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Python for Finance by Yves Hilpisch

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Chapter 12. Excel Integration

Microsoft Excel is probably the most successful data analytics platform of all times.

Kirat Singh

It is fair to say that Microsoft Excel—as part of Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity tools—is one of the most widely used tools and applications in the finance industry and the finance functions of corporate and other institutions. What started out as a computerized version of paper spreadsheets has become a multipurpose tool for financial analysis and financial application building (in addition to the many use cases in other fields and industries).

Spreadsheet applications, like Microsoft Excel and LibreOffice Calc, are characterized by a few main features:

Organization
A workbook is a spreadsheet application file that is organized in single sheets that in turn are organized in cells.
Data
Data is generally stored in tabular form in single cells; the cells contain the data itself (e.g., a floating-point number or a text string), formatting information for display purposes (e.g., font type, color), and maybe some computer code (if, for example, the data in the cell is the result of a numerical operation).
Functionality
Given the data stored in single cells, you can do computational and other operations with that data, like adding or multiplying integers.
Visualization
Data can be easily visualized, for example, as a pie chart.
Programmability
Modern spreadsheet applications allow highly flexible programmability, e.g., via Visual Basic for ...

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