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Sorting Data

Sorting is the easiest data analysis technique to understand because we frequently sort objects. For example, when my wife balances our checkbook every month, she uses a collection of canceled checks along with the bank statement. She usually starts reconciling the bank statement by sorting the checks by check number, from the lowest to the highest. As another example, before I read my e-mail messages, I often sort my unread messages by the date that they were received. I start by reading the message I received first and work through to the message I received most recently. There are, of course, many other examples of sorting: telephone directories that sort by personal or organizational names, grocery stores that sort products by category, hardware stores that sort bolts by size, and so on.

From a business perspective, sorting data allows you to


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