Box-linking GUI for data conversion

I saw an online advert for Altova MapForce software today while looking up my dentist’s phone number (aren’t those Google ads algorithms clever? Well, yes, sometimes). This looks rather interesting. You have your databases of various formats appear on the screen as lists of variables and then you link them together by joining the arrows to ‘pipe’ the data through various transforming functions and into the final combined format that you want to use.

MapForce screenshot

This is an interface design I hadn’t seen before in the data world, although such things are widely used in audio signal processing. If you are scared of programming and quite a visual sort of person, this could come in handy. But I suspect that, by the time you have learnt to use this, you could have taught yourself a good dose of Python or R, which would give you much greater flexibility.

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