Month: April 2014

A use for “Data Tables” in Excel

Excel Logo and an Icon of a SpreadsheetOne of the features of Excel that I really have never liked is that of “data tables”.  First, they sound too much like “tables” which is a newer feature that really is cool (yet, surprisingly my experience has shown that many otherwise knowledgeable Excel users still don’t know about them).    The other problem with the data table, is that it was really meant to be a what-if tool, but I have not found a situation yet, where I couldn’t create the equivalent of a data table through the use of mixed references within a formula, and the method of setting up a data table has always been tricky, as they use an array function.  (Yet unfortunately, they are still commonly taught, and Microsoft includes them in their advanced certification test.)

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Five Fundamental Principles about Learning & Teaching Spreadsheets (Excel)

A 3-D Icon for ExcelAs an instructor who has been teaching Microsoft Excel to students for over a decade, I have found key problems of learning to often occur with students due to the structure of curriculum.  The following five fundamental principles are those that I have found to be true for how students can best learn spreadsheets.

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