Getting Familiar with Microsoft Excel

There are many different software packages that are useful and, in many cases, necessary for the analysis of data. In many cases, even with command line software like R and SAS, it is a relatively simple matter to plug in the data, and get an answer. The difficult part is understanding whether the answer is meaningful or not. That is why we are going to learn the basic principles and analyses by doing the calculations ourselves. That way, you won't be constrained to using a single program, because you will have an understanding of what you are trying to accomplish, and what the analyses entail.

That doesn't mean that we can't make the job a little easier by making use of software. The use of spreadsheet software, like Excel allows you to manipulate data and copy and paste formulas much more efficiently than doing the calculations by hand. The catch is that you have to have some understanding of how to use the software. Learning some of the ways that Excel can make data manipulation and analysis much simpler will be the focus of our first series of exercises.

Instructions are provided for the 3 most recent versions of Microsoft Excel for Windows, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, and Excel 2016.


If you are running Excel on a Mac (be sure to take it out of the water and remove the chain first), or using a version other than the three that are covered, you can use Excel 2016 on the computers in the computer lab (like room 100, where we have class), or work through the version that you have using the assignments as a guide, and making use of the "Help" function.


Filling columns, writing and copying formulas, and making graphs (Excel 2016)

Filling columns, writing and copying formulas, and making graphs (Excel 2013)

Filling columns, writing and copying formulas, and making graphs (Excel 2010)

Send comments, suggestions, and corrections to: Derek Zelmer