Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday: Excel at Analyzing Data

One of the things we love about computers is that they are exceptional about analyzing data.  One of the first practical and marketable uses of computers was for Spreadsheets.  Originally, running the numbers meant writing a large paper worksheet or blackboard full of sales figures and expenses to determine profit margins.  These big worksheets could then be changed and re-calculated to see what would happen to profits if something changed.

You can learn more about Visicalc:

Now, many different companies offer spreadsheets. They can be hugely useful for calculating all kinds of stuff.

The big tips for today!
CSV Files - CSV Files are Comma Separated Values. So why do you care? Many sites will allow you to download data as CSV files which can be opened by most Spreadsheet programs

The other big tip: Check out Microsoft's Help Page regarding 3 calculations you really want to be able to do. Mean, Median and Mode.

Also, if you are interested in seeing what a CSV files looks like, download these files:

  • Scores as a CSV File (Should open in your Spreadsheet program)

  • Scores as a TXT File (to see the Comma Separated Values)

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