Quick Analysis in Excel

Quick Analysis in Excel
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  • 0:00 The Quick Analysis Tool
  • 0:30 Accessing the Quick…
  • 2:50 How to Select an…
  • 4:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

If you have ever thought about adding analytic elements to your worksheet, such as charts, conditional formatting or sparklines, then the Quick Analysis tool is for you. This lesson will introduce you to the tool and explain how easy it is to use.

The Quick Analysis Tool

There are many easy to use, time-saving tools in Excel. With each version, Microsoft looks at new ways to help the user take advantage of the powerful spreadsheet program. One that definitely sits at the top of my list is the Quick Analysis tool. This tool makes it super easy to add analytic elements to your worksheet, such as conditional formatting, charts and sparklines.

This lesson will introduce you to the Quick Analysis option. You will learn how to access the tool and how it can help you easily and quickly add analytic elements to your worksheet.

Accessing the Quick Analysis Tool

Excel has so many different ways to display data that at times it can be a bit overwhelming. Users often don't know the options exist, or, if they do, they are intimidated and afraid to use them. Thus, the Quick Analysis tool was born. One of the cool functions of the tool is that it allows you to preview many different ways you can display the same data.

To access the tool, you simply need to select the data you wish to analyze. It's that easy. When you highlight or select the data, the Quick Analysis icon appears in the lower, right-hand corner of the selected data. Doesn't get much easier than that. You don't have to look in the ribbon, search through different tabs or strain your eyes by scouring through the different command groupings. Just highlight the data and it's there!

Let's use an example. Assume you created a worksheet that displays the last five years of revenue results for your company. Each column is titled with each month of the year, with one row for Year 1, another for Year 2, and so on.

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers!

Sometimes, just a bunch of numbers on a page can be a bit boring. Using the Quick Analysis tool, you can easily spice it up a bit. If you select the data, including your titles, then click on the Quick Analysis tool, a dialogue box will appear.

In the dialogue box, you will see five different options for analytic elements. Let's take a look:

  1. Formatting: uses conditions to highlight specific data that meets certain rules
  2. Charts: these are the recommended charts or graphs to visualize your data, such as bar, column, and line
  3. Totals: you can instantly add formulas to perform calculations, such as average and sum
  4. Tables: to sort and filter your data
  5. Sparklines: these are mini charts added to a single cell

Hovering your mouse over the different options will give you a preview of what the element will look like. This makes it easy to choose the right one for your selected data.

How to Select an Analytical Element

Now that you know how to access the Quick Analysis tool, let's take it a step further and apply an element to the data. We will also answer whether you can add more than one element to a worksheet.

Looking at an example worksheet with revenue numbers from the last five years, assume you would like to add a chart. Click on the Quick Analysis icon or command and choose 'Charts'. Immediately, Excel displays the recommended charts for your data. Hover over each chart to see the style and type that has been recommended.

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