Get a quick preview of all your data analysis choices


by Julie Duncan


Microsoft Excel 2013/2016

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows

When you want to analyze a set of data, but you don’t know which method of data analysis will be most effective, the idea of testing out multiple options is daunting at best—it can be a big time sink! Instead, you can use Excel 2013’s new Quick Analysis feature to preview your data analysis choices in a fraction of the time.

To preview our data analysis choices, we’ll:

  • Outline the steps for accessing Quick Analysis, and
  • Explain the situations in which each of the Quick Analysis options typically works best.


Whether you’re looking at a line chart of sales trends for an entire year, or a color-coded worksheet that highlights your best-selling and worst-selling products, Excel’s data analysis tools are great for telling the story behind a worksheet full of numbers. But what if you don’t know what kind of data analysis would best suit your data? Rather than taking the time to create several charts and tables until you find the right one, you can use Excel’s new Quick Analysis feature to preview several data analysis options instantly, as shown in Figure A.

Using Quick Analysis is straightforward. We’ll get you started with this feature, and you can easily use it with your own worksheet data. We’ll also step you through the various data analysis options to give you an idea of which one will best suit your needs in any situation.



Quick Analysis provides you a quick preview of many data analysis tools, such as the line chart shown here.

Using the Quick Analysis feature

First, we’ll show you how to use Quick Analysis when you’d like to experiment with your data analysis options.

To use Quick Analysis:

  1. Open your worksheet and highlight the specific data you’d like to analyze.
  2. Click on the Quick Analysis icon that appears in the lower-left corner of the highlighted data, as shown in  Figure B.
  3. Click on one of the five categories: Formatting, Charts, Totals, Tables, or Sparklines.

Shortcut Key: If you’d rather use a shortcut key instead of clicking on the Quick Analysis icon, simply press [Ctrl]Q.

Several options appear once you choose a category, as shown in Figure A. As you mouse over each option, its preview appears. Once you click on an option, Excel embeds that data analysis method in your workbook.

Tip: If you click on an option, and then realize you actually don’t want to use it, simply use the standard Undo command, [Ctrl]Z, to remove it from your workbook.



Click on the Quick Analysis icon in the lower-right corner of your selected data.

Consider each method’s strengths

Each data analysis method has its strengths. Having an understanding of these strengths will help you choose the right analysis method for your data. We’ll highlight each of the five options to help make your choice easier. We’ve provided a summary of these strengths in Table A.

Table A:

An overview of the benefits for each Quick Analysis option.


Typical Uses


Highlight interesting parts of your data, such as the top 10%, or high and low values. Frequently uses data bars and colors.


Represent your data visually. A few types of charts include column charts, line charts, and pie charts.


Calculate numbers in columns or rows, such as running totals, averages, or sums.


Easily filter, sort, and summarize your data.


One-cell mini charts that show trends right alongside your data.


The Formatting data analysis tools include conditional formatting options tha[...]

Join NowClose
Return to the ExcelSkillsSociety's homepage