Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1
Introduction to Spreadsheet Modeling
Contents
1.1 Introduction ................................. 1
1.2 What’s an MBA to do? ............................ 2
1.3 Why Model Problems? ............................ 3
1.4 Why Model Decision Problems with Excel? .................. 3
1.5 Spreadsheet Feng Shui/Spreadsheet Engineering ................ 5
1.6 A Spreadsheet Makeover ........................... 7
1.6.1 Julia’s Business Problem—A Very Uncertain Outcome .......... 8
1.6.2 Ram’s Critique ............................ 11
1.6.3 Julia’s New and Improved Workbook .................. 12
1.7 Summary .................................. 16
Key Terms .................................... 17
Problems and Exercises .............................. 17
1.1 Introduction
Spreadsheets have become as commonplace as calculators in analysis and decision
making. In this chapter we explore the importance of creating decision making mod-
els with Excel. We also consider the characteristics that make spreadsheets useful,
not only for ourselves, but for others with whom we collaborate. As with any tool,
learning to use them effectively requires carefully conceived planning and repeated
practice; thus, we will terminate the chapter with an example of a poorly planned
spreadsheet that is rehabilitated into a shining example of what a spreadsheet can be.
Some texts provide you with very detailed, in depth explanations of the intri-
cacies of Excel; this text opts to concentrate on the types of analysis and model
building you can perform with Excel. The ultimate goal of this topic is to provide
you with an Excel-centric approach to solving problems and to do so with relatively
H. Guerrero, Excel Data Analysis , DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-10835-8_1,
C
1
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
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