Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #11
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    I am a below average shlub. I use Excell extensively for maintaining oil production and financial records but this is above my pay grade.
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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26mi235 View Post
    One problem I have with these sorts, in general, is any discrepancy in the name, including spacing will typically result in them being taken as separate 'individuals'. A related common problem is for females where name changes are common. But the instructions are pretty good (I did not examine really closely because I know how to do such sorting).
    Thank you. I did realize that a number of the stat guys on here routinely do this. I was posting specifically for someone who said that getting the 1000th performer out of several thousand performances would be a lot of weeding. It really isn't. The solution to the Decker/Tabb/Slaney or Kleinsasser/Caldwell/Wysocki problem or special characters in names, or typos is more difficult, but data validation is aided a lot by sorting by birthdate and aligning the names.

    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    you're making the assumption that the average shlub has ever even opened Excel, let alone has any proficiency with it.
    Not at all. I knew that 95+% of the board would have no interest. The comment is like saying that someone who publishes a magazine on a specific topic, say, track and field, assumes that the average shlub will read it.
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    #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    Thank you. I did realize that a number of the stat guys on here routinely do this. I was posting specifically for someone who said that getting the 1000th performer out of several thousand performances would be a lot of weeding. It really isn't. The solution to the Decker/Tabb/Slaney or Kleinsasser/Caldwell/Wysocki problem or special characters in names, or typos is more difficult, but data validation is aided a lot by sorting by birthdate and aligning the names.
    Some lists deal with this by standardizing all performances under the one married name (usually the final one for those married more than once).

    An extreme example is the British Power of 10 site on its all-time lists listing Liz Lynch/McColgan under her current married name of Nuttall from her marriage about 15 years after she retired.
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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    you're making the assumption that the average shlub has ever even opened Excel, let alone has any proficiency with it.
    I don't have any proficiency with Excel, but how hard is it to understand that 977 performers have produced 8634 performances? In fact, it is hard for me to understand why any one can be confused about it.
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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN1965 View Post
    I don't have any proficiency with Excel, but how hard is it to understand that 977 performers have produced 8634 performances? In fact, it is hard for me to understand why any one can be confused about it.
    Nobody misunderstood that.

    I've done the first set of steps posted. At that point, we started talking about performers vs. performances. That list has not yet filtered things down to just one performance/person, nor am I saying it was said that it would.

    I will try the other steps later to see what results.

    Semantics, semantics, semantics.
    Last edited by trackCanuck; 11-27-2019 at 09:28 PM.
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    #16
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    Excel is a useful tool even for the "average shlub". It is very flexible, and often allows you to achieve the same outcome by using different methods.

    There is rarely a definitively "best" method, rather, different methods make more or less sense depending depending on exactly what you're trying to achieve.

    However, for simple aggregation of data for athletics by non-data people, I would happily say that Excel Pivot Tables are the best option. Pivot Tables are built into Excel and are designed to easily aggregate data using a mostly drag and drop interface without formulas.

    Even better, they can't change your original data, so you can try different Pivot Table settings and layouts and if you make a mess, just clear the settings and start again.

    There are plenty of beginner tutorials on a well known video site. Watch a couple, see how easy they are and then try the example in the following post.
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackCanuck View Post
    Semantics, semantics, semantics.
    Are you anti-Semantic? That's not nice. :-)
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    tips on manipulating list data
    #18
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    If you have watched, or read, a Pivot Table tutorial and want to try using them to explore the M1500m data used above, try this example:

    1. Get data from http://www.alltime-athletics.com/m_1500ok.htm and split into columns in Excel using your preferred method (1-2 minutes)

    2. Name each column - Pivot Tables need the names or they won't work. (30 sec)

    3. Create Pivot Table (5 seconds)
    3.1 Click in your table of data
    3.2 Select "Insert" on the ribbon, then "Pivot Table" This should select your entire table of data and open a dialog box.
    3.3 Click OK to create the blank Pivot Table

    4. Count Performers and Performances (20 sec)
    4.1 Drag "Athlete Name" field down to the "Row Labels" area
    4.2 Drag "Time" field down to the "Values" area. You now have a list of names and number of performances from Abdelali Rayzn to Zeki Öztürk.
    4.3 Highlight all the names in the "Name" column and Excel will display the count in the information bar at the bottom of the spreadsheet - "Count: 977"
    4.4 Look at the bottom of the "Count of Times" column to see that total performances = 8,634

    So in 2-3 minutes, you get the same numbers as Master403 but using a non-formula method.

    Want to see which countries have the most performances on the list?

    Just drag "Athlete Name" from "Row Labels" are back to the "Field List" and then drag "Country" field down to "Row Lablels".

    Now you have your count by country in a couple of seconds - easy peasy.
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    #19
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    El Toro, I agree completely. One of my coworkers was very skilled in pivot tables, and I did a few. They are very powerful, but I would say non-intuitive. That made them difficult to explain to the govies or my successor at work. More power to you if you can get anyone on this board to adopt them.

    One guy's easy-peasy is another guy's not-so-easy-peasy.

    The important point is that whatever Excel tool you use, once you have imported the data, you can extract whatever data amuses you, and spreadsheets can be incredibly powerful.
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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    They are very powerful, but I would say non-intuitive. That made them difficult to explain to the govies or my successor at work.
    Interesting. I generally had the opposite experience with people I showed how to use them. It was usually, "I wish I'd known about that 10 years ago."

    This wasn't due to my brilliant teaching but more due to the ability for them to play with the layout to see what happens. After a half hour of play (learn by doing), most people had a good handle on the basics and could get most things they needed.

    The additional benefit was that they got excited by the speed and flexibility and were therefore motivated to learn additional skills (without asking me - Bonus!).
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