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Video: Uses of Excel in the Workplace

Video Transcript


Hi, I'm Ted, and today I'm going to talk to you a little about uses of Excel in the workplace. Now I happen to be an engineer, and I use Excel, I would say, every day. There probably isn't a day that goes by, maybe a couple a year where I don't at least do something with Excel. It's very useful, extremely useful for doing things with numbers, manipulating numbers, doing calculations, displaying numbers but it's also very powerful in non-numeric information such as text information. So let me show you a few examples. I have Excel open on my computer here and I have several different worksheets in this same, what's called a workbook that has multiple worksheets in each one there's a tab here showing each of the different professions I'm going to talk about. So first of all as an engineer this is the kind of thing it isn't actually something I do at work but it's something that illustrates the kinds of things I might do and it's a table of numbers and it has calculations in here. You can see a formula here that does calculations with these numbers and then over on the right there's a fancy looking color plot that might be the kind of thing we would do at work to take the information and show graphically what the numbers are telling us. Another technical field that would use Excel and just one of many technical fields, is a meteorologist. So here's a table that a meteorologist might have and what it is is it's a table of temperatures for different cities in the United States and it's showing the average January temperature and then the latitude and the longitude and it might be interesting to see, to make a plot where on the X axis over here we have the latitude and then on the Y axis over here we have the average January temperature and each point corresponds to a different city and you plot the points up and then draw a line through it and it's the kind of thing that a meteorologist or somebody in almost any other technical field would do to try to understand what the numbers are telling them. Another technical field would be a math teacher. In the next tab, it shows something a math teacher might use. This is something called the quadratic equation that high school Algebra students learn about and it has some calculations in here, kind of you know, this is the calculation up here in something called the formula bar and the teacher would use this to teach his or her students about the quadratic formula. Now other teachers, maybe not so technically inclined could also use Excel. So I have an example here of what a gym teacher might do. What it is is the teacher might have a table with race results. So here's the student's name, their age and the time of the race and the teacher could use that to plot up the results. So here's a plot of the age versus time and then over here is a bar chart, one bar chart with the different ages and then another one down here with the different times. Now besides teachers and more technical people, people in non-technical fields can also use Excel and do use Excel. One example would be a historian. Here's some data that a historian might be interested in. This happens to be a specialized branch of history which is sports history. This is a table of the members of The Baseball Hall of Fame and in the Excel spreadsheet you've got the person's name, their birth year, birth month, birth date, and then the country, state and city where they were born. Now in addition to displaying the information you can use Excel to sort the information and you can do things like there are actually formulas over here that do things with the, not only the numeric information but also the text information. Finally, an example, a statistician, getting back to a technical field, a statistician is very likely to use a program like Excel because they're working with numbers all the time, well a specialized type of statistician would be somebody who uses statistics to make money at card games. So here's a table showing, calculating the probabilities with a deck of cards. It happens to be the probability of drawing a certain suit, we'll say a heart for one card, two cards, all the way up to 13 cards and as you can see the probabilities go down, down, down and you know, by the time you have 13 cards it's one chance in 635 billion of drawing 13 hearts in a row. If you're a bridge player, you know exactly what that means. It's extremely rare. So I hope these few examples that I've showed you have been helpful in showing how Excel can be used in the workplace. I'm Ted and thank you for watching.


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