Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
A new feature in Excel 2013 makes it easy to store your work on the Internet so you can
access your files no matter where you are.
Analysis Tools
Excel is certainly no slouch when it comes to analysis. After all, most people use a spreadsheet for analysis.
Many analytical tasks can be handled with formulas, but Excel offers many other options, which I discuss in the
following sections.
Database access
Over the years, most spreadsheets have enabled users to work with simple flat database tables. Excel's database
features fall into two main categories:
Worksheet databases: The entire database is stored in a worksheet.
External databases: The data is stored outside Excel and is accessed as needed.
Scenario management
Scenario management is storing input values that drive a model. For example, if you have a sales forecast, you
may create scenarios such as best case, worst case, and most likely case.
Excel's Scenario Manager can handle only simple scenario-management tasks, but most users find it adequate.
However, it is definitely easier than trying to keep track of different scenarios manually.
Pivot tables
One of Excel's most powerful tools is the pivot table, which enables you to display summarized data in just
about any way possible. Data for a pivot table comes from a worksheet database (or table) or an external data-
base, and it is stored in a special cache, which enables Excel to recalculate data rapidly after a pivot table is
Chapter 18 contains additional information about pivot tables.
As a companion to a pivot table, Excel also supports the pivot chart feature. Pivot charts enable you to link a
chart to a pivot table. In Excel 2013, you can create a pivot chart directly, without a companion pivot table.
Auditing capabilities
Excel also offers useful auditing capabilities that help you identify errors or track the logic in an unfamiliar
spreadsheet. To access this feature, choose commands in the Formulas Formula Auditing group.
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