 'r') do |io|
  csv = io, headers: true
  csv.each do |row|
    tuple = row.to_hash

    # Dress the tuple, on success puts it on STDOUT with coerced
    # values. On error display it with the error message on STDERR
      puts schema.dress(tuple).inspect
    rescue Finitio::TypeError => ex
      puts "Skipping `#{row.to_s.strip}`: #{ex.message}"


Example output:

{:id=>1, :name=>"Aaron", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2013-10-28 ((2456594j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>5}
Skipping `2,Courtney,2013-26-08,5`: Invalid value `2013-26-08` for Date
{:id=>3, :name=>"Connor", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2014-10-11 ((2456942j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>8}
Skipping `4,Meredith,2014-10-15,22`: Invalid value `22` for Score (not valid)
{:id=>5, :name=>"Kristen", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2014-03-28 ((2456745j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>8}
Skipping `6,Nissim,2014-06-05,`: Invalid value `nil` for Score
{:id=>7, :name=>"Donna", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2013-03-29 ((2456381j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>2}
{:id=>8, :name=>"Jenette", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2014-04-04 ((2456752j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>2}
{:id=>9, :name=>"Mason", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2014-08-05 ((2456875j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>8}
Skipping `10,Yolanda,2014-03-25,77`: Invalid value `77` for Score (not valid)
{:id=>11, :name=>"Edan", :birthdate=>#<Date: 2015-02-18 ((2457072j,0s,0n),+0s,2299161j)>, :score=>8}