Sunday, September 30, 2007

Review: Guerrilla Data Analysis using Microsoft Excel

Credit for this nice find of a book goes to my Dad. He introduced me to Bill Jelen, aka Mr. Excel, the author of Guerrilla Data Analysis using Microsoft Excel.

First off, the book is ideal simply because of its weight and tone. Instead of being a 3 inch thick "bible" it's more like a readable workbook. And instead of being a dry text, it's quite motivational.

The true value of the book lies in the fact that it gets back to the basics of manipulating Excel formulas. What seem like antiquated functions, like vlookup, or index, turn out to be quite useful. And any reasonable programmer should see some valuable patterns here that can be quickly put to use.

There's also a collection of random'ish tips which are quite useful (example - the paste special function has way more uses than I imagined).

If you are a geek and use Excel, this is an ideal book. The reality is that you can leverage your programming experience at the cell formula level, without dipping into VB, or falling back on manual tweaks. This book will at the very least inspire you to this end, if not get you there.

I give the book an 8.4/10 because it was on the right track, but needed just a bit more. If the book could keep the same flavor and double it's size it would be just about perfect.


No comments:

Post a Comment