Data Manipulation: Definition, Purpose, Examples


Regardless of the industry, knowledge affects the way organizations work. To function correctly, structured data, or the type of information that is only readable by computers, must have a uniform structure. The data must be interpreted and manipulated to be accessible by humans to clean and map it to provide valuable insights. The need for data manipulation becomes even more important with a growing volume of data being used and processed. 

In this article, we will learn about what data manipulation is, different types of data manipulation, and data manipulation in data science.

  1. What is Data Manipulation?
  2. Data Manipulation Examples
  3. Purpose of Data Manipulation
  4. Steps involved In Data Manipulation 
  5. In Excel, How Do You Manipulate Data?

1. What is Data Manipulation?

Data Manipulation Meaning: Manipulation of data is the process of manipulating or changing information to make it more organized and readable. We use DML to accomplish this. What is meant by DML? Well, it stands for Data Manipulation Language or a programming language capable of adding, removing, and altering databases, i.e. changing the information to something that we can read. We can clean and map the data thanks to DML to make it digestible for expression. 

SQL (Structured Query Language) communicates with DBMS(Database Management Systems). The SQL DML commands used for data manipulation are 

SELECT: This command selects a section of the database (a few rows/columns) to work on.

UPDATE: This command is required to make changes to the existing data

INSERT: This command is used to insert data in a different location or move data. 

DELETE: This command is used to delete the redundant or duplicate data from the table.

2. Data Manipulation Examples 

Data Manipulation is the modification of information to make it easier to read or more structured. For example, a data log may be sorted in alphabetical order, making it easier to find individual entries. On web server logs, data manipulation is also used to allow the website owner to monitor their most famous pages and their traffic sources.

Accounting users or related fields also manipulate information to assess the expense of the product, pricing patterns, or future tax obligations. Stock market analysts also use data manipulation to forecast developments in the stock market and how stocks might perform shortly.

Computers can also use data manipulation to view the information in a more realistic way to users based on code in a user-defined software program, web page, or data formatting.

3. Purpose of Data Manipulation

For business operations and optimization, data manipulation is a key feature. You have to be able to deal with the data in the way you need it to use data properly and turn it into valuable information such as analyzing financial data, consumer behavior, and doing trend analysis. As such, data manipulation provides an organization with many advantages, including:

  • Consistent data: It can be structured, read, and better understood by providing data in a consistent format. You may not have a unified view when taking data from various sources, but with data manipulation and commands, you can make sure that the data is structured and stored consistently.
  • Project data: it is paramount for organizations to be able to use historical data to project the future and to provide more in-depth analysis, especially when it comes to finances. Manipulation of data makes it possible for this purpose.
  • Overall, converting, updating, deleting, and incorporating data into a database means you can do more with the data. -Create more value from the data. It becomes pointless by providing data that remains static. But you will have straightforward insights to make better business decisions when you know how to use data to your advantage.
  • Delete or neglect redundant data: unusable data is always present and can interfere with what matters. 

Contrasted with language programming

It looks very stilted when you first look at Data Manipulation Language. For example, explaining to others how to use a built-in feature in Access is relatively straightforward compared to, using DML to Pick * FROM. DML, however, is not a language for programming. That a machine understands and operates as an implicit program cannot be compiled or translated into 0s and 1s. Think of it instead as a rather sophisticated formula, as one might find in a spreadsheet. You probably use some very convoluted formulas when using a spreadsheet – DML is simply formula speaking, but for using a database.

4. Steps Involved in Data Manipulation 

When you want to get started with data manipulation, here are the steps you should take into consideration:

  • Only if you have data to do so is data manipulation feasible. You need a database, therefore, which is generated from data sources.
  • This knowledge requires reorganization and restructuring. Manipulation of data helps you to cleanse your information.
  • Import a database and create it for you to work on.
  • You can combine, erase, or merge information through data manipulation.
  • When you manipulate data, data analysis becomes simple.

5. In Excel, How Do You Manipulate Data?

Manipulation of data in Python and manipulation of data in R are critical aspects of data manipulation. Before moving through the more profound principles of Data Manipulation in Python and R, let us now understand how to manipulate data.

Most definitely, you are aware of how to use MS Excel. Here are some tips to help you manipulate Excel info.

  • Formulas and functions – Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are some of the basic math functions in Excel. You need to know how to use these Excel-critical features.
  • Autofill in Excel-When you want to use the same equation across several cells, this feature is useful. One way of doing it is to retype the formula. Another way is to drag the cursor to the cell’s lower right corner and then downwards. It will help you simultaneously apply the same formula to several rows.
  • Sort and Filter- Users can save a lot of time when analyzing data by sorting and filtering options in Excel.
  • Removing duplicates-There are often chances of replication of data in the process of collecting and assimilating data. In Excel, the Delete Duplicate feature can help remove duplicate spreadsheet entries.
  • Column splitting, merging, and merging-Columns or rows in Excel may often be added or removed. Data organization often requires integrating, splitting, or combining multiple datasheets.


Data manipulation and data modification appear to have the same meaning. However, they are mutually exclusive when it comes to data processing.

  • When a computer’s stored or saved value changes to a different value, this is referred to as data modification.
  • Data manipulation is the process of extracting information and applying logic to it to generate a completely different set of data. In other words, data is modified when manipulated and stored in the same location.

We’ll look at the distinction between the two terms with a simple example.

  • If you change the value of a column in MS Excel sheet A1 from 350 to 500, you are modifying the data.
  • If you create a formula in A2 and use the data in A1, the output is data manipulation if you save it in A2.


When interacting with data kept in a database through SQL up to a point, tables and formulas are useful, but there comes a time when you really want to perform some pretty complex data interactions. You’ll probably need Data Manipulation Vocabulary in that situation. Data Manipulation Language is a way to tell a database precisely what you want it to do by communicating in a way that it is constructed to understand from the ground up.

Data Manipulation Terminology provides an efficient way of doing it when it comes to operating inside existing data, whether it is to add, transfer, or erase data. Data comes in several forms and is required to be able to make decisions for business leaders. Data is best used from marketing to sales, accounting to customer service, when it can be manipulated for some relevant reason. Proper data analysis depends on the ability to manipulate data, including rearranging, sorting, editing, and moving data around.

If you are interested in making a career in the Data Science domain, our 9-month online PG Certificate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning course can help you become a successful Data Science professional. 

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