Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 8: Analyzing data and alternative data sets
Analyzing data and
alternative data sets
IN THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO
▪ Examine data by using the Quick Analysis Lens.
▪ Define an alternative data set.
▪ Define multiple alternative data sets.
▪ Analyze data by using data tables.
▪ Vary your data to get a specific result by using Goal Seek.
▪ Find optimal solutions by using Solver.
▪ 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.