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Introducing…Structured References for PivotTables

Howdy folks. Jeff here, bringing you a Public Service Announcement: Thanks to the magic of VBA , Structured PivotTable References are coming to a PivotTable near you! Structured References for PivotTables? So what? Well, because PivotTables are the best bit of ‘old’ Excel, and Tables are the best thing about ‘new’ Excel, and it’s about […]

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CP023: My experience with Hudhud Cyclone [personal story]

In the 23rd session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets talk about my experience with Hudhud cyclone.

Note: This podcast session has no Excel tips. It is a story of how our family is surviving the effects & aftermath of destructing Hudhud cyclone that recently (on 12th October) passed thru our city. Hopefully, you still find it interesting & inspiring. If you are expecting some Excel tips, check again next week.

 

What is in this session?

Growing up, I lived all my childhood in coastal cities. So cyclones & severe storms are not new to me. But first time, I have experienced anything as severe, destructive & long as Cyclone Hudhud. After the cyclone, we (our family and 1000s of other families in Vizag, our city) had to endure days with no power, water, cellular signals and access to essential supplies. Fortunately, great progress has been made in the last few days and things are restoring to normalcy. We (our locality) is expecting to have power & regular water supply by this Sunday (19th of October).

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CP022: What’s a Macro? Introduction to Excel VBA, Macros & Automation

CP022: What’s a Macro? Introduction to Excel VBA, Macros & Automation

In the 22nd session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets do some macros.

What is in this session?

VBA (or macros, automation) is a mystery for many of us. So in this podcast, lets unravel the mystery behind it and get you started with the awesome world of automation.

In this podcast, you will learn,

  • What is a macro?
  • What is VBA then?
  • Reasons for using VBA Macros
    • Automation
    • Extending Excel’s capabilities
    • Efficiency
    • Applications
  • How to get started with VBA Macros?
  • Using Recorder
  • Example Macro
  • Going beyond recorder – Learning VBA
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A better chart to visualize “Best places to live” – Top 100 cities comparison Excel chart

Recently, I saw this chart on Economist website.

It is trying to depict how various cities rank on livability index and how they compare to previous ranking (2014 vs 2009).

Best cities to live - Chart from Economist.com

As you can see, this chart is not the best way to visualize “Best places to live”.

Few reasons why,

  • The segregated views (blue, gray & red) make it hard to look for a specific city or region
  • The zig-zag lines look good, but incredibly hard to understand % changes (or absolute changes)
  • Labels are all over the place, thus making data interpretation hard.
  • Some points have no labels (or ambiguous labels) leading to further confusion.

After examining the chart long & hard, I got thinking.

Its no fun criticizing someones work. Creating a better chart from this data, now thats awesome.

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Charmed Price Problem

Charmed Price Problem

Here is a charming little problem to kick start your day.

Lets say you run a cute little bakery around the corner. Since you want your prices to look charming, you have a policy to round them down or up based on below rule.

If the price ends with 0, 1 or 2 cents, round it down to 9 cents.

If the price ends with 3, 4 or 5 cents, round it up to 5 cents.

If the price ends with 6, 7, 8 or 9 cents, round it up to 9 cents.

For example,

So how do you round to nearest charmed price? You could do it manually. But you would rather bake a few more of those Tiny Cup Cakes than waste time rounding the prices. So you want an automatic way to round prices. This is where Excel helps.

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CP021: How to quickly compare 2 lists in Excel

CP021: How to quickly compare 2 lists in Excel

In the 21st session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets compare lists. Quickly

What is in this session?

Comparing things is a favorite pastime for analysts all over the world. Sadly, it is also an area where we waste hours. So in this episode, I share my top secret comparison techniques to save you time.

Note: This is a short format podcast. That means you spend less time listening to it, while becoming more awesome.

In this podcast, you will learn,

  • Why I sound like I am on a secret mission at a mafia hideout.
  • 5 ways to compare 2 lists
    • Manual method
    • Conditional Formatting
    • Row Differences
    • LOOKUP formulas
    • COUNTIF formulas
  • Bonus tip: Removing duplicates
  • Conclusions
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ABC Inventory Analysis using Excel

ABC Inventory Analysis using Excel

ABC analysis is a popular technique to understand and categorize inventories. Imagine you are handling inventory at a plant that manufactures high-end super expensive cars. Each car requires several parts (4,693 to be exact) to assemble. Some of these parts are very costly (say few thousand dollars per part), while others are cheap (50 cents per part). So how do you make sure that your inventory tracking efforts are optimized so that you waste less time on 50 cent parts & spend more time on costly ones?

This is where ABC analysis helps.

We group the parts in to 3 classes.

  • Class A: High cost items. Very tight control & tracking.
  • Class B: Medium cost items. Tight control & moderate tracking.
  • Class C: Low cost items. No or little control & tracking.

Given a list of items (part numbers, unit costs & number of units needed for assembly), how do we automatically figure which class each item belongs to?

And how do we generate above ABC analysis chart from it?

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