Data Explorer will speed up and simplify your data analysis by at least an order of magnitude. It makes data just work for me. No fighting or struggling, it just works.
Step 1. Go here and download the Data Explorer Preview for Excel 2013 or Excel 2010.
Step 2. Install Data Explorer.
Step 3. Start Excel. Don’t hold back, go all out and Enable Advanced Query Editing.
Figure 1. Check Enable Advanced Query Editing.
Step 4. Open a workbook.
Step 5. Click DATA EXPLORER.
Figure 2. New DATA EXPLORER tab in Excel 2013. Click Online Search to quickly find data.
Step 6. Click Online Search. Search for something that interests you. I picked one of my research interests, infant mortality.
Figure 3. Search results showing online data sources.
Until you do this, you will not appreciate how ultra cool this really is. When you do a mouseover on any of your search results, the Preview tab shows you what the data will look like when pulled into Excel. True WYSIWYG.
Notice that the search result that has mouse focus has a USE hyperlink. Click USE to actually bring the data into Excel. Again, until you do this, it’s difficult to appreciate how well this feature works. Go take a look here at the data I selected. The text on the Wikipedia page was consumed and loaded into Excel. That is extremely powerful and useful.
Here’s how to use Data Explorer to navigate data on the web.
Figure 4. Click From Web and enter the a URL of a web page containing data.
The Query Navigator appears. Notice that it provides navigation to all of the consumable data sources on the page.
Figure 5. Query Navigator.
Easy. Powerful. Quick. Once Data Explorer was added to Excel, it took me much less than 2 minutes to search for my data, preview it, select it, import it, and then examine it further with the Navigator.