Data Analysis in Excel – Sorting

One of the most useful features of Excel is sorting a list of data items. Sorting means arranging the data in a sequence, either alphabetically, or chronologically, or numerically. Sorting can be in ascending (increasing) or descending (decreasing) order.

Consider the table shown below, which is the list of Top Ten companies by Market Capitalisation. These figures are not actual figures and are only used for understanding this example. This list is sorted by Rank order. We can sort this list based on other columns, such as Company Name.

Sort Button                                                  Sort Dialog Box

To sort a list:

  • Select the list (range A1:G11)
  • From the menu select Data and on the Ribbon select Sort button. The Sort dialog box appears.
  • In the Sort dialog box, select “My data has headers” since the first row in our worksheet is column headings.
  • In Sort by select Company Name (Column B), since we want to sort by company name.
  • Select order as A to Z since we want to sort alphabetically.
  • Click OK button

The list is sorted alphabetically by Company Name. The sorted list is shown below:

Sorted List