Exploratory Data Analysis in Excel: Part 1: rowdanalytix.com

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2011)

Exploratory Data Analysis in Excel: Part 1: rowdanalytix.com

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While some data miners look down their noses at Excel, it’s actually got much more power than most users realize and as an ad-hoc analytical tool. Microsoft’s poorly chosen defaults do NOT have to constrain how you design your visualizations. And with Excel 2007 Microsoft finally removed what had been a painful limitation of Excel: the old 256-column limit.

Key tip: when copying an Excel plot into another program, hit Control-Alt-V or select Paste Special, then pick “Picture (Enhanced metafile).” You’ll get much better resolution than if you capture a bitmap.


When ever any software is being used, you should have some idea what the answer will be before you believe the computer’s answer. Excel is good for what it’s good for but it’s not good for everything. It has some notorious statistical problems. See the following link and search for “Excel.” http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~bdm25/publications.html

I use Excel everyday for some very complicated engineering calculations but I test the built-in functions extensively using problems with known solutions before I trust the output.

In the world of statistical computing, perhaps Excel’s greatest contribution is that by testing the examples in their textbook using the program, they finally believe me that sometimes the computer is wrong.


You may wish to read the article of Dr. Kadakal, published here in 3 parts:
Part 1: http://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/excel-as-bi-platform/
Part 2: http://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/excel-as-dashboard-builder/
Part 3: http://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/excel-dashboards-on-web/



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