This software works on tools. Depending on the analysis you want to perform, you will need to add the appropriate tools to your workbook and then perform the analysis. The list of available tools is shown in the figure below.
Note that not every tool is required for every project. Use the tools that make sense for your project. When you add a tool to your workbook, it is added as a new worksheet. You can add new worksheets, perform the required analysis and delete those worksheets that don't add value to your analysis.
Note that both the data and the analysis are stored in each workbook. This way, if you share a specific workbook with others, they will have your raw data as well if they want to recreate your analysis results. Each workbook is a self-contained unit. It contains your data, your analysis settings, your session window, and your graphs. If you just share your workbook with other users, they have sufficient information to recreate your entire analysis.
An example project file is shown below. A project file typically contains a summary tab which contains a summary of all the analysis tabs in your workbook. A data tab that stores all the data required by the project and a list of tabs for all the analyses you would have run for your project.
It is recommended that for each project you work on, you save the work in a different Excel file. The advantage of this is that you can find all the analysis you have done on a project in a single file and you don't need to look for multiple files to look for all your analysis. You can look for the different analyses by looking at the various tabs within your workbook.
Create New Project
When you start Sigma Magic software, the software will display the startup screen and list the options to create a new project, open an existing project or continue working with the current Excel file you are using. Use the following steps to create a new project.
By default, this button would be automatically selected when you open this dialog box. If not, you can click on the Create New to display the options to create a new project file.
If this is not the first time you are using the software and you have already created a project file earlier and you want to continue adding more analysis to that project or to just view an already completed project you can use this button to select an already existing project. When you click on this button, the dialog box will change and allow you to pick an existing project file. This is covered in the next section.
Click on this button if you do not want to create a new file or open an existing file but want to work on the file that you have already opened and add the Sigma Magic analysis templates to your current workbook.
Specify a name for the project you want to work on. Keep the name short but clear enough that by looking at the name, you know what data it contains without opening the project file. By default, the project name is set based on the current system date but we encourage you to change it to make it more meaningful for you. Note that you cannot include any special characters in the name since this name will be used to save the project.
Specify the folder where the project file will be stored. You can click on the Browse button to specify the project folder. Note that when you click on the Browse button you can only pick the folder and not any specific project file. We recommend that you not use the desktop as the project folder otherwise the desktop will get cluttered with a lot of files. A good idea is to create a project folder based on the type of projects or the year the projects were worked on.
Import Data File:
Typically you need data for analysis and all the data should be stored in the same Excel file that contains your project analysis results. If you click on the Browse button and select a file. The software will look through all the tables that exist in this data file and import all the tables to your new project workbook so that you can later use that data for analysis. Note that the software will make a copy of the data without creating any links with the original data file. So, if the original data is modified your copy is not altered but you will have to delete your copy of the data and re-import to update your data. Note that this is an optional activity and if you do not specify any data file here, then no data is imported into your workbook.
Click on the Help button to open the help file for this topic.
Click on this button to cancel creating a new project file. This will close this dialog box and you can continue working with your existing file that is currently open. You would use this option when you do not want to create a new project file but want to quickly perform some analysis using the data that is currently stored in your currently active workbook.
Click on the OK button to create a new project file.
Open Existing Project
When you start Sigma Magic software, you may want to open an existing file that you are already working on. You can view this dialog box by clicking on the Open Existing button on the right side menu bar.
Specify a name for the project you want to open. By default, the software will display the last project that you were working on but you can change it to open any other project file.
Click on the Browse button to pick another project to open from your computer. The file you select should appear under Project Name when you select that file.
A list of recently used Excel files are listed in this area. Click on any of the recent files to open that file. If any of the files is selected here, then this file is opened instead of the file specified under Project Name. If no files are selected here, then the file listed under Project Name will be opened.
Click on the Close button to cancel the selection and close this dialog box. No file is opened and you can continue to work with your currently active workbook.
Click on the OK button to open the file you have specified. By clicking on this button, the selected project file is opened for editing.
Use Current File
If you click on the Use Current button, then the software will display a dialog box such as the one shown below.
You can read through this list if you are not familiar with the software and then click on the Close or OK buttons. This will close this dialog box and then allow you to use the Sigma Magic software.
Lists the major steps to use the software. The importance of having your data required for analysis in table format, use of the Summary Sheet to review the overall status of all the tools and the three step process for analysis.
Add the required tool to your workbook by clicking on the appropriate tool from the main menus at the top.
Click on Analysis Setup to open the options dialog box. Specify the analysis options including any data for analysis.
Click on Compute Outputs to generate analysis results.
Click on the Close button to close this dialog box and start using the software. You can continue working with your currently active workbook.
Click on the OK button to close this dialog box and start using the software. You can continue working with your currently active workbook.
For each tool, you need to understand what data is needed and then format the data accordingly. For example, if the data is available to you in rows and the tool requires the data in columns, then you would have to transpose the data before you can paste it into the tool. In general, most of the tools use data in column format.
You can use the Data Editor to load your data into the software in Table format. Once you have loaded all the data you are interested in, you can then use any data columns for analysis. The following figure shows an example of data entry from the list of available columns for Basic Stats. Note that on the left you see a list of available columns - these are all the data available in tables in your current workbook. You will need to drag and drop these columns on the right to perform the analysis.
For this software to work properly, you must not add or delete any rows or columns in the worksheet. The software is expecting data in certain locations; if you add or delete rows, then the software will not be able to find the data, and the software may no longer work. If you feel that you may have inadvertently corrupted the worksheet, just delete the worksheet and add a new worksheet and work with it. The places where the software expects user data entry is shown in white cells, and other areas are shown in a different color (gray or blue).
Some generic settings that are used in all worksheets are stored under options. You can change these options once so that all new worksheets you create in the future would use these as the default values. However, for each tool you add to your workbook, you would need to specify the options specific for that analysis. Click on Analysis Setup to open the options for that analysis. An example screenshot is shown below. Once you specify all the required options and any data for analysis you can click on the OK button to generate analysis results.
Once all the data has been entered in the analysis setup dialog box and/or the worksheet, click on Compute Outputs to generate analysis results. The Sigma Magic software will compute the outputs and update the Outputs area. Typically, most analyses will output the text results in the Notes area and the charts in the graph area. Any conclusions from the analysis are listed in the Conclusion box within the Notes section.