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4. Research and Collect Data

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Transcript

In this video, you will use a spreadsheet to help you organize information about a hypothetical purchase.

The example in this activity is cell phones with data plans, but you can use a spreadsheet to research and compare any type of product and contract you’d like.

You might want to compare cable TV or internet providers, gym memberships, or digital media subscriptions.

You can use these same skills to evaluate a one-time purchase, too.

But for this activity, think of a product that has recurring payments with published fees and rates.

Here is a sample of the spreadsheet you will construct.

Each row contains one product, like a phone with a service plan.

Each column contains one type of data, like costs or features.

Name the first column on your sheet “Product.”.

Add the names of phones that interest you to this column.

Next, add columns to track other features.

Cost will probably be your most important consideration, and you will learn more about evaluating costs soon.

For now, though, think about other attributes.

You might consider screen size, camera quality, storage capacity, or battery life.

These are just examples.

If you don’t care about camera quality, for instance, replace that column with something that is important to you.

Track features that matter most to you.

Spreadsheets like this one evolve as you do more research, so you don’t need to include every feature right now.

You will add more columns as you work.

As you add rows and columns, you may not be able to see your labels anymore.

To fix this, freeze the top row and the first two columns of the spreadsheet.

Select “View” and “Freeze.”

The frozen cells remain visible when you scroll to another area of the spreadsheet.

Now that you’ve started setting up your spreadsheet, research some of these features.

In a separate tab or window, search the internet for a particular cell phone or service provider.

It’s a good idea to keep track of the websites you visit so you can refer back to them.

Create a column for “Website” and copy the URL into the correct row.

As you find information about a product, enter data into the spreadsheet using this example as a guide.

Your columns don’t have to match the ones in this example.

Just make sure you label each column clearly.

Add more columns as you find additional elements.

Maybe you see a list of available colors and decide you would like a silver phone.

Add a column to indicate whether each phone is available in that color.

You can even create a dropdown list to label a feature.

For example, you might make a column to select “coolness factor.”

Add options like “Really Cool,” “Pretty Cool,” and “Not That Cool.”

A drop down arrow now appears in the cell.

Click it to select one of the items you specified.

Continue adding phone features, specifications, and attributes until you’ve recorded everything that’s important to you.

Create at least five columns in your spreadsheet.Then, move on to the next video to gather information about costs.

Now, it’s your turn: Type “Product” in cell A1 and list other phones to research in this column.

Add additional columns to track features that are important to you.

Freeze the top row and the first two columns to make it easier to work with your spreadsheet.

Search the internet Add features to your spreadsheet, until you have at least five columns.

Then, move on to the next video to research costs.

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Instructions
  1. Type "Product" in cell A1 and other phones to research in column A.
  2. Add additional columns to track features that are important to you.
  3. Freeze the top row and first two columns to make it easier to work with your spreadsheet.
  4. Research the first phone.
  5. Add data to your spreadsheet until you have at least five columns.