I have a view that takes fields and combines them or compares them and then gives me results in a new field (views conditional, global text etc..) but I need the TYPE of data that is returned. How can I figure this out? I do not have Drush on my current setup or we'd be good to go... I looked in the DOM and see nothing special about the field for example...
You can install devel and use
<?php dsm($fields) ?> inside views-view-fields.tpl.php which you need to place inside the templates folder of your theme.
This will give the results similar to var_dump but in a much readable and organized format.