Today, we're going to explore the baseball data.  Some people think that rich teams like the Yankees have too much of an advantage over poor teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

How much variation is there in the resources of baseball teams?   This is a question we will examine today.  We will create a bar chart showing the payrolls of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams in the year 2009.

We will use tables from a baseball dataset that I downloaded for free online.  One table contains information on player salaries.  In order to get payroll information by team, we will use the PivotTable feature to sum up salaries by team. 

But we also want the names of the teams.  Team names are available in a team table.  I will show you how to combine information from the team table with information from the salary table.  The end goal is a bar chart displaying the payrolls of each baseball team in the Major Leagues in 2009. 

This exercise includes the following new tasks:

* import data from an MS Access database. 

We will not actually use the MS Access program.  Instead, you will learn how to import data from Access.  Why store data in Access?  Excel isn't so good for storing big datasets.  By contrast, Access allows you to store tons of data.  The baseball dataset is very large -- it has tables with statistics on players, teams, and other information.  This is why the baseball dataset is stored in Access.  Once you get the hang of it, its fairly straightforward to import tables from Access into Excel.

* use named ranges.  When you use a variable a bunch of times, it is handy to name it.  This way, you can refer to the variable by the name that you assigned to it.  This makes life easier.

* use a new function called =VLOOKUP. 

* Use Excel's bar chart feature.


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