Exercise: Change data types of columns in world population table

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The answer to the exercise will be included and explained if you attend the course listed below!

 Category ==> Power BI - Excel 2013  (25 exercises) Topic ==> Transforming data in Power Query  (3 exercises) Level ==> Relatively easy Course ==> PowerPivot / Excel Power BI
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help).

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Open up the workbook called Tables in the above folder, and have a look at the Populations worksheet:

We'll import this data into an Excel worksheet, tweaking it along the way.

Now close this workbook down, and create a new workbook.

You could use try loading the source data from the original Wikipedia page at http://bit.ly/14wM1IU if you have an Internet connection, although this may not be in the same format by the time you do the exercise.

In Power Query, choose to create a query based on this workbook:

The option you'll need to choose.  Make sure you choose the table called Populations, not the one with the much longer name.

Do the following things to make this table easier to read:

1. Tell Power Query to use the first row as column headings.
2. Delete the Source column (we don't need it).
3. Change the data type of the Date column to Date.
4. Change the data type of the Population column to Whole Number.
5. Shorten the name of the Country column.

You should now have something like this:

It's looking a bit more manageable!

To use this data in Excel, you'll have to turn the percentage columns into numbers.  Try doing this, and you'll see this doesn't work:

The % sign is messing things up!

Undo this (except it's not undoing, it's deleting the last step of the query), and replace values in the % of world population column to replace all % symbols with spaces.  You should now be able to change the data type to Decimal Number.