Field type conversion

The Change Field Type operation converts the type of a field.

Tomas Larsson avatar
Written by Tomas Larsson
Updated over a week ago

Keywords: change field type, categorical text, short text, long text, integer, decimal number, unit, id, boolean, date

The Change Field Type operation changes the type of the selected field. Useful if, for example, a numeric field has been interpreted as a text field during import – which can happen if non-numeric characters are present – or if a date field has been interpreted as a text field. What operations and drop zones are available for a given field depends on the field's type, so it's important that fields have the correct type.

Step-by-step guide

1. Open the operation configuration window

Select the field that you want to apply the operation to in the Schema workbench and click the "Add operation" button at the top of the workspace.

Search for "Change field type" or find the operation under "Preprocessing & cleaning" and click it.

2. Specify the target type

The following types are available: categorical text, short text, long text, integer, decimal number, unit, id, boolean, and date.

a. Text-based types:

  • Categorical text: Fields with highly repeated values such as answers to multiple-choice questions in surveys, content types in social media posts, categories in news articles, or patent descriptions.

  • Long text: Fields with unstructured and pretty long text values such as full texts of the news articles, blog posts, PDF or Word pages, etc. These fields are likely to be the main text fields where most of the NLP workflows run.

  • Short text: Fields with short text and not repeated values such as URLs, titles, or short notes.

b. Numeric types:

  • Integer: Fields with whole numbers. For example, like/retweet counts.

  • Decimal number: Fields with fractional numbers. For example, percent rates, prices, GPS coordinates, etc.

c. Date type: Fields with the date and optionally time values in widely accepted formats. For example "2021-10-18" or "18 Oct 2021 21:55".

d. Boolean type: Fields with 2 possible values: (true or false), or (1 or 0). This type can be used to store answers to YES/NO questions.

3. Apply the operation

Click "Apply" to run the operation. The type of the selected field has now been changed to the specified type.

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