Introduction

Excel worksheets are used in many walks of life: business, education, home finances, and even hobbies (such as keeping track of your baseball-card collection). In my house, we use Excel for a lot, from our taxes (boring!) to our ever-growing recipe collection (yummy!). Often, I use Excel in place of a calculator. After all, Excel is like a calculator on steroids!

In the workplace, Excel is one of the most commonly used analysis and reporting tools. Financial statements, sales reports, inventory, project scheduling, customer activity — so much of this stuff is kept in Excel. The program’s capability to manipulate and give feedback about the data makes it attractive. Excel’s flexibility in storing and presenting data is like magic.

About This Book

This book is about the number-crunching side of Excel. Formulas are the keystone to analyzing data — that is, digging out nuggets of important information. What is the average sale? How many times did we do better than average? How many days are left on the project? How much progress have we made? That sort of thing.

Formulas calculate answers, straight and to the point. But that’s not all. Excel has dozens of built-in functions that calculate everything from a simple average to a useful analysis of your investments to complex inferential statistics. But you don’t have to know it all or use it all; just use the parts that are relevant to your work.

This book discusses more than 150 of these functions. But rather than just ...

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