Thursday, January 30, 2014

Add-In Some Power!

It surprises many of my students when their attention is first drawn to the Add-Ins section in Excel. Even many Old-Timers at the application have simply ignored this area, and I can’t say that I blame them – After all, Excel is So Deep these days that no one (unless you are John Walkenbach) can know everything there is to know.

 If you are using Excel 2010 or 2013, you can find the Add-Ins menu by going to File on the toolbar and clicking on the Options button at the bottom of the left column. Then click on Add-Ins and peruse the interesting choices in the right column.

 Here are some of the Highly Useful Tools that you will find available:
  • Analysis ToolPak 
  • Euro Currency Tools 
  • NatSpeak Excel Add-In 
  • Solver Add-in 
Of the group, my favorites are the Analysis ToolPak and the Solver Add-in. The Analysis ToolPak contains the following terrific Investigative Tools: 

  • Anova 
  •  Correlation 
  • Covariance 
  • Exponential Smoothing (Trust me – Try this!) 
  • Histogram 
  • Moving Average 
  • Regression 
  • Much more… 
The Solver Add-in can be effectively used to maximize sales/profit plans, strategic planning, optimizing a product mix, and even picking a winning team! It uses Empirical Data and thousands of calculations to determine the goals you have set.

Excel Add-Ins. Look them up and give them a Quick Try sometime. I think you will be glad you did!

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