Spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is an electronic document that can quickly create graphs or charts and perform calculations on data stored in cells that are organised into rows and columns.

Spreadsheets are key in Data Science

If you are interested in problem solving using large amounts of data, maybe you should consider being a 'Data Scientist' (CLICK HERE)


CLICK HERE for more information about 'Data Science' as a career.

Common spreadsheet applications:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Apple Numbers
  • Google Sheets
  • LibreOffice Calc

But they all do pretty much the same thing.

Spreadsheets are used by all sorts of people:

  • Business people that need to calculate profit and loss, tax etc.
  • Scientists using graphs to find patterns or trends in collected data
  • Small clubs and organisations as a basic flat file database of members
  • Engineers modelling a new bridge / engine / aeroplane

It doesn't matter what you want to do when you are older, you will most likely need to use a spreadsheet.

Why use spreadsheets?

  • They are essentially a massive calculator so you can perform calculations without error
  • They can create graphs really quickly and accurately (humans are not good at) so trends and patterns can be spotted (which is what humans are good at)
  • They enable models to be created to simulate a real world process to test "what if...?" questions

In short, everyone will find spreadsheets useful no matter what they do personally or professionally.

Spreadsheets - Business models

#learning

  • How a spreadsheet can be useful in business

Why

  • Information Technology makes our lives more efficient and effective. Spreadsheets are incredibly useful is all parts of life, personally and in business.

How

  • All students will demonstrate they know what a spreadsheet is and add values to an existing model
  • Most students will understand how a spreadsheet can be useful and be able to add functions/formulae to make the model provide the values to solve a problem
  • Some students will be able to refine the model to make it even more useful
Engineering models

#learning

  • How a spreadsheet is critical to the safe and effective design of engineering projects.

Why

  • Information Technology makes our lives more efficient and effective. Spreadsheets and computer modelling ensure designs are tested thoroughly resulting in safer, more effective and cost efficient designs.

How

  • All students will know that computer modelling is used by engineers
  • Most students will understand how to use computer modelling to create and test a working design (of a bridge)
  • Some students will be able to modify and refine their design to make a working bridge to a strict budget.
Spreadsheet charts

#learning

  • How spreadsheets can create graphs and charts quickly and easily.

Why

  • The brain is fantastic at spotting trends and patterns but most effectively if data is presented graphically.

How

  • All students will know that spreadsheets can create graphs easily
  • Most students will know how to create common graphs and charts
  • Some students will be able to choose the most appropriate graph to solve a given problem
The Data Handling Cycle

#learning

  • How spreadsheets can be useful in proving or disproving a hypothesis by collecting and presenting data in a useful way.

Why

  • The Data Handling Cycle is the process of collecting and presenting data in order to make a conclusion. Spreadsheets have tools and features that help in this process.

How

  • All students will know what a hypothesis is and what the Data Handling Cycle is for
  • Most students will know how to create an online form to collect data to prove a hypothesis
  • Some students will be able to select the right questions and appropriate sample to help prove their hypothesis