This tutorial was written by Katherine Walden, Digital Liberal Arts Specialist at Grinnell College.
This tutorial was reviewed by Sarah Purcell (L.F. Parker Professor of History) and Gina Donovan (Instructional Technologist) at Grinnell College, and edited by Papa Ampim-Darko, a student research assistant at Grinnell College.
Analyzing Data (Excel and Tableau) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Analyzing Data in Microsoft Excel
1-Navigate to https://sarahjpurcell.sites.grinnell.edu/digital_methods/files/1870_Federal_Census_Grinnell_Township.xlsx in a browser and open the 1870 Federal Census Grinnell Township file in Microsoft Excel.
Save the 1870 Federal Census Grinnell Township file to your Desktop. Microsoft Excel includes wide range of data analysis tools that require minimal specialized technical knowledge.
2-To calculate the number of females ages 5-17, select the values in column T (“Number of females aged 5-17), and click the AutoSum icon.
3-Excel has calculated the sum of the values in your selected cells. The result (115) is printed in cell T163.
4-The AutoSum function defaults to calculating the sum of selected cells, but it can also perform other mathematical calculations.
5-To calculate the average age of female householders, select the values in column F (“Age of female householder”) and click the arrow next to the AutoSum icon.
6-Select Average to calculate the average value for your selected cells. The result (37.10458) is printed in cell G163 below the selected data values.
Explore the AutoSum functions with other data fields. How do these calculations impact or inform your understanding of the data? What questions do you have about the data or calculations?