Advanced Excel Basics

Microsoft Excel is a powerful software tool that is capable of doing basic data computations, and expertise in handling Excel will help job seekers in accomplishing data analysis job using Excel successfully.  It is because Excel is loaded with several ways to analyse and interpret raw and disorganized data. Excel commands, functions and tools help making data analysis job more facile and simpler, getting rid of many time consuming and intricate calculations. Below, are few features that can help initially to perform data analysis job effortlessly using Excel.

Sorting and filtering: In the process of data analysis, or during displaying certain important data reports, it might be required to sort and filter the data. By using sorting and filtering options in an Excel sheet, one can easily accomplish this task.

Functions and commands: Understanding certain functions or commands of Excel is mandatory to analyse the data aptly.

  • Lookup function:Excel’s Lookup Function helps to find successfully the data value that matches the defined criteria from the bulk of data. Vlookup() function helps to search a value in a table and gradually return a corresponding value.
  • Concatenate:This function helps in combining text from two or more cells into one single cell.
  • Lower(), Upper(), and Proper(): All the three functions help in changing the text to lower, upper and sentence case respectively. These functions are very imperative for data analysis as they help in converting classes of different case to a single case.
  • If ():it’s a conational function in Excel. It assists in using the conditional formulas which calculate in one way when a particular thing is true, and another way when it is false.

Pivot table: Often when data analysis on a large set of data is needed, particularly when handling the data of a company. In such cases, its required to perform certain tasks like summarizing the data, obtaining the required values and presenting the results, so that the company can draw a fruitful conclusion. For doing so, Excel provides the PivotTable feature, which helps in summarizing thousands of data values in a simple and quick method, enabling to obtain the much-needed results. Basically, PivotTable converts a data table to inference table which will simplify the decision-making job. It can be created by following some simple steps.

  • At first, click on the data list.
  • Then, click insert tab.
  • And, finally, click PivotTable.

It would be a practical to place the PivotTable on a new worksheet. For this first, its required to click new worksheet for the location and then, need to click OK to confirm it. If one lacks adequate knowledge about the PivotTables or do not know which fields to select from the data, then it is suggested to go for the Recommended PivotTables that Excel often provides to its users.

Charts:  Charts or graphs in Excel can be created conveniently by selecting the range of data to be placed in the chart and then need to press F11. This will automatically create an Excel chart in default style but it can be changed easily by selecting different chart styles. To place the chart on the same worksheet as the data, then one should press ALT + F1 instead of F11.

Remove duplicate values: Excel owns inbuilt feature which helps to remove duplicate values from a table. This feature usually removes the duplicate or identical values from given table based on the selected columns. Suppose, if two columns are selected, it searches for duplicate value having same combination of both columns data.

Multiple worksheets: Very often it is required to work on multiple worksheets specially to track the sales information for all the regions of a particular product.

The above mentioned are only prime and essential functions of Excel that can be used frequently while executing the data analysis process. Though Excel is a robust tool,   If it is needed to perform vast data computations like 2000000 entries, then Excel will encounter with a chunk of issues and starts struggling, for such scenarios more efficient tools will be required.

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