Book Image

Data Smart

By : John W. Foreman
Book Image

Data Smart

By: John W. Foreman

Overview of this book

Data Science gets thrown around in the press like it's magic. Major retailers are predicting everything from when their customers are pregnant to when they want a new pair of Chuck Taylors. It's a brave new world where seemingly meaningless data can be transformed into valuable insight to drive smart business decisions. But how does one exactly do data science? Do you have to hire one of these priests of the dark arts, the "data scientist," to extract this gold from your data? Nope. Data science is little more than using straight-forward steps to process raw data into actionable insight. And in Data Smart, author and data scientist John Foreman will show you how that's done within the familiar environment of a spreadsheet. Why a spreadsheet? It's comfortable! You get to look at the data every step of the way, building confidence as you learn the tricks of the trade. Plus, spreadsheets are a vendor-neutral place to learn data science without the hype. But don't let the Excel sheets fool you. This is a book for those serious about learning the analytic techniques, math and the magic, behind big data.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Free Chapter
1
Cover
2
Credits
3
About the Author
4
About the Technical Editors
5
Acknowledgments
18
End User License Agreement

Formatting Cells

Excel offers static and dynamic options for formatting values. Take a look at column E, the Actual Profit column you just created. Select column E by clicking on the gray E column label. Then right-click the selection and choose Format Cells.

From within the Format Cells menu, you can tell Excel the type of number to be found in column E. In this case you want it to be Currency. And you can set the number of decimal places. Leave it at two decimals, as shown in Figure 1.5. Also available in Format Cells are options for changing font colors, text alignment, fill colors, borders, and so on.

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Figure 1.5 The Format Cells menu

But here's a conundrum. What if you want to format only the cells that have a certain value or range of values in them? And what if you want that formatting to change with the values?

That's called conditional formatting, and this book makes liberal use of it.

Cancel out of the Format Cells menu and navigate to the Home tab. In the Styles...