Chapter 16

Top Ten Ways to Analyze Your Data

When working with really large data lists in your Excel worksheets, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the developing trends in that data indicating new business opportunities, let alone warning of possible dangers. Fortunately, Excel 2016 offers several easy-to-use features designed to help you summarize and visualize directions and movements inherent in the vast quantities of data you deal with.

Here are my top ten favorite features in Excel 2016 for evaluating the data and drawing out the prevailing trends and vital indicators:

  1. Pivot Tables. The PivotTable feature offers one of the most efficient and flexible ways to summarize and analyze large amounts of data in the data lists you maintain or import into your Excel worksheets. Pivot tables are extremely easy to create as well as to modify.

    Pivot tables provide you with an easy way to cross-tabulate your data using any of the most common statistical functions (Sum, Count, Average, Max, Min, and so forth). They also provide you with the means for adding “filtering” fields from the data list or model that enable you to instantly refine the summarized data.

    See Chapter 9 for more on creating and using pivot tables to analyze large amounts of data.

  2. Pivot Charts. As the visual companion to pivot tables, Excel’s PivotChart feature allows you to graph the data summarized in your pivot tables using any of the types of charts supported by Excel 2016. As with pivot tables, pivot charts ...

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