Continuing on with our “What’s inside Excel Everest?”, which showcases the introductory, “why is this important?” paragraphs found within Excel Everest's Excel tutorial.
…why is it important to learn?…
Sorting and Auto-filters
Sorting allows you to organize data in a way that makes it most useful for you. If you’re managing a team of salesmen and have a list of their names and sales numbers, you might, for example, want to look at it either alphabetically or, alternatively, by increasing or decreasing sales figures. Or you also might want to sort first alphabetically, then by year of sales, and
then by total sales numbers. The sort function in Excel allows you to quickly do this in order to better understand your data.
Auto-filters is similar to Sort in that it makes exploring data easy. When you turn Auto-filters on, it creates little drop-down menus at the top of your dataset (on the column headers). These drop-downs allow you to get a quick overview of the data contained in that column, as well as quickly sort by the items in any column. They also enable you to filter by a criterion of your choosing. For instance, you could have Excel only show rows that have the word “song” in that column’s cell. You’ll use auto-filters quite a lot when dealing with datasets.
An important thing to remember with both sorting and auto-filters is that you can easily RUIN your dataset! If you accidentally sort only part of it (this could happen for many reasons such as having a blank column in your dataset), you’ll be in big trouble. The key is to MAKE SURE you’ve got the right range selected BEFORE you sort. Always triple check this.
Also, it is only possible to have auto-sort enabled only ONCE on each worksheet. Keep this in mind as you go through these problems since they are all on the same worksheet. It will require you to click on the Auto-filter option twice when enabling it on a new dataset (don’t worry, you’ll soon see what we mean).