Peeping into Microsoft Excel: A review of historicity, statistical research and important tools.

Introduction

The journey of a data scientist always starts from the analysis of basic datasets. The source of these datasets lies in excel spreadsheets. So, data analysis basically starts from the quest of learning excel formulas. Complete knowledge about these formulas and other tools is provided through excel training. For instance, excel training in Malaysia provides knowledge about different functions and tools of excel in a holistic manner.

Historicity of excel

Microsoft Excel has been in operation for about 30 years now. It is the first choice of operation for small and quick data analysis. Over a period of time, a lot of softwares have been developed which are more advanced and complex in nature. We have also seen the advent of Google sheets but it would be difficult to say at this stage that Google sheets as an application has surpassed the popularity of Microsoft Excel.

Statistical research

It is said that numbers don’t lie. So, we say that data driven decisions are great precursors to guide companies to make helpful decisions. With the help of data analysis,  companies derive great insights from raw and other unstructured data. Earlier we used to do this manually. However, over a period of five years, great automation has been seen in the process of data analysis. Indeed, the foundation of this data analysis has been laid by excel and other related data programs. Ranging from the generation of initial insights for startup to the formulation of a sound business strategy for an established organisation, data analysis provides a unique answer to this with the help of excel spreadsheets.

Pivot tables

Pivot table is a great skill to master as it allows you to perform some initial calculations on the stored data while allowing the results to be displayed on a new table. Pivot tables are also very versatile in nature. The great diversity of pivot tables enables you to form subsets of matching data and arrive at summaries in a quick span of time. This is relevant for financial and e-commerce services and can be used in other domains as well.

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Flash fill

Flash fill is regarded as the central nervous system of Excel. In the year 2013, excel came up with a mind of its own in the form of this feature. Let us take an example. We have two columns to analyze which contain the email address and description of an entity. Now let us suppose that the third column needs to be filled. In such a case, we need to fill out the first row of the third column and the flash fill feature will automatically predict the entries in other cells of the column.

Filters

This feature of excel enables you to explore and figure out the data in a table in the shortest span of time possible. The chief function of filtering is to temporarily remove or hide data that may not be of any use to us. This tool is used to great effect in cases when we need to work out on a combination of different columns.

Concluding remarks

Both the popularity and the importance of excel will continue to grow in the future as analytics and insights become serious business for different companies globally.

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