FasteR for Excel

Friday, March 27, 2015 | Milos Gregor

How to make a complex data analysis in MS Excel? This post describes one of the existing options.

Probably we can agree that if we exclude specialized workplaces, an industrial standard for working with arbitrary data is MS Excel or similar spreadsheet application. Its widespread use is mainly associated with its relative ease of use and simple visual interface. We find it everywhere from the home computer to the research institutions.

In my case (Geological Survey) MS Excel is the most frequently used program. Outside the main databases and spatial data we have in Excel files stored practically all of the data. If you are working in a team, *.xlsx is the most widely used data format in annex of emails. Each team member can work with this program, from the youngest to the oldest colleagues.

However, Excel has a number of weaknesses. Its problems are common knowledge. For me, the biggest problem is weak support of statistical graphics. Options of different graphs formation and their combination are in Excel quite weak. The same problems arise if the user wants to do specific data transformation or use special statistical analysis. In these cases, we need to use programming in VBA or an external Add-In.

Exactly for this purpose is the FasteR for Excel Add-In appropriate. This Add-In is an edition of the basic FasteR program that runs directly in Excel and combines the use of Excel and R statistical programming environment.

In the next few articles I present its main components and describe the possibilities for its use with examples. For introduction, you can watch the intro video. Individual panels that can be displayed and used are identical in functionality as in the desktop program. Their functionality is therefore described in the user manual for the desktop edition of program.

Currently this Add-In is available in version 0.9. In the near future I plan to complete its functionality and optimalize its run. If you have any remarks, comments or suggestions for its development, please feel free to contact me in the comments or via email. I will be grateful for any response.

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