Guide: Best Practices for Column Headings

You have your data ready to go, have loaded it into Julius and are in the middle of trying to run descriptive statistics and then you get this:

Yikes, what is going on? The header is red, the chat box is yelling at me, there’s a caution sign that says “issues detected” in an ominous way. This is a mess! What should I do?

Well, the reason why Julius is giving me this message is because my headers are not very Julius friendly. Let’s break down why this is the case, starting at the first header: “Bad Header”.

This is an example of a bad header, as the name implies, because it has both capitals and a space between the two words. When Julius reads your dataset, it prefers to looks for simple column headers for several reasons:

1. Readability: complex or inconsistent headings can make it difficult for the reader or Julius to understand. So using spaces, special characters, or inconsistent capitalization can introduce unnecessary cognitive load when Julius brings in the dataset.

2. Consistency: inconsistently naming your columns (switching from uppercase to lowercase when moving from one column to the next) make it harder for Julius to maintain and work with the data. You should establish a consistent naming convention when naming your columns in your dataset. For example, using lowercase letters and providing an underscore where a space usually is, is a best practice.

3. Ease of Access: when Julius brings in your dataset and uses it (i.e., in code or SQL queries), simple and consistent column naming is easier for it to work with. They require less typing and are less prone to errors.

Now that we know a little more about to properly format a column header let’s look at some examples:

With your column headers formatted correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues with Julius reading your dataset!

Keywords: AI, GPT, column headings, formatting headings, best practices


Wow thanks so much Alysha for sharing the guide on naming column headers. Honestly it took me a few days to realize this that optimal column header lead to better AI performance on the analysis


No problem Chris! I’m glad you found this helpful :slight_smile:

Also helped me with XGBoost work because odd symbols in the column names can cause errors.