Students share their experiences with using Excel in the Fall 2013 Statistics class

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# My Experiences with Learning Excel

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24 thoughts on “My Experiences with Learning Excel”

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Although I find myself feeling relatively comfortable using Excel, especially with computing calculations, through these assignments I have found there is always something new to learn. Within the Excel assignments that we have done thus far some of the most unfamiliar computations that I learned would be how to compute correlation, finding the square of the smallest value, z score equations, computing t and z values, and finding sample mean/size.

The most frequent and major problem that I faced while working through these assignments was knowing which formula to use for certain computations. For me, the Excel website through Microsoft online was the most helpful tool to address and solve these formula issues. The website worked the best because not only did it have the equation, but it also included steps and examples for each equation. If there was information I could not find through Microsoft’s website, I usually turned to YouTube tutorials. These tutorials walked through the steps to help find whatever value I was trying to compute. This was a great help, because the tutorials walked through the examples right on Excel, so I knew exactly what to do when I went back to my workbook.

Spreadsheets are really common ways that businesses use to document their data or keep record of business related information. As a business major I have already used Excel in multiple business courses, so I know I will use the program in future classes as well, so the more I know the more beneficial it will be for me.

Although I have worked with excel a little in my past, I had no idea the things that excel could be used for. Without excel I am not sure how long some of those assignments would have taken me. Excel was a great tool that not only helped calculate the accurate data it also saved massive amounts of time. Excel is a key component in the business world so it is good that worked with it so much. Some aspects of excel confused me at times but now that the course is over, I would say I am very comfortable with excel and will use it for future classes. My personal experience with excel is a positive one, I would have been a lot more lost without it. Our excel homework assignments really helped me focus on different skills within excel.

This class taught me how to use Excel as a tool for facilitating data analysis and to visually present data in a manner that is easily intelligible for not only myself but other users as well. From a data analysis perspective, I learned how to have Excel quickly make many calculations that would a take lot longer if done manually. One of the most interesting, and practical, capabilities I learned was how to define what criteria I want to count out of a raw data list that is not already broken into different categories for me. In regards to presenting raw data visually, I learned how to create both scatter plots and histograms.

The Excel activities will be very applicable to my majors and other areas of interest. As someone planning to double major in political science and business, Excel will help me understand data as well as present it in an easy to understand way. In my political science major I expect the skill of creating visual representations of data to be particularly helpful. In business, Excel would be very helpful in analyzing a company’s operations. For instance, I enjoy looking into investable companies and tried using the skills I learned in Excel to gain insight into a fertilizer company. Specifically, I heard India was planning on cutting their subsidy for Potash, so I wanted to see how closely India’s Potash imports mirror the company’s total Potash exports (looking to see if increases/decreases move in step with each other). I made a scatter plot comparing the two variables in Excel, and tried playing around with other capabilities of Excel. Overall, I feel that my newly acquired knowledge of Excel’s capabilities will make me very likely to utilize it in the future. Moreover, I expect to continually discover new uses for it whether in personal, academic, or professional applications.

I am very glad that we were able to work with Microsoft Excel for this class. I had never used it before, and quite frankly the program scared me. From watching our professor use the program in class and slowly go over the steps to solve problems or equations, it was easy to catch on. By working with Excel, I learned just how useful the program is! We had used it multiple times for various homework assignments. Plugging equations into Excel was a lot easier than manually typing in all of the numbers and functions into a calculator. Excel was also really neat in that it transformed data into charts, histograms, and graphs. I have definitely learned a lot from this program, and plan to use it much more often.

I worked with Excel in previous classes in high school such as my personal finance class so it was nice that I had previous experience. But I have to admit I was pretty nervous to work with it again because I was always confused on what I was doing and did not understand the things I was doing. But after working with this program again but in my college course it was a nice refresher and will hopefully stick with me as I enter more business courses and go out into the real world and get a professional job. I would recommend this class to anyone in business because it is very important to learn how to use Excel successfully to advance in your future career.

I enjoyed doing the excel assignments. I had no exposure to excel prior to this class. So it was often a long process, but I didn’t mind it. I learned how to make a scatterplot to compute the correlation between 2 variables. I initially selected the wrong scatter plot, but Dr. Bansal steered me in the right direction. I also did histograms to compute the mean, standard deviation and variances. I learned a lot of short cuts by trial and error. One was dragging the initial formula to copy all of them. The power points were most helpful. I was able to refer to the examples given when I was unable to figure out a problem. It was often hard to fit all the data on one page, but I was able to complete it. I would welcome a chance to work with excel in the future.

The Ethics Assignment opened my eyes to an entire issue I never thought about before. In the past I never realized that the power statisticians wielded, and the great responsibility that they have. I never thought about statisticians being pressured from outside sources to fudge data and results. Previously, I thought that only the bad people fudged the data. Understanding that statisticians must keep their integrity and always public the truth no mater the circumstances gives me a great respect for them. In this assignment I faced the difficulty of finding the right peer reviewed articles. However, I fixed that issue by just looking in greater depth. I also faced the challenges of interpreting some of the language used in the article, but that was easily remedied with a few looks in the dictionary. This knowledge can be applied to my studies to drive home the facts of what is right and what is wrong. It has made me think deeply about always making sure to report all my findings and sharing my data for whatever it is I may be presenting on. This is not limited to just statistics, but also case studies and quarterly reports. Ethics in statistics are a very important issue that all statisticians must take seriously, and everyone should follow the same guidelines regardless of profession.

Excel:

I think the most intrigiuing and interesting aspect of the Excel assignments was the fact that you can take an extraordinary amount of data and transform it into a visual that is easily understandable and interpretable. The correlation and relationships between variables can be recognized in a manner this is readily accessible for obtaining accurate information that you want to display or present. Excel is a tool that can be utilized in various ways whether it is a pie chart, histogram, scatter plot, etc. and it provides a simple method to compute variance, mean, median, mode, quartiles, standard deviation and other unspecified data by the use of formulas and sampling size. This technique allows you to obtain patterns, connections and distinguish differences that attribute to the details of your data that you are trying to identify. Excel also saves you a tremendous amount of time in computing the statistics that you desire.

Some of the problems that I found in completing the assignments was understanding how the formulas actually worked. This reinforced the need to be able to calculate the data manually to be able to comprehend if I was computing accurate information. The use of Google and You Tube also helped me to learn the correct method and why it is very important to follow in order the correct steps in obtaining precise results.

I found that I really only knew the basic essentials of Excel and with the knowledge learned from these assignments, I will be able to utilize the tools of Excel in my current position where I analyze data from our Patient Satisfaction Surveys. On a regular basis, I try to identify where our problem areas are so that we can focus on making improvements. I also help the managers set targets with the statistics obtained so that we can achieve higher ratings. The data that I work with is complex and with the awareness of all the different aspects of what Excel can do; this will allow me to create documents that will be beneficial in aiding the staff in obtaining accurate conclusions and as a result, assist in achieving our goals to increase patient satisfaction.

Excel was something I had a pretty good understanding of before I started this class, though this class did teach me a lot more formulas and techniques to use in Excel, it was definitely a helpful thing to learn, and it made a lot of the assignments easier having some basic understanding of excel. I had a bit of trial and error with some of the later excel assignments, usually when I couldn’t get certain formulas to work I would have to google the problem and then try a few different things, but I usually figured it out in the end.

In Excel assignment 5, I learned how to calculate the formulas for =T.DIST.RT(T values, Df) AND =T.INV(Probability in the upper tail, Df). I have never used those formulas before where in the earlier excel assignments, I have used some of the formulas we used. Like the mean, median, mode, min, max, etc. I like learning how to use different formulas that I have never used before and could possibly have to use one day in the future. I also learned from the video that we had to watch, that you can drag the ‘+’ arrow in the bottom right corner and it will copy the formula into those cells as well. That definitely will save time in the future. In this assignment, when we were following along to the video, I couldn’t figure out why my answers weren’t coming out to the answers in the video. Then I realized that I was entering in the exact row/cell as he was. For example, I believe his tax percentage was in B2 where ours was in C8. I kept using B2 so the answer wasn’t coming out because of that. The knowledge gained can be applied to my interest in accounting things like balancing my checkbook or figuring out how much of an item I can buy, that’s on sale, with the tax included in it. I can use the copying of the formulas so I can figure out my information faster and not having to retype the formula over and over again.

I have learned quite a lot so far about the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel in this class. Before taking Business Statistics here at University of Wisconsin- Green Bay I had a very limited knowledge and almost never used Excel. This is only my second semester here and I have already had to use Excel in two classes and my knowledge and familiarity with the program have greatly increased. This is extremely important for me as I am majoring in Accounting and Excel is a tool I will have to master to become more effective and efficient at my future career.

As I said earlier I had little exposure to Excel so there were definitely some bumps in the road as I was starting to use the program. When I was in High School I knew none of the function formulas so I did all the calculations by hand which was extremely annoying! I was quickly able to learn the basic formulas, but I did mess up sometimes when trying to calculate the Quartile Ranges and when coming up with a Histogram. This was easily corrected however by going through Dr. Gaurav power points and going to outside sources such as YouTube. I find the function formulas and little tricks, like dragging the selected range to copy the formula to each row; will be most helpful in future academic pursuits. This knowledge will also assist me in the future for any Excel work I will have to perform in my personal life, such as crafting a budget for myself or figuring out any other financials for myself or business.

The excel homework that has been assigned in this stats class has helped me become more comfortable using the program. Before this class, I had never used excel and I had never taken a class that contributed to my understanding of it. From simple tasks like plugging in a formula, and designing scatterplots and histograms using certain variables, to harder tasks like actually understanding and analyzing the material, I have gained a lot from every excel sheet I have worked on. I have learned what to look for to comment on relationships in scatterplots and the distributions for histograms. I also have learned how to observe and calculate the outliers in a data set. I am now able to use certain formulas for average, correlation, sum, max, min, standard deviation, quartiles and many more. Not only have I improved and become more confident and efficient in my work, I have learned a lot of little tips and tricks to excel such as decreasing a decimal, or merging and centering data. The knowledge gained from these assignments can be applied to my major in business administration because in my future job I may have to make excel charts to compare data in my business or organize data into graphs for presentations. Excel makes data easier to understand and it allows you to directly see the changes that are happening over time.

The excel assignments taught me how to efficiently use excel to find the answers to my problems. It showed me the different kinds and the amount of formulas available in the program. The assignments started out easy, doing some basic operations and creating charts I had done before in Excel. Finding the average, median and operations like that were easy to figure out. It got a little more difficult when I had to find percentiles, quartiles, and finding the average if it was a Pepsi product. There were a lot of resources to use to get around any problems I had figuring something out on Excel. If I had trouble finding out how to do a certain operation, first I would check the power point slides on D2L for help. If that didn’t then I checked the discussions to see if anyone else had been having the same problem or figured what the operation was. Excel is used through out the business field, so knowing how to use it is essential. It can be used for accounting and to record data from customers. It can be used to create charts for a graphic display of the data. Making the interpretation of the data much easier.

I really liked using excel in this class, it helped me realize how helpful excel can be in computing calculations. The excel assignments we completed were very informative and will be useful in the workplace. I didn’t realize excel could complete so many different functions, it was a good learning opportunity to me. There is a lot of information on how to enter the formulas on the internet, so there was always help when I needed it. The more I worked with excel the more I liked it, at first, I thought excel was mostly for keeping data and sorting that data. I didn’t realize until this class how much more it can do.

Using Excel in this class was very helpful. I never really used Excel before coming into Business Stats. I found it is much easier to type formulas into excel and get answers rather than doing it on paper, this way you know your answer from excel is correct and do not have to worry about if you calculated something wrong. The only thing I found that could sometimes be difficult in Excel was knowing the correct formula to use. When I came across this problem I would just Google it and I would also find the right formulas to use.

Through this semester’s study, Doctor Gaurav taught me lots of knowledge on how to use excel. I get benefit a lot on it. After the study on excel, I am be able to solve some basic problem on statistic, some simple like calculate the mean or the mid number, or some more difficult problem like how to compute Z. All these thing are very useful, and through using Excel on these problem, I could save lots of times. Excel can help you solve these problem in several seconds with precisely calculate.

I loved using Excel in this class. Although learning the different formulas was difficult at times, it helped me to cut out some of the busy work by letting the program come up with the value for me instead of writing out the entire equation. Also, I liked that the professor gave us step by step instructions. I was familiar with some of the equations, but some I was learning for the first time so having those instructions really helped in learning how to do the problems on my own to complete the assignments.

Excel was my favorite part of the class because I had some previous background in it. However, I learned those calculations in Excel when I was young and when I got to college I had forgotten how Excel worked. It was interesting to me with the calculations we learned in class because it gave me statistical answers so quickly and made less work for me and helped me analyze data. For example, making scatter plots and histograms taught me to draw conclusions from that data. It can tell me whether the data is more clustered from correlation formulas, and whether it has a positive or negative relationship. Then with the histogram, it’s easier to tell the frequencies of people that fall in a certain range. From analyzing the data shown on a histogram, it can help me in my future career to know what the majority of data it like. However, Excel has not been the easiest for me, especially as we got farther in the Excel assignments. When I struggled with formulas to use, I looked back on my notes from class to find the correct formula. Some formulas were new however, and then I had to look it up on the internet to figure out the right formula and how to use it. Even though I had some difficulties along the way, it’s nice to get through those problems and properly understand those calculations.

I wasn’t very familiar with Excel when I first started this class. After doing the Excel assignments, I have learned a variety of things that will become beneficial in the future. For example, I learned a variety of Excel commands/formulas that can be entered to find the answer so you don’t have to do it yourself on paper or in your head. I learned how to make a scatter plot and a histogram using data that was given. I didn’t face that many problems when doing the Excel assignments besides one major one, trying to make a histogram in Excel 4. I got my questioned about how to make a histogram answered by first emailing Professor Gaurav. I still was quite confused, so I looked it up on Google. I found a good website that seemed to work, but it didn’t end up working because I didn’t have the Data Analysis under my Data tab and didn’t know how to get that. So I ended up doing my best I could and ended up getting it wrong. Luckily our class got it explained to us again how to make a histogram step by step, so I now know how. The knowledge gained by doing the Excel assignments can be applied to my future because I now know how to enter a formula and make graphs an easier and faster way, which I will one day need to know for my future career.

I never really understood excel very well before this class and have quickly gained a new appreciation for the many uses it has. I was unaware on how many different functions and tasks it could accomplish. Getting a better understanding on all of its little abilities was very interesting. Some of the problems I encountered with the excel assignments were related to the tables. In some cases I was unable to format them correctly. I was able to remedy the situation by turning to Google and going through some en-depth tutorials. Also I referenced the PowerPoints often to help me input some the more difficult functions. As far as the knowledge gain portion I feel like a basic understanding of all the abilities that Excel has to offer will greatly help me better with any corporate job I may want to pursue later on as well as my current job to better handle problems that may require some more difficult analysis. Really a better understanding of Excel could help in almost any field any one person has interest in going into. As far as my current goals of a computer science related position I’m unsure how Excel might apply there but I am interested in finding out.

I was glad to learn a little more about Excel and work with it in this class, because I often times use it for my job and I will probably use it in the future. I did know a few of the formulas that we used, but I also learned some new ones that I can put to use. I also think Excel is nice to use because it makes everything clearer to enter and it does most of the work for you. I’m glad that the assignments also were focused on helping us to learn the functions and not just to have some homework to do; I think they actually helped me to learn.

Excel was one of my favorite activities to do. With step by step directions and notes from in class, it was easy to go about the assignments. I learned so much from Excel over the course of this semester. I would take this class over again just because it was fun working on Excel, connect and SPSS assignments.

The Excel assignments have been advantageous in learning and using the many different Excel functions. Throughout the semester I have used and learned many different functions and what they can be used to calculate. For example, in the last Excel assignment, figuring out how to use the AvergaeIf function and what information it delivers will be useful to save time in the future. Also, learning how to make a histogram in Excel and show my data in different graphs was beneficial.

Over the course of the semester, I sometimes struggled figuring out what function to use and what information to put into the function. I struggled to put the necessary information in the correct order for Excel 6 and the AverageIf function. However, utilizing the examples in class and by checking what information Excel was asking for allowed me to find the correct combination of data. The examples in class were the most beneficial for correcting my errors. The data in the example didn’t match to the Excel assignment, but enabled me to find which data I needed to use to calculate my own answer.

The information I learned about Excel will be useful in the future as a large time saver. With the functions in Excel and the use of referencing cells for equations rather than inputting numbers, large spreadsheets can be solved for results in seconds rather than minutes or hours. Also, Excel is a commonly used program in conjunction with SPSS to easily move data to SPSS. This will also be useful to save time in the future.

I found excel to be a very useful portion of business stats. Although I was reluctant to the amount of work it was taking at first, the reward is well worth it. I thought I knew a lot about excel but I had barely broken the surface. Learning excel with stats this semester has given me a very broad understanding of thing I never knew excel could do. I look forward to doing more excel work in the future.