My New Year’s gift to all y’all is this recommendation:
RUN DON’T WALK to download Google Refine. (No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.) Refine is an app that expedites data cleaning, thereby eliminating hours and hours of tedium and letting me get to the fun parts of the project sooner.
I will certainly be putting it through its paces this year. If you do check it out, let me know what you think.