10 Excel Functions that Explain Statistical Data Analysis for Business

by June 28, 2020


Excel as a data analysis tool solves numerous business problems and derives value for enterprise.

Excel is a powerful tool adapted to business processes worldwide. This mighty analysis tool finds its use to solve a broad range of business problems that range from stock analysis, data visualization, budget planning, record maintenance, and fiscal result reporting. Statistical Data Analysis for business includes a collection of statistical functions, besides a Data Analysis ToolPak that saves additional steps and valuable time of analysts.

Data Analysis tool helps businesses with concise data inspection and lets the user perform a variety of operations instantly. For quick data intelligence, data analysis ToolPak gives a list of descriptive statistics which defines and describes business data, subsequently making data inspection an easy task for the modern enterprise.


Business Applications of Excel Data Analysis

Finance and Accounting

  • Outlining financial results.
  • Creating budgets and forecasts.
  • Listing expense categories to record how close the product is to budget across each category.

Marketing and Product Management

  • Listing of sales targets to manage the salesforce and plan future marketing strategies based on historical data.
  • Summarizing customer and sales data by category with a quick drag-and-drop using pivot tables.
  • Formulate customised marketing strategy based on monthly purchase volume by product.
  • Summarize customer revenue by-product to plan customer relationship strategy.

Human Resources Planning

  • Discover trends, summarize expenses and better understand how the workforce is spread out by function or pay level.
  • Record employee details and performance to limit attrition rate.


10 Excel Functions for Business Transformation

1. Sort: Rearrange excel data based on the contents of a particular row/column in ascending or descending order or left to right depending upon the objective of the operation. Select any cell within the range for sorting. In the sort & filter group, on the data tab click to sort.

2. Conditional Formatting: Conditional formatting changes the appearance of cells on the basis of conditions specified, enabling the data analyst to highlight cells with a certain colour, depending on the cell’s value and upon the user’s criteria.

3. Charts: Charts, graphics and images are excellent mediums to make a comparison. Charts are used to show a relationship, and represent business data related to costs, inventory levels or sales.

4. Pivot Tables: Pivot table is one of excels most interactive and powerful features for data representation. A pivot table allows data analysts to analyse, explore and summarize, large amounts of data by using a variety of summary functions and view information more concisely.

5. What-If Analysis: What-if-analysis in Excel helps to create different models, scenarios, data table assisting data analysts to run reverse calculations, sensitivity analysis and scenarios comparison in a conditional manner.

6. Solver: Solver in Excel is an add-in that allows data analysts to solve complex business problems that involve multiple variables. Solver helps to get an optimum solution when there are many variables and constraints by setting up constraints on the adjustable cells.

7. HLOOKUP: This function is used when the data is in horizontal format. HLOOKUP searches for a value in the top row of a table or an array of values and then returns a value in the same column from a row specified in the table or array.

8. VLOOKUP: The VLOOKUP function can search for a specific category or value in a table and return the corresponding values from adjacent columns. Various wild cards can be used with VLOOKUP. Data Analysts have an option to use the asterisk (*) to match any sequence of characters or the question mark (?) to match any single character with the VLOOKUP function.

9. Index: The index function in excel is fantastically flexible and powerful, it returns the value at a given position in a range or array. Often used with the match function, its index function can retrieve individual values or entire rows and columns.

10. Match: Match is an excel function which is used to locate the position of a lookup value in a column, row, or a table. The match function is a built-in function in excel that is categorized as a Lookup/Reference function and searches for a value in an array to return the corresponding position of that item.

Excel is not going anywhere; working knowledge of this robust spreadsheet is vital for software programmers and data analysts to organize, format and synergise data for storing, organizing, and analysing numerical data.