find_and_transform_dates {dataPreparation}R Documentation

Identify date columns

Description

Find and transform dates that are hidden in a character column.
It use a bunch of default formats, and you can also add your own formats.

Usage

find_and_transform_dates(
  data_set,
  cols = "auto",
  formats = NULL,
  n_test = 30,
  ambiguities = "IGNORE",
  verbose = TRUE
)

Arguments

data_set

Matrix, data.frame or data.table

cols

List of column(s) name(s) of data_set to look into. To check all all columns, set it to "auto". (characters, default to "auto")

formats

List of additional Date formats to check (see strptime)

n_test

Number of non-null rows on which to test (numeric, default to 30)

ambiguities

How ambiguities should be treated (see details in ambiguities section) (character, default to IGNORE)

verbose

Should the algorithm talk? (Logical, default to TRUE)

Details

This function is using identify_dates to find formats. Please see it's documentation. In case identify_dates doesn't find wanted formats you can either provide format in param formats or use set_col_as_date to force transformation.

Value

data_set set (as a data.table) with identified dates transformed by reference.

Ambiguity

Ambiguities are often present in dates. For example, in date: 2017/01/01, there is no way to know if format is YYYY/MM/DD or YYYY/DD/MM.
Some times ambiguity can be solved by a human. For example 17/12/31, a human might guess that it is YY/MM/DD, but there is no sure way to know.
To be safe, find_and_transform_dates doesn't try to guess ambiguities.
To answer ambiguities problem, param ambiguities is now available. It can take one of the following values

If there are some columns that have no chance to be a match think of removing them from cols to save some computation time.

Examples

# Load exemple set
data(messy_adult)
head(messy_adult)
# using the find_and_transform_dates
find_and_transform_dates(messy_adult, n_test = 5)
head(messy_adult)

# Example with ambiguities
## Not run: 
require(data.table)
data(messy_adult) # reload data
# Add an ambiguity by sorting date1
messy_adult$date1 = sort(messy_adult$date1, na.last = TRUE)
# Try all three methods:
result_1 = find_and_transform_dates(copy(messy_adult))
result_2 = find_and_transform_dates(copy(messy_adult), ambiguities = "WARN")
result_3 = find_and_transform_dates(copy(messy_adult), ambiguities = "SOLVE")

## End(Not run)
# "##NOT RUN:" mean that this example hasn't been run on CRAN since its long. But you can run it!

[Package dataPreparation version 1.0.4 Index]