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26-03-2021, 09:55   #1
Dedalus1
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Analysing Data

Hi guys,

I'm going to be starting a new job in 6 weeks. I'm looking at what skills I could do with enhancing. One of those, I think, is Excel and specific tasks with Excel.

Basically, I'm tasked with improving processes to reduce issues customers have with a product (i.e. contacts they make with the company requesting help with the product). I want to organise customer feedback in spreadsheets. I want to identify trends, the topics that queries most relate to, and I want to be able to track how these go up and down over time.

I have a good idea over how to organise it, but I just want to check that pivot tables are enough to help me do this. Is there anything else I could improve on in Excel to help me get more out of the data? Is there anything else about Excel that could allow me to use more data to really get at raw customer feedback.
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27-03-2021, 10:15   #2
tanit
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The problem you are going to have is that until the moment you have the datasets/information in front of you, you are not going to be able to know how best to analyse it. And in order to be able to get the most information from your data you are going to need to know as much Excel as you can. You are also going to need some GDPR training, as the information you are collecting might need to be dealt following certain procedures in order to comply with the legislation and avoid issues (if you can personally identify a person by the information collected you need to take certain controls to avoid any unauthorised disclosures and you might need to request consent from the people you are collecting that information, you would need to set controls/procedures, etc).

These are a couple of courses that introduce you to GDPR in FutureLearn
If you want the certificate you will need to either enroll as an Unlimited student (they have an offer until the end of the month of 30% discount I think so it is aprox 160 euros and you make as many Unlimited courses as you want for a full year) or pay for the individual course. If you only want to learn I am pretty sure they are both free.

You can also visit the Data Protection Commission website and learn as much as you can about the topic

Okay, depending on the level of Excel you might need more or less information/courses to do your job. I can recommend you Udemy. There are a lot of courses in there, some terrific and few not so good but in general you are going to get very good stuff in there at a very reasonable prices. Check the number of students enrolled and the reviews and pick something. The list below is a bit long, you don't need to do them all, just start with one or two and practice, practice, practice. The courses below are some of the ones I have done or am in the process of doing so it is a personal recommendation and you might prefer others if you go to the website. Other people might recommend other websites, courses, etc. Just check your options and again go for something.

If you already knows your basics in Excel and want to get an idea of how to analyse data with more advanced techniques, I'd go for an Advanced formulas course
They have both been recently updated with the most recent formulas added to Microsoft 365 and you can follow along if you have older versions of Excel.

If your Excel is very rusty or you are just starting go for something more basic such as
It does go through more advanced formulas that appear in the courses above but it starts from a more basic level.

You can move on to regular Pivot tables, they are a quick and dirty way of analysing data and you can make a chart in second with them. Just learn your basics and know their limitations (more about that in a second).
Pivot tables will only allow you to perform a certain number of calculations. Sometimes it will not be enough and you either start creating monster tables using advanced formulas or learn PowerQuery and get into PowerPivot and DAX.
Finally you will want to present your data maybe using Charts
And moved on to present results in a Dashbord way
Alternatively you can find that you prefer/it suits your report better presenting the information using something like PowerBI (Tableau would be used for extremely large data sets, something like 20 Mg files, PowerBI would be able to handle them but if they become too big you need Tableau as far as I know, though I never yet found a dataset Excel and PowerBI could not handle, fingers crossed)
Any of the courses have a number of hours corresponding to the video they are offering and they all offer you datasets to practice along and on your own. You are going to need to make the effort to practice and sometimes just jump a section and come back later on to see if it makes more sense.

Excel is becoming a beast on of its own and they are adding more a more features on a regular basis (it is not like Word or Outlook where things go slower). So go try a maybe one Advanced formulas course, continue with a basic Pivot table one and move on to Charts. After that trying PowerQuery and PowerBI feels like a natural progression. Keep up to date with blogs and YouTube channels there are excellent ones out there and they are always up to date with the latest features in Excel. Trust me, you will need to keep up to date with Excel regularly, it is becoming a beast very fast.
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27-03-2021, 11:04   #3
Dedalus1
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Tanit, you are fabulous! You have no idea how much I appreciate your input and advice. It is priceless and I'm gonna follow it all up.

Regarding the GDPR, I'm okay on that. My current workplace is one industry deeply affected by it, so I'm more than ok on that.

But, really, the framework you gave me here is perfect for coming into the role with a good and versatile knowledge of Excel to handle how to interpret whatever data I'm given. I've got 6 weeks till I start so I'm sure I can get this done.

I honestly don't know how to repay you.
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27-03-2021, 11:37   #4
tanit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dedalus1 View Post
Tanit, you are fabulous! You have no idea how much I appreciate your input and advice. It is priceless and I'm gonna follow it all up.

Regarding the GDPR, I'm okay on that. My current workplace is one industry deeply affected by it, so I'm more than ok on that.

But, really, the framework you gave me here is perfect for coming into the role with a good and versatile knowledge of Excel to handle how to interpret whatever data I'm given. I've got 6 weeks till I start so I'm sure I can get this done.

I honestly don't know how to repay you.
Best of luck with your new job and take it easy with Excel, it takes time and practice.

Glad that you found the information useful
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