How to Decide When to Use a Spreadsheet

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To decide when to use a spreadsheet, determine if the data lends itself to tabular form, such as having columns and rows, or if the data requires building a graph. Use a spreadsheet to organize a variety of data with IT help from a software developer in this free video on computers.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to show you how to decide when to use a spreadsheet. Now you want to use a spreadsheet when the data that you're going to be filling out is something that lends itself very well to a tabular form; which will be where you have columns and rows that explain the data best. This could be, you know, employee sales reports, population reports, different things like that. Another reason that might want you to use a spreadsheet is if you're going to want to build graphs, if you don't want to have some sort of visual representation of the data, whether it'd be bar charts or pie charts or whatever, spreadsheet software has all of this built into it. If you just type your data into the rows and columns, you can create charts very easily. I'm going to show you one thing that's in Microsoft Excel that's very useful. Let's go to our computer and I'm going to type in some data here in theMicrosoft Excel simply by going to the start button. Let's find Microsoft Office; we're going to go to Excel. Now what I'm going to use is called a pivot table; it allows you to sort your data as well as to look at it very easily. Let's say you have a number of employees or rather employee, their location and their number of sales. I'm just going to type in some employees here. "Tennessee; Megan is in Tennessee and William is in Alabama". Now, to insert a pivot table, let's just highlight our tabular data, go to insert tab, we just want to insert a pivot table. It's going to ask you what data you want to select, but I already got it selected, so let's just say okay. Now, our pivot table has just being created and we got to tell what we want to include; employee location and number of sales. Now let's say we wanted a report based upon a location. Just drag your location field down into the report area and as you can see, we can now change our location to say, Tennessee and now it show you all of our Tennessee sales; and select Alabama, there's all of our Alabama sales. So as you can see spreadsheet data is very easy to work with. My name is Dave Andrews and I've just showed you when to decide to use spreadsheet.


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