Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Chapter 8: Analyzing data and alternative data sets**

Analyzing data and

8

alternative data sets

IN THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO

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Examine data by using the Quick Analysis Lens.

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Define an alternative data set.

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Define multiple alternative data sets.

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Analyze data by using data tables.

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Vary your data to get a specific result by using Goal Seek.

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Find optimal solutions by using Solver.

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Analyze data by using descriptive statistics.

When you store data in a Microsoft Excel 2013 workbook, you can use that data, either by

itself or as part of a calculation, to discover important information about your

organization. You can summarize your data quickly by creating charts, calculating totals, or

applying conditional formatting. When you track total sales on a time basis, you can find your

best and worst sales periods and correlate them with outside events. For businesses such as

Consolidated Messenger, package volume increases dramatically during the holidays as

customers ship gifts to friends and family members.

The data in your worksheets is great for answering the question, “What happened?” The

data is less useful for answering “what-if” questions, such as, “How much money would we

save if we reduced our labor to 20 percent of our total costs?” You can always save an

alternative version of a workbook and create formulas that calculate the effects of your changes,

but you can do the same thing in your existing workbooks by defining one or more

alternative data sets and switching between the original data and the new sets you create. Within

a single workbook, you can create a data table that calculates the effects of changing one

or two variables in a formula.