Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Sorting Data: Instilling Order in Your Data
In addition, users can pose all sorts of questions of databases, such as
How many people work in HR?
What’s their average salary?
How many people in the company make more than $50,000?
How much money did each salesperson earn each month?
In order to answer these questions, databases can be asked to produce a subset of
their records—that is, only those records that meet a certain criterion or criteria that the
user establishes. Excel offers a range of ways in which these kinds of questions can be
asked—and answered—and we’ll look at some of them in this chapter.
And because databases depend on accurate data entry, Excel provides a set of controls
on the data entry process, through which the user can at least minimize the likelihood of
making mistakes. Called data validation techniques (introduced previously in Chapter 2),
these are fast and easy ways to place limits on the kinds of data that can be entered in
cells. You’ll learn about some of these too. But first, let’s take a look at sorting.
Sorting Data: Instilling Order in Your Data
When I did my thing as a corporate trainer in New York, our in-house training manuals
described sorting as an advanced topic. It isn’t. Spreadsheets nowadays make the job
of arranging values and/or text in order an easy task. Here’s an example:
1.
Enter the records from Figure 7–2 in a blank workbook, starting at cell
H7 (note the header is formatted differently from the rest of the
database; this will be important later).
Figure 7–2. Out of sorts: Our workforce, ready to be sorted
 
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