Platforms and Technology

# The Not So “Secret Sauce” of Data Analysis

Every organization manages data internally that provides support in running the operations and provides enriched content to an external audience such as buyers or distributors. To manage the organizational data effectively, it is recommended to conduct data analysis to assess the current state, make informed decisions to streamline that data and help its growth.

Data analysis is the process of collecting and evaluating data using analytical or statistical tools, which can help you make informed decisions for your business. There is a large range of data analysis tools and software available in the market, such as business analysis tools, statistical analysis tools, data visualization tools, ETL tools, spreadsheet applications, and general programming languages. Spreadsheets are one of the most traditional data analysis forms and a go-to tool for many businesses as they are simple and do not require considerable training.

## Spreadsheets are Original, Effective, and Useful

Functions and formulas can be utilized in Microsoft Excel to analyze any kind of data set. It can be overwhelming to try to match the right formula with the right kind of data analysis. Still, our data analytics team has provided some of the most commonly used functions to help you solve a number of your data analysis issues:

1. =VLOOKUP – This function can help you find things in a table or range by row. This will be what you want to look up, where you want to look for it, the column number in the range containing the value to return, and return an approximate or exact match – indicated as 1/TRUE, or 0/FALSE).

1. =SUMPRODUCT – This function returns the sum of the products of corresponding ranges or arrays. It includes the first array argument, the value provided to obtain the function’s result, the components you want to multiply and then add, and array arguments 2 to 255 whose components you want to multiply and then add.

1. =COUNTA – This function counts the number of cells that are not empty in a range. Here, the first argument represents the values you want to count, and additional arguments represent the values you want to count, up to a maximum of 255 arguments.

1. =SUMIF – This function adds the value that meets a single criterion. Use SUMIFs if you need to consider multiple criteria. The range of cells that you want to be evaluated by criteria, either in the form of a number, expression, a cell reference, text, or a function, defines which cells will be added or the actual cells to add, and if you want to add cells other than those specified in the range argument.

1. =MID – This function returns a specific number of characters from a text string starting at the position you specify. The text string contains the characters you want to extract, the position of the first character you want to extract in the text, and specifies the number of characters you want MID to return.

1. =FIND – This function locates one text string within a second text string and returns the number of the first text string’s starting position from the first character of the second text string. This can help you with the text you want to find, the text containing the text you want to find, or specify the character to start the search.

1. =IFERROR– This function returns a value you specify if a formula evaluates to an error. Otherwise, it returns the result of the formula. This function checks the argument for an error or the value to return if the formula evaluates to an error. The following error types are evaluated: #N/A, #VALUE!, #REF!, #DIV/0!, #NUM!, #NAME?, or #NULL!.

Finding the right tools to utilize for data analysis can be tricky and hard to understand, but resources like these can help you along the way. Stay tuned for our next topic, as we explain Open Source and free data analytics tools. For more information on data analysis, contact our experts today.

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##### Piyush Chawhan

Piyush Chawhan is a Senior Technical Architect within Perficient's Commerce Practice. Piyush has many years of technical and team leadership experience. His role is to provide consultation to clients for their Product Information Management strategy alongside their Commerce Solutions roadmap. He is a certified Opti B2B Commerce and inRiver PIM Consultant and is an expert in PIM and eCommerce implementation.

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