data management

Today at work I had to get a huge amount of badly organized data into a form I could manipulate. It was an extremely frustrating process -- after a handful of false starts, what I ultimately ended up doing was setting up a Google Form with all the relevant fields and just re-entering the info. I felt, the whole time I was doing it, like there had to be some easier way. One of the vast territories I could imagine was computer skills -- I think there must be a tool, either one I don't know how to use or one I don't have access to (Excel would have been awesome) that could have cut my effort into ribbons.

The other territory was statistics. I strongly suspect there are mathematical systems designed to do what I was doing manually, but I have no idea what they are. Furthermore, I suspect that if I took a class in statistics, this sort of practical data manipulation would never come up.

I have no clue if I'm right in that suspicion. I haven't taken a math class since 2005 and I was barely paying attention at the time.