Quick Analysis in Excel – Have you even noticed it?

Feature introduced in 2013 for quick analysis in Excel. Brilliant implementation. But no use. Because nobody noticed it. Those who noticed it did not understand EXACTLY how to use it. Sad story.

Analysis in Excel

What is quick analysis?

Select any data and look at what happens at the bottom right corner. You see this icon:

image  Here is the bigger version so that you can notice and recognize it next time! image

This icon was introduced in Excel 2013. But nobody noticed it. Why? Because for many years we are seeing these random icons popping up all over the place. We don’t know why they appear – so we have learnt to ignore them. Depressing but true.

But have the courage to click on this one – and see how brilliant this button is.

Data Visualization simplified

Many of you must have heard about the importance data analytics is gaining in the IT field. Data visualization is one of these hot fields. This humble button is helping you do exactly that – Data Visualization.

Let us work on some simple base data to work with…


Click on it and see what it offers…


Say with formatting and move the mouse cursor over each option – Data Bars – Color Scales and so on. Here is what happens.




Just mouse movement gives you different types of visualizations. Greater than (is actually greater than the average).

Recommended charts and Pivot Tables

This is brilliant – it shows different charts – which are optimized for this particular data. Try changing the type of data and notice that the recommended charts differ.

Similar thing works with Pivot Tables as well. Pivot Tables are available only if the data is suitable – like a simple table.




Finally, we have Sparklines – which are mini-charts. These help us look at the patterns by row or by column. Sparklines are useful even if the data is not in one scale – as shown below.


How to use this feature? The obvious answer is NOT right.

Most of you will think – I will use the right type of visualization depending upon the data I am analyzing. And that answer would be – WRONG!

Why? We will see that in the next article.