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Analyzing Business Data with Excel: Using Excel to Stay Afloat in the Information Overflow

January 17, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--In a time when managers and executives have to cope with a constant flood of business information, analysis and discrimination can be key. Yet what tools are readily available for the task? Do we really need expensive tools and a team of analysts to do the work every time?

Gerald Knight, author of Analyzing Business Data with Excel (O'Reilly, US $39.99) believes that we under use one of the most commonly available tools. "For years I have worked with bright, well educated professionals," says Knight. "They use Excel every day and in most cases it is the tool they use most. Yet they don?t know about many of Excel?s more advanced feature and don?t realize how much more they could do with Excel. Many of these Excel users want to learn more."

As one of the most widely used desktop applications ever created, Excel is familiar to just about everyone with a computer and a keyboard. Yet, as Knight says, most of us don't know the full extent of what Excel can do. The truth is that there are many ways Excel can help make the job easier--beyond calculating sums and averages in a standard spreadsheet. Spreadsheets offer a convenient way to package and present information, allowing decision-makers to choose how they want to see the data.

Analyzing Business Data with Excel shows you how to solve real-world business problems by taking Excel's data analysis features to their maximum potential. Rather than focusing on individual Excel functions and features, this book keys directly on the needs of business users. It covers techniques for making the most of Excel and a variety of ways to apply Excel's statistical and programming capabilities to specific kinds of business problems. Topic covered include:

  • Applying statistics to a variety of business problems
  • Using Excel's built-in features like Pivot Tables and Charts to examine data quickly
  • Developing applications that forecast future happenings based on past results
  • Creating testable models which support changing assumptions
  • Monitoring process quality using statistical analysis
  • Applying regression to multiple measurements to seek out relationships
  • Building applications that can be easily updated to accommodate changing needs
  • Optimizing with Excel's Goal Seek and Solver tools
  • Presenting results to users for maximum clarity and impact
  • Knight describes the book as written to help analysts, accountants, planners, managers, and other professionals improve their Excel skills. "Excel is more powerful than many users realize and the book?s first job is to show the reader how much Excel can do by example," he explains. "Some of the examples are complete applications. They are not simplified teaching tools; they actually work. The book explains how the applications were built, step-by-step. Excel?s more advanced features are covered as they are needed in the examples. So, the reader doesn?t just learn how the feature works, but also sees what it is used for, and how it can be combined with other Excel features." Knight adds that several of the examples are reusable, providing the reader with a finished product that can be used to solve real-world business problems."

    Whether you're using Excel to manage a small organization directly or taking data from massive systems for more controllable analysis, you'll find the tools you need to turn raw data into meaningful stories here. Analyzing Business Data with Excel addresses the growing Excel data analysis market head on.

    Additional Resources:

    Analyzing Business Data with Excel
    Gerald Knight
    ISBN: 0-596-10073-6, 248 pages, $39.99 US
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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