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Chapter 8. Analyzing Alternative Data Se... > Defining and Editing Alternative Dat...

Defining and Editing Alternative Data Sets

When you save data in an Excel worksheet, you create a record that reflects the characteristics of an event or object. That data could represent an hour of sales on a particular day, the price of an item you just began offering for sale, or the percentage of total sales accounted for by a category of products. Once the data is in place, you can create formulas to generate totals, find averages, and sort the rows in a worksheet based on the contents of one or more columns. However, if you want to perform what-if analysis, or explore the impact that changes in your data would have on any of the calculations in your workbooks, you will need to change your data.


The problem of working with data that reflects an event or item is that changing any data to affect a calculation runs the risk of destroying the original data if you accidentally save your changes. You can avoid ruining your original data by creating a duplicate workbook and making your changes to it, but you can also create alternative data sets, or scenarios, within an existing workbook.


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