Set up Your Spreadsheet
Note: There are three sections to the spreadsheet on Tab 1, separated by gray bands, titled: Section 1: Data, Section 2: Category Keys and Summary Tables, and Section 3: Data Analysis.
Add Data in Section 1 on the Data page, complete each column of the spreadsheet to arrive at the desired calculations. Use Excel formulas to demonstrate that you can perform the calculations in Excel. Remember, a cell address is the combination of a column and a row. For example, C11 refers to Column C, Row 11 in a spreadsheet.
Reminder: Occasionally in Excel, you will create an unintentional circular reference. This means that within a formula in a cell, you directly or indirectly referred to (back to) the cell. For example, while entering a formula in A3, you enter =A1+A2+A3. This is not correct and will result in an error. Excel allows you to remove or allow these references.
Hint: Another helpful feature in Excel is Paste Special. Mastering this feature allows you to copy and paste all elements of a cell, or just select elements like the formula, the value or the formatting. “Names” are a way to define cells and ranges in your spreadsheet and can be used in formulas. For review and refresh, see the resources for Create Complex Formulas and Work with Functions.
Ready to Begin?
To calculate hourly rate, you will use the annual hourly rate already computed in Excel, which is 2080. This is the number most often used in annual salary calculations based on full time, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. In E11 (or the first cell in the Hrly Rate column), create a formula that calculates the hourly rate for each employee, by referencing the employee’s salary in Column D, divided by the value of annual hours, 2080. To do this, you will create a simple formula: =D11/2080
Complete the calculations for the remainder of Column E. If you don’t want to do this cell by cell, you can create a new formula that will let you use that same formula all the way to the end of the column. It would look like this: =$D:$D2/2080
In Column F, calculate the number of years worked for each employee by creating a formula that incorporates the date in cell F9 and demonstrates your understanding of relative and absolute cells in Excel. For this, you will need a formula that can compute absolute values to determine years of service. You could do this longhand, but it would take you a long time. So, try the YEARFRAC formula, which computes the number of years (and even rounds for you). Once you start the formula in Excel, the element will appear to guide you. You need to know the “ending” date (F9) and the hiring date (B11). The formula looks like this: =YEARFRAC($F,B11) and the $ will repeat the formula calculation down the column as before if you grab the edge of the cell and drag it to the bottom of the column. To determine if an employee is vested or not In Column I, use an IF statement to flag with a “Yes” any employees who have been employed 10 years or more. Here is how an IF statement works: =IF(X is greater (or less than) Y, “Answer”, IF not, “Answer”). To create this as a formula it would look like this: =IF(F11>=10,”Yes”,”No”) You can drag this formula down the column or highlight the starting cell, hold down the shift key, and zip down to cell 382 and release and the whole column should compute properly.
Using the VLookup function, use the Region Key located at F417:G420 to fill in the cells in Column N to identify the region in which the employee is located based on the state listed in Column M. (If this function is new to you – hang in there – this one is worth it Using the VLookup function, use the Region Key located at F417:G420 to fill in the cells in Column N to identify the region in which the employee is located based on the state listed in Column M. (If this function is new to you – hang in there – this one is worth it. You will devise a formula that will match the state to a region (in position 2). We will use the $ function to enable a repeat of the formula down the column. =VLOOKUP(M11,$F7:$G0,2,FALSE) You are now ready to move into Section 2 to prepare the data for future analysis, to include some simple statistical analyses and charts and graphs to present the data.
To start, begin by presenting categories of data in summary tables and counting them, totaling them, and calculating percentages. This basic analysis helps you begin to describe patterns in the data and starts to form the story of the workforce. Complete each table in Section 2. Use the Countif Function to count each item in each table. Use the Sum Function to total the tables when required. Calculate percentages for each table as required. Format cells appropriately. Remember to make smart use of reference cells in formulas (avoid typing in numbers or text into formulas – point to other cells) and use mixed and fixed cell references to make copying formulas easier/faster. Your supervisor will look for this!
Descriptive or Summary Statistics
In this section, you will expand your analysis by employing descriptive statistics or summary statistics to further describe characteristics of the workforce. Your summary table described “how many” and also offered proportions in relation to the entire workforce, but through this analysis, you can describe much more for the following variables: salary, hourly rate, years of service, education, and age. You will be calculating:
mean, median, mode – average, middle, and most frequent data points in a set.
standard deviation – how spread out individual data points are from the mean. If data points vary greatly, the result is a higher standard deviation and vice versa. It is referred to as a “measure of dispersion” calculated as the square root of the variance. (Note: when calculating manually in Excel, you might see a slight difference between the result you get manually and the result you get using the Analysis Toolpak, depending on whether your version of Excel requires you to use the function DSTDEV or STDEV.S).
variance – the average squared distance between the mean and each data value. It is also a measure of dispersion, which is used to calculate the standard deviation. It is always nonnegative because the calculated squares are positive or zero. A small variance means that the data points are very close to the mean and to each other; thus, a high variance tells us that the data points are very spread out from the mean and from each other.
range – the difference between the highest (MAX) and lowest (MIN) values in a data set.
skewness and kurtosis – numerical measures to describe the shape of a data set and how close it is to a normal distribution. Skewness describes how symmetrical the data is around the mean. Kurtosis describes height and sharpness of the central peak (its peakedness or flatness) in comparison to a normal curve. You’ve summarized the data.
Next, you will employ descriptive or summary statistics to analyze the workforce. Your summary tables described “how many.” Now you will calculate mean, median, and mode for the categories of data, and derive the deviation, variance, and dispersion, and distribution. This is where it gets interesting! You will be working in section 3 of the Data tab in the spreadsheet to complete the descriptive statistics for the five categories (Salary, Hourly Rate, Years of Service, Education, and Age). Using Excel formulas, complete the table.
With your data set built, you will now use the Analysis Toolpak to do those same functions. This is a handy feature to know. Remember that there may be some minor differences in the answers depending on the version. You should now have Tab 2 complete: Excel Summary Stats. Next, you’ll create charts and a histogram for Tabs 3 and 4.Where would we be without the ability to view data in charts? It is sometimes easier to grasp context of data if we can see it captured in an image. In this step, you will work with data to create charts, adding a tab for charts, and another for a histogram. In this step, you will build Tab 3: Graphs—Charts and Tab 4: Histogram. After you complete these tabs, you’ll be ready to sort the data. Many times we want to sort data on an Excel worksheet for reporting purposes. Let’s see what other perspectives the functions of sorting and subtotaling yield. Begin by following the steps in the “How to Copy Excel 2010 Sheet to Another Sheet” provided below. This will allow you to retain your work for Steps 2 through 7. Place the sheet at the end of the workbook and title the tab “Sorted Data.” Delete all rows containing Section 2 and Section 3 work. Be sure to leave the section in cells F417:I422, as this section is referenced for the Vlookup function populating the region; otherwise, you will get a #N/A or #REF! Error in the column for region. Apply the ability to sort data on each column of the spreadsheet, so that you can sort by employee #, hire date, role, etc. Experiment with the filter funnel, sorting the data by various columns. For example, try sorting by employee number from smallest to largest. Try sorting by role in ascending order (A-Z). Sort the spreadsheet by region. Employ the subtotal feature to subtotal the salary for each region, with a grand total for the company. Format the entire spreadsheet to print, so that the columns fit on the pages, and Row 1 repeats on each page. In this step, your hard work bears fruit. What does it all mean? Think back to your boss’s reasons for tasking you with this project. Bring your powers of analysis to bear to determine what the data may be telling you. Apply your quantitative reasoning skills by answering the questions provided in the resource and writing a short essay.
After you answer the questions, your short essay should include: a one-paragraph narrative summary of your findings, describing patterns of interest an explanation of the potential relevance of such patterns a description of how you would investigate further to determine if your results could be perceived as good or bad for the company. You will prepare your responses in your workbook on the tab named QR Analysis. Type in your answers to the questions as well as the final essay in the textbox, and move the QR tab to the first tab position ( to the left of the Data tab) when you have finished.