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EXTENDED LEARNING MODULE D Student Learning Outcomes 1. Define a list and list definition table within the context of spreadsheet software and describe the importance of each. 2. Compare and contrast the AutoFilter function and Custom AutoFilter function in spreadsheet software. 3. Describe the purpose of using conditional formatting. 4. Define a pivot table and describe how you can use it to view summarized information by dimension. DECISION ANALYSIS WITH SPREADSHEET SOFTWARE

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D.2 Extended Learning Module D Introduction As you just read in Chapter 4, technology can and does play a vitally important role in both supporting decision making and, in some instances, actually making decisions or recommendations. In this module, we’ll focus on decision-making support, by exploring many of the advanced and productive features of Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software that allows you to work with any kind of information, with each individual piece of information located in a cell. A cell is the intersection of a row and column and is uniquely identified by its column character and row number. In Figure D.1 you can see two workbooks. The first (the one in the background) shows all the detailed information for a group of customers. The second shows the number of customers by region (North, South, East, and West) and by rent versus own. There are a total of 487 customers (cell D9 in the workbook in the foreground), of which 262 own a home (cell B9) and 225 rent (cell C9). Within this workbook, you can easily see some interesting information. For example, there are 148 customers in the East region while only 98 live in the South region. By region and ownership status, 82 own a home in the East region while only 47 rent in the South region. Customers by region Total number of customers Customers by rent versus own Figure D.1 Number of Customers by Region and by Rent versus Own
Lists D.3 Of course, now the question becomes, How is that information helpful? Well, it depends on the nature of your decision-making task. If you believe that home owners spend more money than those who rent and want to target advertising to the largest region, the information in Figure D.1 might be helpful. Then again, it might not be. It could very well be that home owners actually spend less than customers who rent. And, perhaps you generate more sales in regions with a lower number of customers. Let’s see how spreadsheet software can help you make better decisions. As we do, we’ll introduce you to some spreadsheet features including AutoFilter, conditional formatting, and pivot tables. Our goal here is not to provide in great detail how each of these work, but rather what’s most important about each one of them in supporting your decision- making tasks. After completing this module, you’ll definitely be able to use all features in their basic forms. We recommend that you continue to explore them in detail.

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