Data startup Trifacta is today announcing the launch of Wrangler, a new application for data transformation that people can install on Macs and PCs running Windows. The software is free, and it’s pretty sweet, if you ask me.
Once the app is installed on your desktop, you can upload files in a variety of formats — XLS, XLSX, CSV, TSV, JSON, log files, and text files — and then easily make changes to the data such that it works well in other software, like Tableau’s data visualization tool. The software writes scripts for things you want to change as you drag and drop data organized in neat rows and columns. There’s a histogram and a sample of data at the top of each column, and previews make it easy to see how various popular changes will affect the look of your data in the spreadsheet. A summary page offers automated insight into your data, which can be exported in CSV, JSON, or TDE format.
The tool is a stripped-down version of Trifacta’s commercially available Data Transformation Platform, which will be called the Trifacta Wrangler Enterprise from here on out. (That tool was based on the Stanford DataWrangler.) Trifacta’s employees have wanted to make Wrangler available since the earliest days of the startup, but for a long while there just weren’t enough resources to do it, cofounder and chief strategy officer Joe Hellerstein told VentureBeat in an interview. The startup has been working on the new tool for the past nine months, and there are now nearly 90 Trifacta employees.
The tool is aimed at anyone who works with data in spreadsheets and visualization tools. Because it’s free, it should make Trifacta a popular option for the preparation of data for analysis, which traditionally had been the domain of data engineers and other types of database experts.
Trifacta Wrangler needs to be connected to the Web, but data that you use in it on your desktop does not get sent to Trifacta—the online connection ensures that you’re using the latest version of the software. The tool only works with files smaller than 100MB. Upcoming features include random sampling and the ability to publish output files to Tableau Server.
Trifacta started in 2012 and announced a $25 million funding round in May 2014. Customers include GoPro, Pepsi, and Sanofi.
You can download Trifacta Wrangler here.