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Alex da Silva on Expanding Your Capacity With Excel

Cheers aea365 readers! My name is Alex da Silva from Brazil. While I may be able to undertake analyses in SAS, I find myself turning more frequently to Microsoft Excel because so many people can then use it. If I set up something in Excel I can be more confident that my collaborators are going to be able to review my work and the program staff are going to be able to carry out further analyses. I find that Excel is a key tool for empowerment in that it is the one analysis tool that most laypeople have ready access to as well as usually a basic understanding of how to use. Here are three writers that I turn to expand my knowledge and skills around this basic tool.

Beginner Rad Resource – Written by Jorge Camoes from Lisbon, Portugal, this blog takes a unique approach in that it focuses on bigger issues of data visualization and good design, but happens to use excel to deliver charts and dashboards. Building on the work of Edward Tufte, the concepts explored are accessible to anyone, but the implementation can call for a good understanding of Excel (or an alternate program – he stresses concepts over how to).

Recent Example Posts:

  • Don’t Make me Think (About Your Charts!)!
  • Anatomy of a Bad Chart
  • The Healing Power of Statistics

Intermediate Rad Resource – This site promises to help you “become awesome in excel” and is run by Purna Duggirala from his home in India. Duggirala can be a bit heavy on the selling (he has training and ebooks available), but has great guidance written in accessible language. Most of his tips do not require coding, and for those that do, he provides a detailed walk through of what needs to be done.

Recent Example Posts:

  • Dummy Data – How to use the Random Functions
  • Updating Report Filters using simple macro – a Dynamic Pivot Chart Example
  • What are Pivot Table Report Filters and How to use them?

Advanced Rad Resource – Daily Dose of Excel: Well, it actually comes out about every other day, but this blog has multiple excel gurus who contribute regular tips that really push me to make the most of Excel. This blog is not for the faint of heart – although some of the tips are at a beginner’s level, most involve coding and assume you are comfortable coding at least in VBA.

Recent Example Posts:

  • Read INI File in VBA
  • Binary to Decimal Conversion
  • Copying HTML Tables over Merged Cells

Hot Tip: Be sure to check out the archives!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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  • Susan Kistler on a New Excel Learning Resource Customized for Evaluators · AEA365 · December 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    […] regular Saturday contributor. Back in May of 2011, Alex da Silva wrote a great aea365 post on Expanding Your Capacity With Microsoft Excel, suggesting resources for beginner, intermediate, and advanced Excel users. Today, I have something […]


  • Erin Milbeck Wilcox · May 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks Alex. This will be really helpful for me because I have a summer intern who will be working in excel. Knowing better tricks to use, and teach her, will make her experience richer and easier.


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