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13 MS Excel Formulae to Master Data Analysis

MS Excel Formulae for data analysis
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Microsoft Excel is the best tool for data analysis. Its extensive range of features handles even the most challenging data analysis tasks.

What Is Data Analysis and Its Significance?

The process of gathering, organizing, and analyzing data to spot patterns and trends is known as data analysis. With the help of data analysis, organizations may take initiatives to enhance customer satisfaction, increase customer retention, increase profitability, and reduce costs.

Another use of data analysis is the identification of outliers and abnormalities, which can be used to spot unethical activities or dubious conduct.

data-analysis-for-business

All businesses need data analysis because it helps them better understand their data, identify opportunities to improve operations, create plans, and make more educated decisions.

By utilizing data-driven insights, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of market trends, consumer behavior, and operational efficiency.

To solve significant issues and comprehend trends, data analysis generally assists organizations, researchers, managers, and analysts in classifying, manipulating, and summarising data.

Through data analysis, correlations between diverse aspects can help inform choices or provide new opportunities. It is beneficial since it can aid decision-making and reveal fresh insights that could go unnoticed.

How MS Excel Helps in Analyzing the Data?

Microsoft Excel is a valuable program that has grown in popularity in the business and personal worlds. Users may manage, view, and analyze vast volumes of data with this straightforward data analysis and reporting tool.

data-analysis-excel

It is simple to modify, filter, and sort data using Excel’s built-in tools and functions to obtain meaningful information. Additionally, various features in Excel, like pivot tables, charts, and graphs, help users understand data and draw conclusions.

Users can also quickly generate reports and projections and simulate data using a comprehensive excel platform.

Excel provides the user with an easy-to-use platform for data analysis and makes it possible for users to identify trends quickly and make decisions.

Excel is a fantastic choice for creating reliable data visualizations since it has tools that detect errors automatically.

MS Excel is a vital tool for businesses that need to quickly analyze large volumes of data and present complex information in a visually appealing way.

Important Functions of MS Excel That Helps in Data Analysis

  • Sorting and Filtering
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Charts and Graphs

#1. Sorting and Filtering

Data analysis includes key steps like sorting and filtering data in Excel. Because the data is arranged understandably, users may quickly study vast amounts of data.

In Excel, sorting data is a technique that aids in arranging data in a particular manner. For instance, you can set the numbers in ascending or descending order or arrange the text alphabetically in ascending and descending order.

The sorting and filtering process is explained in detail in the following video:

YouTube video

Data filtering is a procedure that makes it easier to swiftly identify records with specific values from a variety of data. It is beneficial to focus the data on more precise standards. For instance, a dataset can instantly be filtered by a field’s date, location, or another field.

Users may immediately spot trends by organizing the data using sorting and filtering, which can then be used to make decisions.

You may extract relevant information via sorting and filtering, rapidly display summary statistics, and contrast various data groups. Together, these two operations can effectively summarise, identify trends, find outliers, and identify other interesting occurrences in practically any data set.

#2. Conditional Formatting

With the help of Excel’s powerful conditional formatting feature, you may modify the formatting of cells according to their contents. It is beneficial when attempting to highlight cells with specific values or draw attention to particular patterns or trends in the data.

The below video explains Conditional Formatting:

YouTube video

When setting up conditional formatting, you can define a wide range of criteria that can be applied to the cells. For example, you may set a specific background color or make all cells with a specified value bold.

Additionally, you can utilize it to improve your data’s visual attractiveness and readability.

This feature is quite helpful for quickly identifying important data or making changes. For example, management might use it to rapidly distinguish between salespeople who are meeting and are not achieving their quotas by highlighting cells in a different color or even by including particular shapes or icons in them.

#3. Charts and Graphs

Excel’s charts and graphs are highly effective visual tools. Most Excel users need to be aware of the strength of charts and graphs as practical tools for data visualization.

Excel graphs and charts precisely represent the trends in the underlying data by combining them with the extensive collection of effective formulas that are readily available.

The steps to create a chart is explained below:

YouTube video

Instead of reading long lists of numbers, they allow the user to understand complex data in a visual format swiftly.

Users can spot patterns and trends more quickly using charts and graphs than traditional data analysis. This is incredibly beneficial when examining financial, production, or sales data that may include hundreds of data points.

Users may easily spot relationships between data sets using charts and graphs, improving their comprehension of the evaluated data. Excel users can quickly generate attractive graphics by utilizing built-in functions, easily adjustable chart templates, and a range of various chart formats.

Now, let’s explore the list of Excel formulae useful in data analysis.

CONCAT

CONCAT function in excel is used to combine text from many cells into one cell. The popular function CONCATENATE is replaced by CONCAT.

It is extremely helpful when working with big data sets that need to integrate in a specific way. You can easily combine data into one cell using the CONCAT function, such as names, addresses, etc.

The below example explains the usage of the CONCAT function:

YouTube video

It’s a perfect approach to build datasets rapidly and reduce human error. It also deletes duplicate entries automatically.

Syntax

CONCAT(text1, [text2],…)

Arguments

  • text1: The initial item to join. The item could be a cell reference, a number, or a text value
  • text2: This is optional. Additional text items to join

XLOOKUP

The new Excel function Xlookup was released with the Office 365 edition of Excel. It offers an easier and more logical way to search for data than Excel’s conventional VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions.

Working with enormous datasets will assist them in saving time and effort by making the process of seeking up and returning data both vertically and horizontally simpler.

The following URL provides information about how XLOOKUP functions:

YouTube video

It is an effective tool for handling massive volumes of data and may be used to swiftly identify and retrieve information without conducting a manual search. Additionally, Xlookup can be used to filter and sort data, as well as to build unique reports.

Syntax

=XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array, [if_not_found], [match_mode], [search_mode]) 

Required Arguments 

  • lookup: The value to search for
  • lookup_array: The array or range to search
  • return_array: The array or range to return

Optional arguments

not_found, match_mode, search_mode

LEN

The Excel LENGTH function, commonly known as the LEN function, is utilized to determine the length of a given string. It can assist users in rapidly determining the size of each column in the dataset, which is very valuable when working with massive datasets.

The following video shows how the LEN function works:

YouTube video

The function is simple to use; all that is needed is for the user to enter the cell that contains the text string into the function. The total number of characters in the text string, including spaces, is the result returned. LEN is especially helpful for tracking data or ensuring that data is the same length.

Syntax

= LEN(text)

Argument

  • text: The text you’re looking for in terms of length.

SUMIFS

You can use SUMIFS to perform mathematical operations over many columns or data ranges in a worksheet.

As an illustration, a user should figure out the overall sales of a particular product in a specific month. They may quickly sum up the sales data in one column that satisfies both criteria by using the SUMIFS function.

An example of using SUMIFS is shown below:

YouTube video

It can be used to calculate sums, averages, counts, and other statistical functions and to analyze and summarise vast volumes of data.

This function enables fast comparison of several data sets, the identification of worksheet-wide patterns and trends, and conditional formatting.

Syntax

SUMIF(range, criteria, [sum_range])

Arguments

  • range: The cells you want to use when determining the criteria. Each range must include only numbers, names, arrays, or references containing numbers.
  • criteria: The specifications of which cells will be added, expressed as a number, expression, cell reference, text, or function.
  • sum_range: If you want to add cells other than those listed in the range parameter, it is optional to specify the specific cells to add.

IF

IF function is a logical function used to determine if a condition is true or false based on a value or expression and return one answer in either case. It makes it ideal for building complicated formulas, such as those that display various values depending on certain circumstances.

The exact functioning of the IF function in excel is explained below:

YouTube video

The IF function, for example, can be used to check whether two cells have the same value, display different predefined values when specific criteria are met, or even carry out calculations based on specific requirements.

It is one of the most widely used spreadsheet functions and may be used for various activities, from data analysis to task automation.

Syntax

IF(condition, value_if_true, [value_if_false] )

Arguments

  • Condition: The value you want to test
  • if_true: If the condition evaluates to TRUE, it is the value returned
  • if_false: Optional. If the condition evaluates to FALSE, the value is returned

COUNTBLANK

Excel’s COUNTBLANK function is a flexible and practical tool for data analysis. As the name indicates, it counts the blank (empty) cells from an excel spreadsheet.

The example is shown below:

YouTube video

COUNTBLANK can be combined with Excel’s SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNTIF functions to build effective formulas that improve data analysis.

Syntax

COUNTBLANK (cell range)

Argument

  • cell range: The range from which you want to count the blank cells

RANK

Based on a value’s size with other values, the RANK function can be used to rank items in a data set in ascending or descending order numerically. The ability to organize and analyze data quickly makes it a popular feature.

The following example illustrates the working of the RANK function in excel :

YouTube video

It can be used to compare values to one another, find a specific percentile of values in a range, or order objects from highest to lowest.

Syntax

RANK (number, ref,[order])

Arguments

  • number: The number you’re looking for in terms of rank
  • ref: A list of numbers in an array or a reference to a list of numbers
  • order:  A number indicating how to order numbers, either ascending or descending (optional). Zero or empty for descending and one for ascending

IFERROR

IFERROR is a function that aids in formula error detection. Your spreadsheet can recognize and account for any flaws that might exist; therefore, troubleshooting any errors that might be there is helpful.

The below video shows how IFERROR locates an error:

YouTube video

When an error occurs, the IFERROR function can either suppress the error or return a specific value or text. This function is a very versatile excel formula tool because it can be applied to single and multiple criteria. 

It aids in the prevention of calculating errors and is a great feature if you need to assess cells that might contain errors, especially in a large spreadsheet. 

Syntax

IFERROR(value, value_if_error)

Argument

  • value: The argument whose accuracy is examined
  • value_if_error: The value to output in the event that the formula results in

DAYS

Excel’s Days function determines how many days there are between two dates. It is a function in Excel’s Date & Time category that can be used to determine how many days, months, or years separate two dates.

An example is shown below:

YouTube video

Syntax

DAYS(end_date, start_date)

Argument

  • start_date and end_date: It is the dates between which you want to know the number of days

AVERAGEIFS

One of Excel’s many effective statistical functions, AVERAGEIFS, is used to determine the average of many elements depending on a set of criteria. It allows users to execute calculations efficiently without manually calculating each item, which can be very helpful for data analysis.

The video below explains one of its uses:

YouTube video

AVERAGEIFS can also be used to determine the average of a set of values grouped according to a certain criterion, such as the duration or the type of the client. This can be a significant feature when it comes to swiftly assessing and summarising data.

It is a strong function that can relieve you from manually cycling through cells or developing complex formulas to get the desired results.

Syntax

=AVERAGEIFS(average_range, criteria_range1, criteria1, [criteria_range2, criteria2], ...)

Arguments

  • average_range: One or more cells to average, with names, arrays, or references containing numbers and numbers or names
  • criteria_range1, criteria_range2: The first criteria range must be met; all other criteria ranges are optional

TRIM

Users can quickly remove unnecessary spaces from the data using the TRIM function. It helps to remove any accidental and inconvenient spaces in the data that might bias results, which is especially useful when examining large datasets.

Below is an illustration of how TRIM functions:

YouTube video

It can also be applied when dealing with data imported from other sources or to fix formatting problems. To further alter the data, TRIM can be used with other operations like LEFT, MID, or RIGHT.

Syntax

=TRIM (start cell: end cell)on a range of cells

LEFT/RIGHT

Users can extract certain characters from a text string using Excel’s LEFT/RIGHT function. It is helpful when trying to manipulate data using a long string.

The RIGHT function pulls characters from the end of a text string, while the LEFT function pulls a specific number of characters from the beginning.

An example of the LEFT and other related functions is shown in the below video:

YouTube video

Users may quickly identify and alter certain pieces of information by combining these two features instead of manually searching through lengthy strings, saving time and effort when editing data.

Left Function Syntax:

LEFT(text, [num_chars])

RIGHT Function Syntax:

RIGHT(text, [num_chars])

Arguments

  • text: The text string from which the user wants to extract characters
  • num_chars: It is an optional argument. The number of characters the user wants to extract from the left side is specified. By default, it takes the value of 1

SORT

Sort is a valuable function of excel. It is used to quickly and easily reorganize data. Using this function, users can sort data according to the values in each row in either ascending or descending order.

In the video below, an example of the SORT feature is given:

YouTube video

The SORT functionality in Excel comes in handy when working with massive data sets. It can rapidly and reliably sort data into alphabetical or numerical order with just a few clicks. Additionally, data can be reorganized into several categories, such as by date or value.

Steps

  • Select a cell in the column you want to sort, as shown in the above video
  • On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, do one of the following:
    • To quickly sort in ascending order, click (Sort A to Z).
    • To quickly sort in descending order, click (Sort Z to A).

Learning Resources

#1. Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions: Udemy

The Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions course by Udemy provides a thorough understanding of Microsoft Excel. It gives customers a comprehensive rundown of the program’s capabilities and tools and recommendations for how to use it most efficiently.

udemy-excel-master-course

It is intended to give users the knowledge and abilities needed to evaluate and work with massive data sets, make graphs and charts, and spot trends in data.

Additionally, this course teaches students how to use Excel’s formulae and functions and incorporate other data sources.

#2. Analyzing Data with Excel: Edx

Analyzing Data with Excel course by Edx introduces analyzing data using Microsoft Excel. It covers a wide range of topics, including making charts, tables, and formulas and data filtering, sorting, and merging.

Analyzing Data with Excel: Edx

It provides a five-week, self-paced course to assist data analysts in learning and using Excel’s most potent tool for day analysis.

This course aims to give you the knowledge and abilities needed to use Excel for essential to intermediate data analysis and development jobs.

This course is a great place to start for individuals who wish to learn more about data analysis.

#3. TakeLessons by Microsoft

TakeLessons by Microsoft

If you are looking for free online group classes, then TakeLessons provides this platform.

#4. Simplilearn

YouTube video

If you are looking for a free course on Data Analytics using Microsoft Excel, then the Simplilearn Data Analytics course would provide sufficient knowledge.

Final Words

Microsoft Excel is one of the most effective tools for data analysis and business intelligence. It may be utilized to examine data in any way possible due to its broad features.

Excel’s extensive versatility, as seen from the functions above, enables users to quickly generate charts, tables, and graphs that may be used to evaluate trends, find correlations and draw conclusions to reveal insightful information.

Next, you can check out life-saver Excel tips and tricks to know.

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