Thursday, 10 April 2014

The importance of cell referencing in Excel spreadsheets...

Using Excel correctly in the lab is an important skill to develop, and students sometimes get this wrong by failing to correctly use cell referencing and instead "hardcode" key numbers in to the formulas they are using. The consequence of doing this is that if the student later changes any of the numbers then these changes will not cascade through the spreadsheet, and this can lead to errors.

The video below demonstrates the importance of why cell referencing and why it should be used as opposed to "hardcoding"....

The key points are:

  • When analysing scientific data the only number that should be entered in to the spreadsheet are the raw data
  • All calculation being performed should reference cells (e.g. A2) used for the calculations and not contain numbers (e.g. the number from cell A2

So, this means that cells should be:

Correct

and not...

Incorrect