     Chapter 5 – Explaining And Reporting

‘I’ve come loaded with statistics, for I’ve noticed that a man can’t prove anything without statistics.’
Mark Twain

Overview

This chapter builds on the spreadsheet techniques discussed in the previous few pages and provides the foundations for explaining and reporting numbers. We will look at charts, numerical accuracy, summarizing, reviewing and comparing figures. These ideas are very relevant for managing numbers and we will develop them in subsequent chapters.

Mastering Explaining And Reporting

After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions:

• Charts – how do they aid and mislead?
• How do you create charts in spreadsheets and insert them in reports?
• What is meant by significant figures, decimal places, effective figures, rounding and accuracy, and the 4/5 rule?
• Where do you use the following averages: mean, median, mode, weighted averages?
• What is spread (range, standard deviation, z-scores)?
• What is skew?
• What is the normal distribution? Why is is useful?
• How do you compare numbers using relationships and changes?
• What are index numbers? Why are they useful?
• What are relative and absolute cell addresses in spreadsheets?  