Excel 2010 Data Analysis and Business Modeling Third Edition by Wayne L Winston offers an impressive amount of real applied knowledge within a handy volume. Winston delivers an authoritative and exhaustive tome that functions as a superb reference source — the breadth of material covered is very impressive. It is quite apparent that the third iterations has make for a finely tuned volume. The structure of chapters provide a semi-cookbook style beginning with a ‘Questions answered in this chapter’ section which gives a useful and applied scope to each chapter. There follows very useful hands-on examples, with concluding ‘test’ questions to reinforce the lesson. Chapter length is short and too the point.
Overall, the ‘lessons’ are delivered succinctly and with direct application, which I found very useful. Although it is targeted at Excel 2010 and I am a 2011 on OSX user, much of it was immediately practicable and I could make allowances for slight user interface variances, thus making this a good tool for both Windows and OSX users. This is not the sort of book that you read from beginning to end, but rather a reference source to give you a solution to the problem at hand.
From a didactic standpoint, this volume does provide a good grounding in the principles behind analysis and ways in which you can interpret the results generated by Excel. Although it begins very much as an Excel manual to establish a basing grounding in necessary functions and Excel’s way of doing things it quickly adopts a strategy to address real business modeling and data analysis challenges and chapters gear themselves towards these practicalities. This is a hefty volume and directed towards hands-on business professionals with a specific application.