Microsoft Excel Data Analysis and Business Modeling. 7th Edition
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Whether you work for a Fortune 500 corporation, a small company, a government agency, or a not-for-profit organization, if you’re reading this introduction, the chances are you use Microsoft Excel in your daily work. Your job probably involves summarizing, reporting, and analyzing data. It might also involve building analytic models to help your employer increase profits, reduce costs, or manage operations more efficiently.
Since 1999, I’ve taught thousands of analysts at organizations such as Abbott Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton consulting, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Deloitte Consulting, Drugstore.com, eBay, Eli Lilly, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Intel, Microsoft, MGM Hotels, Morgan Stanley, NCR, Owens Corning, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, PWC, Sabre, Schlumberger, Tellabs, 3M, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, and Verizon how to use Excel more efficiently and productively in their jobs. Students have often told me that the tools and methods I teach in my classes have saved them hours of time each week and provided them with new and improved approaches for analyzing important business problems.
I’ve used the techniques described in this book in my own consulting practice to solve many business problems. For example, I have used Excel to help the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knickerbockers NBA basketball teams evaluate referees, players, and lineups. During the last 20 years, I have also taught Excel business modeling and data analysis classes to MBA students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business, and the Wake Forest Professional MBA Program. (As proof of my teaching excellence, I have won more than 45 teaching awards and have won the school’s overall MBA teaching award six times.) Also, I would like to note that 95 percent of MBA students at Indiana University took my spreadsheet modeling class even though it was an elective.
The book you have in your hands is an attempt to make these successful classes available to everyone. Here is why I think the book will help you learn how to use Excel more effectively:
- The materials have been tested while teaching thousands of analysts working for Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies.
- The book has also been used to teach thousands of MBA’s at Indiana University, Wake Forest, and the University of Houston.
- Material from the book has been used to teach thousands of accountants Excel and analytics through Becker’s continuing education for accountants.
- I’ve written the book as though I am talking to the reader. I hope this approach transfers the spirit of a successful classroom environment to the written page.
- I teach by example, which makes concepts easier to master. These examples are constructed to have a real-world feel. Many of the examples are based on questions sent to me by employees of Fortune 500 corporations.
For the most part, I lead you through the approaches I take in Excel to set up and answer a wide range of data analysis and business questions. You can follow along with my explanations by referring to the sample worksheets that accompany each example. However, I have also included template files for the book’s examples on the companion website, MicrosoftPressStore.com/Excel365data7e/downloads. If you want to, you can use these templates to work directly with Excel and complete each example on your own.
Generally, the chapters in this book are short and organized around a single concept. You should be able to master the content of most chapters with at most two hours of study. By looking at the questions that begin each chapter, you’ll gain an looking at the questions that begin each chapter, you’ll gain an idea about the types of problems you’ll be able to solve after mastering a chapter’s topics.
In addition to learning about Excel formulas, you will learn some important math in a painless fashion. For example, you’ll learn about statistics, forecasting, optimization models, Monte Carlo simulation, inventory modeling, and the mathematics of waiting in line. You will also learn about some recent developments in business thinking, such as real options, customer value, and mathematical pricing models.
At the end of each chapter, I’ve provided a group of practice problems (more than 900 in total) that you can work through on your own. Many of these problems are based on actual situations faced by business analysts at Fortune 500 companies. These problems will help you fully understand the information in each chapter. Answers to all problems are included in files you can download from the book’s companion website.
Most of all, learning should be fun. If you read this book, you will learn how to predict U.S. presidential elections, how to set football point spreads, how to determine the probability of winning at craps, and how to determine the probability of a specific team winning an NCAA tournament. These examples are interesting and fun, and they also teach you a lot about solving business problems with Excel.