Chapter 2. Understanding Excel's Statistical Capabilities

In This Chapter

  • Working with worksheet functions

  • Creating a shortcut to statistical functions

  • Getting an array of results

  • Naming arrays

  • Tooling around with analysis

  • Using Excel's Quick Statistics feature

In this chapter, I introduce you to Excel's statistical functions and data analysis tools. If you've used Excel, and I'm assuming you have, you're aware of Excel's extensive functionality, of which statistical capabilities are a subset. Into each worksheet cell you can enter a piece of data, instruct Excel to carry out calculations on data that reside in a set of cells, or use one of Excel's worksheet functions to work on data. Each worksheet function is a built-in formula that saves you the trouble of having to direct Excel to perform a sequence of calculations. As newbies and veterans know, formulas are the business end of Excel. The data analysis tools go beyond the formulas. Each tool provides a set of informative results.

Getting Started

Many of Excel's statistical features are built into its worksheet functions. In previous versions, you accessed the worksheet functions by using the Excel Insert Function button, labeled with the symbol fx. Clicking this button opens the Insert Function dialog box, which presents a list of Excel's functions and a capability for searching for Excel functions. Although Excel 2007 provides easier ways to access the worksheet functions, this latest version preserves this button and offers additional ...

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