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Chapter 14. Data Importing and Repairing > Separating Parts of Data

Separating Parts of Data

If you're faced with importing a file with poorly structured data, you may have to separate parts of a single field into smaller parts. For example, if your text file has a single field for first and last names or for city, state, and Zip code but your database has them as separate elements, you need to separate the data into its constituent parts. The process of doing this is called “parsing,” and it can be complex because each set of text combinations can present its own problems. No one script can be used for all parsing situations, but the concept we show here is adaptable to a wide range of parsing needs. These steps show how to parse a Full Name field such as “Name = John J. Jones” into first, middle, and last names, like this: “First Name = John MI = J. Last Name = Jones.”


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