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Exploring Data

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Cells in Excel can be filled formulaically

A formula begins with the = sign followed by an expression using built-in Excel functions and standard mathematical operations.

Cell References

Formulas in Excel can reference values in other cells by stating the column letter followed by the row number (e.g. A2).

An image demonstrating that a formula can reference another cell.

Formula Recalculation

Formulas in Excel will automatically recalculate if the data in the referenced cell is altered.

Dragging Formulas in Excel

When a formula in Excel is dragged into other cells, by default any row and column references are automatically incremented relative to the original cell containing the formula.

An image showing the formula =A4 being dragged two cells to the right and one up, turning into =C3

Using dollar signs in Excel

If dollar signs are placed before the column and/or row of a referenced cell (e.g. $A2, A$2, or A$2$), Excel will not update the column and/or row respectively of the cell reference when the formula is dragged into other cells.

Sorting in Excel

Excel can sort tables by date or time, numerically, and alphabetically.

An image of a table sorted by time, by date, and then by state.

Filtering in Excel

Excel can filter tables to only show rows containing certain values or ranges.

Pivot Tables

A pivot table restructures a dataset by grouping data points categorically and summarizing values within each category.

Pivot Table Labels

The columns and rows of a pivot table are labeled using the unique values of zero or more columns of the source dataset.

Pivot Table Values

The values of a pivot table are calculated using standard summary statistics including maximum, minimum, average, count, and standard deviation.

Updating Pivot Tables

Pivot tables in Excel need to be manually refreshed when the source data changes.