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Before we start using Excel, I just want to take a few moments to talk about what is Excel for and what does it do. Well, just by the fact that you're watching this movie, I'm pretty sure that you have an idea of what you want to use Excel for. But you might not know what all its capabilities are. And I kind of group that into three basic categories, and those are calculations, charting and database features, and database integration. Now other people might have their own ideas own ideas, but I think this pretty much covers it. Let's talk about calculations, and you can see here we have a pretty typical Excel worksheet.
Calculations could be simple. They could be complex. Over here we have simple adding up numbers. We're adding across, we're adding down. But Excel could do complicated engineering. It could do differential equations, all sorts of really cool stuff. Excel is also good at analysis and what-if questions. So you could look at different possibilities. For example, if you're going to borrow money, you might say well, what if interest rate is higher or lower, if I borrow more or borrow less, what will the result come out to be? And Excel is very good putting all that together.
Just keep in mind Excel doesn't teach math to you, although it's a fairly good learning tool. You have to understand the concept of what you're doing. What Excel is great at is taking away the drudgery and the tedium of all the complex calculations. Let's talk about charting. If you click down here, we have the Charting tab. And this is a pretty cool chart, isn't it? It took me just about maybe two or three clicks to create, and you could create all kinds of really neat looking charts and lines, bars, pies, doughnuts, all kinds of things.
And change them, all you want and do all kinds of formatting. You can use built-in formatting; you could use custom formatting. Well, here's what's also really great is once you know charting in Excel, you know it for all of the other programs in Microsoft Office. What I mean by that is let's say if you're in Word or in PowerPoint and you need to create a chart, they will open Excel for you. And they will use Excel as charting, so if you go and create a chart in Word, or go to create a chart in PowerPoint, they will open Excel and you'll have that chart.
So that's pretty neat. If you're going to do data analysis, like summarizing large amounts of data, we'll do that in this course also, Excel can create what are called PivotCharts, which is sort of a combination of all the rows and all of the information of a database, and a nice- looking chart like this and kind of put it together for you. And I think that's pretty neat. We'll look at that also a little bit later. The third thing is Database, and here's a sample of a pretty simple Database. Excel is great to use as a database even if you have thousands, even hundreds of thousands of rows.
Now it's not meant to be an enterprise wide database. You wouldn't do airline reservations on it. But if you have a lot of products like you have here, a lot of people, or who knows what, Excel does a very good job of sorting and filtering and connecting even to external databases. And there are special calculations you could do in Excel where it actually treats Excel as a database in some special ways. And we'll also look at that later in the course. So, now that we have a good idea of what Excel is for and what it can do, we'll take a look at the interface and make some sense of it.
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