Customer Reviews


35 Reviews
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real good book on Excel 2010
This is a proper book written by a professor from a top business school and this is indeed a very deep one covering a lot of grounds.

It covers almost everything in Excel starting from the most basic thing such as putting together a arithmetic expression and end with some advanced modelling examples.

Written by a professor, the book format is like a...
Published on September 15, 2011 by Tran DUC

versus
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying?
If someone asked me that question, I would have to say no. It's not that the book is very bad per se; it's just that the book is not very good either, and you can pretty much get the same info for free off of the internet.

I'll qualify that by saying: I think that if you are an MBA student, then this book may be worth the money just for the convenience of...
Published on February 25, 2012 by Kawakami


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying?, February 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
If someone asked me that question, I would have to say no. It's not that the book is very bad per se; it's just that the book is not very good either, and you can pretty much get the same info for free off of the internet.

I'll qualify that by saying: I think that if you are an MBA student, then this book may be worth the money just for the convenience of having all of the information in one package. BUT if you are a professional looking for solutions to business problems, then you'll probably only use the small portions of the book that are related to your field... and it would be better to just look on the internet for templates on a piecemeal basis as the needs arise. The templates you find on the 'net will probably be more sophisticated and more polished as well.

Here's the detail:

THE GOOD
The best thing about this book is that it covers a wide range of topics from stats to queuing to finance and more. In that way, the book can be valuable as a versatile reference book that you can turn to first.

Each chapter begins with problem statements, and then it shows how to use formulas and functions in Excel to come up with an answer. Some of the solutions are specific to functions and features found in Excel, while others are simply math equations that could be used in any spreadsheet software such as Lotus or Google Docs (or even just written out on a piece of paper for that matter). So you may consider the solutions to be good because they're flexible.

The scope of the book pretty much covers the first year of MBA coursework which is nice for the students out there. Also, everything is supported by sample Excel files, so it gives you plenty of templates to cut and paste from.

THE BAD
As much as the book offers in breadth, it more than lacks in terms of depth and realism. For example, the chapter on NPV modeling really doesn't tell you much more than the equation for present value:

[present value] = [the future cash flow] / [1 + the discount rate] ^ [the year you receive the future cash flow]

Enter one of those formulas for each year in your analysis, and add them together. The result is the NPV. This same information, along with a more detailed template, could have been found using Google. Moreover, he could have just used the present value function in Excel rather than calculating it manually.

Another example is the chapter where he uses solver to maximize the effect of observed price elasticity. You are given:
1. A low price leads to higher demand and sales of $90
2. A medium price has slightly less demand but sales of $102
3. A high price has the least demand and sales of $50

I realize that the problem statement is scaled down in order to teach solver... but if you find yourself in this unlikely situation, then you don't need solver. The answer is choose medium. That is a supportable solution with the highest value. If you were in the more realistic situation where you have more data points... then the answer is still "you don't need solver". Again, choose the highest observed value.

The goals of each of the chapters I mentioned was clearly to teach a formula or a tool and not how to design a model with a structure that most effectively uses that tool... which leads me to...

THE UGLY
The templates provided are in no way close to being turn key solutions; not only because of the lack of detail, flexibility, and sophistication... but by the fact that the models themselves are actually, physically ugly. The inputs, calculations, and outputs are all mashed together in a single clump. Worse yet, sometimes they are actually intermixed in the same block of cells. The worksheets are not formatted; making it even more difficult to identify what is what. There are spelling errors and superfluous worksheets in the workbooks. If you were to use the files as templates, you could run the risk of passing through some of these problems. Additionally, the files have no comments or other documentation contained within the workbook, so the files don't function particularly well as stand-alone resources.

Also, the production quality of the book itself is mediocre. The book is entirely in black and white (which hurts his chapters on charts and coloring), and it is just simple text without call outs, side bars, or other things that could help to summarize, highlight, and reiterate key items. The effect is that it reads something like a textbook where all items, both large and small, are given the same level of importance in a weird, academic way.

I work as a consultant, and my clients expect me to deliver work that is understandable, easy to use, efficient, versatile, and accurate. As a consumer, I expect the same from my vendors. This book falls short on at least the first 4 of the 5.

I think this book would have worked far better if it was written as a series of case studies that taught multiple elements together in a realistic combination. E.g.:

The NPV model could have been a lesson in designing a model with distinct input, calculation, and output sections. It could have taught the reader how to expand the model by year and line item while preserving formatting. It could have explained that virtually every single NPV model the reader will ever make must be split by cash and non-cash expenses because tax, accounting, and finance each handle those items differently.

The price elasticity model could have shown us how to build in sections for more than 2 variables since price problems always involve economies of scale/ diminishing returns as well as manufacturing/ operational impacts, and knock on effects to the brand. (If Gucci lowered prices to stimulate demand, there could be a short term profit increase, but...... slimmer margins, downward pressure on quality to avoid a long-term increase in COGS, and a long-term knock on effect to overall brand perception which in turn would impact demand... and drive the brand into the bargain bin at TJ Maxx like Tommy Hillfiger).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars become familiar with Excel built in functions, July 26, 2011
Microsoft Excel 2010 is typical FAQ/lecture like book. What you get is a list of issues that you probably encounter, sooner or later, during Excel programming. Each chapter is organized the same way. At first, you get the list of questions that are related to topics covered within chapter. Then, you get answers to questions explained by examples. This way you can easily find solutions for problems that you have recently encountered and want to have them solved by the Excel. What is a benefit here is that knowledge is not just a plain theory. Contrary, what you get is a purely pragmatic approach - problem/solution. In order to check your knowledge, each chapter contains brain teasers that will force you to think a little bit. You are asked to solve a problem that can be solved using knowledge you have acquired while reading the chapter.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to this book. At one point you should have it in your own library as a reference. On the other hand, I don't like editorial side of the book at all. It's too simple and too plain. I know you can say that lecture script is not required to look fancy and nice, but I simply like well edited books. I know that judging book by it's cover might be very unfair by in case of this one, editorial side of the book took advantage over the content. However, if you don't pay that much attention to look over the content you should consider buying this one. You will find quite a loot of examples that will guide you through the mysteries of the Excel. And you don't have to know Visual Basic at all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real good book on Excel 2010, September 15, 2011
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
This is a proper book written by a professor from a top business school and this is indeed a very deep one covering a lot of grounds.

It covers almost everything in Excel starting from the most basic thing such as putting together a arithmetic expression and end with some advanced modelling examples.

Written by a professor, the book format is like a university course starting with a bit of of theory, some examples and then followed by many exercises to refine your skills. By having many exercises and scenarios you actually have to think about the problem you face, works out your solutions before actually using excel to implement your solutions. This is to me great because so many books taught people only which buttons to press.

As a business analyst this is a very helpful book covering a lot of grounds teaching you a lot of business knowledge and business analysis skills, the excel bit of it is just the implementation which is the right way to go about it.

The downside is the poor editing, while the content and organisation is top class, the presenting bit is simple pathetic and it makes you think of a boring lecture with white chalks on a black board. And yes, the course did not cover as much on themes and design features of Excel 2010.

I have read many books on excel and this is the one with the most brain so I give it 5-star
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information, little editing, October 5, 2012
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
I purchased this book to learn more about applications of Excel function, and I definitely have learned a great deal from reading it. The plethora of examples in the text make this a great resource for learning about a variety of topics, but I'm pretty certain that the book was either not edited at all, or merely scanned. There were easily upwards of a hundred errors in the text and the accompanying solutions.

Overall, I thought the text was clear and the concepts well-explained; however, I did waste a good deal of time trying to get my answers to match with those provided, and wondering what was wrong with my process (oh - no work is shown in the solutions, just answers), and in most cases would realize that the data the solution was working with were different than the date provided in the problem, or something of that nature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promised downloadable PDF not available, May 26, 2011
By 
Michael W. Kruger (Glenview, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
Further update 7/28/2011. The information promised on the voucher has been posted online completely. They didn't do it fast, they did do it. So I'm upgrading my review. I hope the reviewer from Thailand (who had similar complaints) has now been able to access the material. Overall, the book itself is great and even though I have used Excel for about 15 years I still found new and useful tricks.

This is an update 5/26/2011. After 6 days, I received the missing voucher code from O'Reilly. on page xiii, it clearly states that this code will allow access to the online version AND allow downloading of a complete PDF of the book. However, while I can navigate to the screen shown on page xiii, the complete PDF of the book is not available. I have made a further inquiry of O'Reilly customer service.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Problem exercises too complex, October 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
The problem questions the author gives are 10 times more complex and difficult than the explanations in the previous pages. For example: the chapter on the VLOOKUP function, there are problem exercises after a few pages explaining how the VLOOKUP function works, then there are exercises or questions. The problem exercises are much more difficult and complicated than what the author explained. The explanations were basic and the problems were very complex.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good Excel learning/teaching tool, June 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
For the right audience, this is an outstanding book. What's the right audience? An intermediate to advanced Excel user looking to improve their Excel stats and math modeling skills. The chapter on Monte Carlo Simulation alone is worth more than the price of the book. Ditto the chapter on Portfolio Optimization. And the chapters on using Solver. And several other chapters. The only thing I didn't like about it, is that it made me realize there is yet another person in the world who is smarter than I am. Damn. I hate when that happens.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excel - Must know spreadsheet for business, June 9, 2012
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
Expectations are critical in a purchase. Mine were that I would learn approaches to modeling using Excel sheets. Strike that. After I got used to what it will provide I was less disappointed. It is a useful reference guide and CAN teach you how to do some tables, formulas, etc. in conjunction with the CD. After all the only real way to learn Excel is to use it. The "Catch-22" is that in order to use it you need some "lessons" and drills.
This is clearly an "update" to an earlier rendition. I found a number of spelling errors that could only be missed by reading the same thing so many times.
While it did not meet my expecations it is a solid reference with each chapter standing pretty much on its own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but quite a lot of material, June 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
Good book but the author has tried to fill in a lot of material in a limited space due to which the book makes dense reading. The exercises are quite tough and sometimes out of sync with the material covered in the chapters. Because of the extent of material covered, the explanations are sometimes very concise and cryptic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect update for Excel 2010, April 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) (Paperback)
I build advanced dynamic business simulations and mentor coworkers in business modeling building. This is the only excel book I recommend to own. Great examples, each version of the book is related to an excel release. This book is always within arms reach.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills)
Microsoft Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (Business Skills) by Wayne L. Winston (Paperback - January 17, 2011)
$49.99 $35.25
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.