Filtering allows you to display a selection of data based on certain criteria. It can be very helpful for analyzing a portion of the dataset, as well as cleaning data. Follow the directions below to do your first filter.
We walk through the steps below, in text, but you may want to start first with this video, which gives you a visual rundown of filtering our file.
The text version:To add filters across each category, or column, in the spreadsheet, click on the row 3 so the entire row is highlighted. Then click on “Home” menu, then the “Sort & Filter” icon in the Editing tab. (You can also get there by clicking on the “Data” menu, then the “Filter” icon in the “Sort & Filter” tab). You should see small arrows appear in the lower-right-hand corners of the column headers, like the image on the right. Click on the arrow in “Pay Grade” (Column E), then the “Text Filters” option, then the “Equals…” option. In the box that pops up, choose “is less than.” Now go to the box directly across from “is less than” and type in “E05.” (See image on left). Click OK.
Voila! You just told the spreadsheet to only show casualties from the junior enlisted pay grades (E-1 through E-4). These are the “grunts” in the military. Look at the numbers in the lower-left-hand corner of the screen of Excel. You should see: “898 of 1822 records found.” That translates to 49 percent, or about half. So with this very simple function, we just found that roughly half of the casualties from the war in Afghanistan have occurred in the junior enlisted ranks. Interesting. Let’s keep exploring.
Next up: SUBTOTALS.