Chapter 5. Data Types: Make Excel value your values

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Excel doesn’t always show you what it’s thinking.

Sometimes, Excel will show you a number but think of it as text. Or it might show you some text that it sees as a number. Excel will even show you data that is neither number nor text! In this chapter, you’re going to learn how to see data the way Excel sees it, no matter how it’s displayed. Not only will this knowledge give you greater control over your data (and fewer “What the #$%! is going on?” experiences), but it will also help you unlock the whole universe of formulas.

Your doctor friend is on a deadline and has broken data

He’s just completed a landmark study that evaluates the effectiveness of a drug on a patient’s white blood cell counts, and his results are going to be really important for clinical practice.

But there’s a problem. His data is exhibiting weird behaviors that prevent him from using formulas. Can you fix his data for him? If you help, he’ll put your name on the paper he publishes.

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Let’s see what the problem is....

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