Practical advice for people using Excel data analysis functions. Excel is the go-to tool for most business users. While Excel is a very powerful tool, it wasn’t designed to enable certain data analysis tasks.
Excel users know that when it comes to Excel data analysis functions, some of the most common and routine tasks sometimes require complex formulas. These formulas are almost impossible to remember, so you find yourself googling every time you need to use them again.
The challenge only becomes more difficult as you try to analyze text data. While Excel is excellent with numbers, the text analysis capabilities are almost non-existent.
Analyzing Comments in Excel
If you deal with quantitative data such as comments or customer feedback, you may feel compelled to use Excel to analyze these comments. While it is perfectly reasonable to want to do this in Excel, you will find yourself having to do a lot of manual work to categorize your data. So while Excel may be the right tool if you have a small number of comments, if you need to analyze thousands of comments, you would need a different solution. For example, you could use NVivo, Tableau or Microsoft Power BI. While NVivo will make it easier for you to code the comments, Tableau and Power BI will help you visualize the results.
Automating Comment Analysis
These tools will still require some kind of manual work and that can be daunting. A more productive alternative would be to automate most of the work. And while there are many options to achieve this, the good news is that you don’t have to be a technical guru to do it. For example, you can use the NovaceneAI platform to:
- Categorize comments using your own custom categories;
- Tag comments as positive, negative or neutral;
- Predict the tone and emotion of a comment;
- and other language-related analysis to extract meaning from the data.
You can do all of this in an automated way. Most of the functionality requires no customization and works right out-of-the box.
Analyzing data typically requires that you also present your findings using reports and dashboards. These reports are more effective when they are visually appealing. The best reports allow viewers to interact with the data, making it possible for viewers to customize the visualizations. Although Excel offers the ability to insert charts and graphs into spreadsheets, tools like Tableau or Power BI provide much more robust visualization options. Before you make a decision to use any of these tools, you should also consider the NovaceneAI platform to create and share professional-looking reports. With NovaceneAI, you can:
- Create interactive visualizations that feel modern and friendly;
- Show basic statistics and trends;
- Add interactive maps to display geographic information; and
- Share reports internally or publish them on the web.
Yes, you can use Excel to analyze and present data. But you might be missing an opportunity to achieve better results (and save a lot of time) if you are open to trying tools specifically designed to overcome Excel’s shortcomings. Excel is an excellent tool for certain tasks, but it wasn’t designed for in-depth data analysis.
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