You are on page 1of 10

Excel Education Intermediate

Table of Contents
1 . Introduction
2 . Pivot Tables
3 . Ranks
4 . IF Statements
5 . Conditional Formatting
6 . Data Filters

1 . Introduction
Excel is capable of much more than simply adding two cells or returning a simple result,
it can be an incredibly dynamic piece of software. It is very unlikely that in our roles
within IBM we would be asked to build a spreadsheet showing information that doesnt
change, for this reason it is desirable to automate your spreadsheet to a degree, so it
changes along with the information. Hopefully some of these functions will allow you to
do that.
2 . Pivot Tables
Pivot tables are extremely useful for condensing and summarising data from large fields
into a more manageable form. And as the name suggest, you can pivot the table to give
the data from another perspective. For example in the data I have provided, there is a list
of giveback numbers for each IBM location, and it is split down by year and sex. If we
wanted we could see which location had the most males overall, or which location had
the most giveback hours in a given year.
Step 1
Click to page B
Step 2
Click anywhere in the data field
Step 3
Date Pivot Table and Chart Wizard,
the following dialogue box will appear

Select the tick boxes as above, click next

Click next again

Click Layout

Drag the headings to the appropriate areas, for example if youd like to organise by
Location and then Start Year, drag Location and then Start Year to the ROW sections.
Then drag Number to the DATA section, the data we are sorting always goes there.
NOTE: Dragging the headings to either COLUMN or ROW will simply change the way
the table is laid out, this is pretty much down to personal preference.
Then click ok then finish. The output should look like this

Step 4
You can drag headings that you did not originally include in the initial setup of the pivot

3 . Ranks
Ranks, as the name suggests, is a tool which allows us to rank the data from either
ascending or descending scores.
-NOTEIn Excel, the general format is
=rank(number, ref, order)
The specific number we would like to know the rank of
The list of all numbers we want to rank the specific number against
This is asking whether the highest score gets ranked number 1 or the lowest sore. For
example the highest exam score would get ranked 1, or in another case the lowest number
of errors in a driving test would get ranked 1. In Excel this is done by using 0 or 1 in
the Ref place.

0 ranks the highest score 1 and 1 ranks the lowest score 1.

4 . IF Statements
IF statements in their basic form can be used as a very good indicator given a condition.
For example if a student should pass or fail. The following is a list of average marks in
each subject at a secondary school.

An IF statement comes in the form

=if(some condition, result if condition is true, result if condition is false)
It is useful to identify what we are trying to test, and write it out in words, THEN put it
into the IF statement.
The outcome we would like to arrive at is, if a student gets less than 40%, then they
fail, if they get 40% or higher they pass. The way you write this pretty much puts it in
the correct form. So if we put this in the if statement form we get:
NOTE: any words as an outcome must be put in speech marks to appear as words. So if
we enter the above statement in the PASS/FAIL column we get,

5 . Conditional Formatting
This links in very well to conditional formatting, which is also a useful way to indicate an
outcome at a quick glance, and it takes seconds to set up.

Say we want the cell to go green if someone passes and red when they fail, highlight the
entire field you would like to apply the conditioning to

Go to:
Format Conditional Formatting
The following dialogue box will appear

You can apply more than one condition to a field, so a pass could be green and a fail
could be red. The conditions can be set up like this:

Then the outcome looks like this

Data Filters
Data filters are one of the quickest and best ways of quickly sorting and arranging data.
Say we have a large amount of data like this:

As you can see there is a lot of data and in no particular order, but a data filter can make
it a lot more manageable.
Step 1
Click on the row number which all of the headings are on.

As you can see the whole row will become highlighted.

Step 2
Click on
Data Filter Autofilter

You will get the following result.

Notice all of the little drop down boxes.

Step 3
If I want to show only those students who did maths, I click on the Course drop down
and select maths.

Then as you can see, it shows only the maths students.

And you can sort more than one section at a time.

For example I want to see all of the year 2, history students who passed. I sort Year on
2, Course on History and Pass/Fail on Pass, with the following result.