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Hi I have table of values stored in a csv file and the table is organized the following way:


One example of something I have to do with this table is to compute the maximum of each row and then for each column I compute the number of times the column equals the maximum value. I am doing this with excel, but I suspect there would be better tools for this, when the the conditions become complicated. I have no experience with databases.

The question is what is the best tool for this, and given that tool point to some basic tutorials to get me started.


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If you aren't comfortable with programming languages (like Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.), then Excel is probably your best bet.

If you are having trouble understanding pivot tables, no worries! It's an easy enough process to make step-wise summary tables: e.g. you have your main table of raw information and you have intermediary tables (like row-max-values) and Excel has functions like VLOOKUP that can help you with the rest.

Check out Excel's lookup, vlookup, hlookup and math functions - it probably has all you need.

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I am familiar with python... is there any package to do this kind of thing there or I would have to write on from scratch? – skeept Feb 29 '12 at 21:32
You could use the csv module to read the file in. You can then iterate over the rows, convert to a number format and find the max/count it. Are you proficient enough in Python to write that part yourself? – Bob Mar 1 '12 at 12:17
It wouldn't be very difficult to read the file in and then split the characters by newline and then by comma...then it's just a matter of looping over each of those values to derive your minimums/maximums. – JakeTheSnake Mar 15 '12 at 0:28

If you want to do simple things like count, sum, min, max, etc.., you can just dump all of the data into an Excel spreadsheet and use Pivot Tables to create the different looks you need. Pivot tables are all drag & drop and very powerful.

Here are a few good tutorials or just Google "Pivot table tutorials and the version of Excel you have"

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