Data Analytics Blog

Grouping in PivotTables

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Grouping in PivotTables is a way of combining data to perform analyses without having to use functions. You can group numeric columns to turn them into categories, you can group date columns by date ranges to get even intervals, and you can group text columns to put together similar values. We’ll go through all three […]

Read More


Make a Bubble Plot in Excel

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Most people don’t know that bubble plots even exist in Excel. In this blog post, we’ll walk through how to take advantage of these very effective charts! They are great for comparing three quantitative variables at once. For a nice intro to bubble plots, check out Hans Rosling’s very famous Ted Talk. If you don’t […]

Read More


Understanding JOINs in SQL

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Joins in SQL Joins are one of the most important (if not THE most important) concepts in SQL. If you take the time to solidly understand how joins work, you’ll be in an excellent place for writing queries. So, let’s dive in! Join Definitions Joining tables in SQL is a way of combining them. It […]

Read More


Understanding Multiple JOINs in SQL

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Multiple joins are one of the toughest SQL concepts – in this post we’ll decode them and review some common pitfalls. One of the best ways to learn is with an example. If you’d like to follow along, you can download this zip file that contains the three tables as .csv files here, and import […]

Read More


Free Datasets

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

A list of freely available data on the web. The first list is sites we think are the best for accessing quality datasets. Below that are additional sources by category. Best Sources Kaggle By far our personal favorite! There are dozens if not hundreds of quality datasets available here. ICPSR You have to create an account, […]

Read More


Formatting Charts in Excel

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Formatting charts in Excel is no easy task. It’s time-consuming, and Excel is pretty fussy which doesn’t make things easier. In this post I’ll give general tips for formatting charts, and also go over a few common scenarios. Understand the Parts of a Chart First thing’s first: it’s important to get the syntax down pat […]

Read More


Excel File Setup for Analysis

September 1st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

Excel gives you a lot of flexibility when creating files and starting projects, and we’re often asked what the “best” solution is for keeping things organized. This post will review what we recommend. As with everything in life, there may be a few exceptions where you’ll want to set up your file differently. However, this […]

Read More


What is SQL?

August 31st, 2019 by boxplotanalytics

What is SQL? Currently, if you Google this question, you’ll get a whole slew of technical articles that aren’t very helpful for understanding just what SQL is and when people use it. We’ll break that down in this blog post. This is a high level overview – if you want to understand how to actually […]

Read More


100th Anniversary of Variance

December 28th, 2018 by boxplotanalytics

This year (2018) is the 100th anniversary of a paper by R. A. Fisher, which introduced the statistical term “variance”. Variance is one of the toughest concepts in statistics, but it’s crucially important. Variance tells you how spread out your data are (yep, “are”; the word “data” is plural!). First, let’s get some terminology out of […]

Read More