I ♥ Shortcuts: Ugly data and Shortcuts

I’ve been learning Shortcuts for the first time this month inspired by MacStories.net’s contest. I just want to say how lovely this thing is!

I was able to take 817 days worth of de-identified hospital data that was sent to me as poorly formatted PDF mail attachments, automate the cleaning of that data with a bunch of regex matches and replaces, and automatically add it to a Numbers sheet where I could do some pivots and graphs. I’m not a data-guy. And it wasn’t that hard. Plus I learned some things.

Few stumbling blocks include the fact that Shortcuts doesn’t do much with mail. I’m guessing there’s a privacy reason that Apple didn’t want to even touch. Also, Shortcuts would give up after 300 or so PDFs. Did I fill up the memory? But I broke it up into 100-sized chunks and it worked perfectly.

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Now you are!

(20 characters)

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Welcome to Shortcuts!

I’ve had Shortcuts stop working on me with long-running loops in the past. If I had to guess, maybe iOS is killing the process in the background? Maybe a developer can correct me.