Civic Data and Excel

Introduces Excel as a powerful tool for analyzing and visualizing open data

by Microsoft

Target Skill Level: Multiple Levels
Audience: Nonprofit staff, government staff, community organizers, civic technologists

In this tutorial, the audience learns how to access, transform, cleanse, query, and visualize data using tools that are easy to learn and use. The tutorial includes segments on how to:

  • access and subscribe to open datasets from the Chicago open data portal (along with tips on what formats to use and what to avoid);
  • use the 3D mapping features of Excel to create interactive maps;
  • use tools such as tables, filters, and basic functions to search and cleanse data;
  • use Quick Analysis tools for visualization and data analysis; and
  • learn about advanced topics, such as the Analysis Tool Pack add-in.


This tutorial was developed by Adam Hecktman, Microsoft's Director of Technology and Civic Engagement for Chicago in 2014 and has been delivered many times in various formats. It has been used to teach community organizers and nonprofits how to combine regional data and federal data to focus their work, by government workers who want to leverage and visualize their data and data from other departments, and by civic technologists who look at many data sources and want to create useful visualizations or build models. 

Creative Commons License

Course Categories: Local Data Website, Software