- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (2 April 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596807694
- ISBN-13: 978-0596807696
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Head First Excel: A learner's guide to spreadsheets Paperback – 2 Apr 2010
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About the Author
Michael Milton is the author of Head First Data Analysis. He has spent most of his career helping nonprofit organizations improve their fundraising by interpreting and acting on the data they collect from their donors.
He has a degree in philosophy from New College of Florida and one in religious ethics from Yale University. He found reading Head First to be a revelation after spending years reading boring books filled with terribly important stuff and is grateful to have the opportunity to write an exciting book filled with terribly important stuff.
When he's not in the library or the bookstore, you can find him running, taking pictures, and brewing beer.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book has a great premise, unfortunately it will not load the work sheets that you need to work off of for the examples and I've yet to receive back a response from the author (s) about this issue.
I do not know if this is a 64 bit vs a 32 bit problem, but if that's the case this book too quickly outdated itself.
I have been using Excel since the late 90's and would consider myself an Excel guru. There are many books on my shelf that are for Microsoft Excel. The difference with the books in my library is that they are what I would consider technical manuals. Most of the books list functions and then explain what they are and how to insert them into a spreadsheet. What makes this book different is that it puts 90% of the most useful functions in Excel into context and real-life scenarios.
If you are looking for an advanced Excel book that gets into things like VBA or true statistical analysis, like regression, then this is probably not the book for you. Also, if you can look through a list of functions in Excel and know how to use most of them, this probably isn't the right book for you. I will say that even with all of my years of experience, I still learned some things that helped improve my productivity while reviewing this book.
For those that are newer to Excel or haven't used it in a while, this is a great book that walks through many scenarios that can be applied to real-life situations. Also, if you use Excel and want to learn how to be more effective and productive, I think this is a great book that isn't written by a technician. There are explanations, examples and exercises that will make learning Excel fun.
I think Michael is well-regarded in his analytical skills and knowledge of Excel to the point that there are many examples of industry best-practices throughout the book. For example, the average Excel user may not know that pie charts are less effective than other charts available in Excel. Michael shares his knowledge and real-life experience in Head First Excel.
Finally, I would recommend Head First Data Analysis for those that may want to learn more about how to effectively analyze data.
Sadly, despite years of having Excel in my enterprise professional toolkit and years of forced reading of spreadsheets from co-workers, I am in the target audience for this book: "Have you never used Excel at all, or used it a little but never done anything powerful with it?"
Oh yes, the company I work for provides training sessions in the use of Microsoft's turgid software but I like my job and would rather be doing that and not spending draggy hours chained in a classroom. If your situation is anything similar to mine, I strongly recommend this book.
Before posting this modest review, I read the ones here. I was impressed with the thought and energy that went into the negative opinion. I certainly can't argue some of the points about filler but I can't help but feel that reviewer may not have been in the target audience. I only dream of having the concerns and foundations of comparison as she!
The "Head First" format has always impressed me, even if Microsoft software has not. The amount of labor and coordination between author, editors, artists, and page layout people that goes into this very readable and effective format is astounding. In effect, the energy that the publishing team puts into one of these books translates into a great big push up the learning hill. I only hope that push can get me as far as those pivot tables in Chapter 12!
WARNING: if your version of Excel is not the latest, this book will be of little value. Like most cubicle dwellers in this recession, I have an older version (2003). As I progressed thru this book, I began to get very irritated because I could not find the feature the author was writing about -- nor did the author even bother to acknowledge that I would have this trouble. A few pages I could skip -- but not this many and not without some gesture on the part of the author.