Formula Forensics 013. – On Vacation

Posted on February 21st, 2012 in Formula Forensics , Huis , Posts by Hui - 2 comments

Today Formula Forensics takes a vacation.

Formula Forensics is actually on a working vacation today, over at the Excel Hero Academy.

Well technically Formula Forensics has been invited to analyse a formula at the Excel Hero Academy.

If you are a member of the EHA you can see Formula Forensic 013 on the Front page of the Academy, today.

Formula Forensic 013 is the analysis of 3 possible solutions to the first Challenge at the Excel Hero Academy, Yes the Sales Commission challenge.

I can’t publish the solution here as that would spoil it for people who haven’t done it yet or those who plan to attend the Academy later.

But the challenge is ?

You’ll need to join the Excel Hero Academy to find out…


What is this “Excel Hero Academy”?

The Excel Hero Academy is an online training program where Daniel Ferry the owner of the Excel Hero Blog teaches us the techniques he uses on his Excel Hero Blog. If you haven’t seen some of the material at Excel Hero Blog do yourself a favor and keep it in your blog reading list.

Today, here, at Formula Forensics  I am going to run through a few of the things that you can learn at the Excel Hero Academy.

Twice a year Daniel opens the door to the Excel Hero Academy. Typically In late Winter and Summer (US seasons). The EHA 3 enrollment has just closed. and the next Academy EHA 4 will open in the Summer (United States summer).

The academy is where Daniel teaches us the techniques he has used throughout the Excel Hero web site to deliver stunning animated charts, business tools and optical illusions. His site is really a showcase for the use of the underlying techniques.

The Academy consists of 12 Modules covering advanced Excel technical skills:

Module 1: Named Formulas
Module 2: Array Formulas and Named Formulas 2
Module 3: Charting 1
Module 4: Dashboards 1
Module 5: Database Techniques
Module 6: Advanced and Creative Formulas
Module 7: Charting 2 with Animation
Module 8: Excel and Access
Module 9: Dashboards 2
Module 10: Classes (VBA on Steroids)
Module 11: Optimization (Speeding up large/slow workbooks)
Module 12: Extreme Excel

So today instead of having a Formula Forensic, I have decided to showcase some of the learnings and techniques that have been picked up and then used on real life problems by Excel Hero Academy students, including myself.

Excel Hero Academy Showcase

Below is a brief showcase of some of the material which has been used with learnings from the Excel Hero Academy here at

Mod 1. Named Formulas

Using formula: =SUMPRODUCT(MID(B4,ROW(OFFSET($A$1,,,LEN(B4))),1)+0)

Mod 2. Array Formulas and Named Formulas 2

Module 2 Homework, Chol – EHA3 Student

Quote: “It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that this is being done without any actual data on the Excel worksheet (besides the user input of Radius and No. of points) – John”
Module 2 Homework, John – EHA3 Student
Batman Symbol
Area Chart Consists of 2 Series (upper and lower parts), Sourced from 19 Named Formula,
No data is on the worksheet except the Detail parameter.
Module 2 Homework, Dan – EHA 3 Student


Mod 3. Charting

Quote: “I created a model that would allow a user to (1) Input his Data and related Period dates (2) Define his period type (Daily, Weekly,Monthly, Yearly) (3) Enter the moving average period limited to defined constraints.
Full disclosure – I am not VBA proficient, this was my first VBA Module, and I was able to complete by “studying” carefully Daniel’s code and then “studying” a VBA book when I got confused.”
Rick – EHA 1 Student

Quote: “I created an interactive mortgage calculator. It has three UDFs built to populate the chart.
This is a real tool that I actually use, so that part worked out well!
Mathew – EHA 2 Student

Mod 4. Dashboards 1

Quote: “Spent most of my endeavors figuring out what the code was doing and changing things to see the effect. For me this is what they call swimming in the deep end, but I’m determined to try to keep up. I established the routines in a new spreadsheet of my own, and found all the errors and fixed to make it all work. Traced through the files to find out where colors were set, and made numerous changes.”
Geoff – EHA 2 Student

Mod 5. Database Techniques, Mod 2. Named Formulas & Mod 3. Charting 1

Multi-Field Multi-Page Query from a large Excel Table with Controls used in a post
Refer :

Mod 6. Advanced and Creative Formulas

Quote: For this homework assignment, I created a very basic spreadsheet that accepts a data table and then allows you to count the number of rows that match a single set of criteria for the specified column.
Bob N – EHA 2 Student

Mod 7. Charting 2 with Animation

Quote: “I found this lesson very interesting. I deal with dashboard reports everyday here at work, this technique was new to me. Suprisingly, the formula and the code weren’t terribly complex. I once had an Excel instructor categorize Excel knowledge into three areas: What you know, what you know you don’t know, and what you DON’T know you don’t know. This lesson fell into the latter. This technique will be used quite a bit going forward.”
Jay – EHA 2 Student

Mod 9. Dashboards 2

Chart Animation Engine (unpublished) developed using Named Formula and VBA, No cells are used except to source the charts data
Author: Hui…

Putting it all together: Array Formulas, Named Formulas, Advanced and Creative Formulas, Charting with Animation

Quote: “I cannot forget the shear amazement and joy when after assembling this, I pressed the Start button and it Worked.”
The 3D Dancing Pendulums model – Consists of a Scatter Chart with 18 series derived from 57 Named Formula driving the location calculations. It includes minimal VBA to handle the animation and controls.
Author: Hui
Refer :


Who Is Excel Hero Academy for ?

Excel Hero Academy is for people who have a firm grasp of Excel or for people who are ready to take Excel to the next level.

If your ready to take Excel to the next level, have a read of this EHA Introduction which includes a small sample video readers can use the discount code “chandoo” and receive $50 off. training

If you are learning excel or want to catch up on particular areas, don’t forget that Chandoo runs a wide series of Excel courses. Visit here for more information.

Formula Forensic will return from vacation next week with our usual line up of Excel formula forensic analysis.


Formula Forensics “The Series”

Formula Forensics is a regular series at where each week I pull apart a formula as we have done above and see what makes it tick.

You can learn more about how to pull Excel Formulas apart in the following posts

Formula Forensic Series:


We Need Your Help

Formula Forensics is always looking for new and exciting formulas to pull apart and examine.

A Challenge for EHA students is to find your own formula and examine what makes it tick.

If you would like to try putting pen to paper and draft up a Post like above or;

If you have a formula that you would like explained but don’t want to write a post also send it to Chandoo or Hui.



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2 Responses to “Formula Forensics 013. – On Vacation”

  1. Ann says:

    Thank you for this great knowledge. It has been so helpful to me

  2. Pedro Wave says:

    Hi Chandoo & Hui, as an exercise of data conversion, I have designed a Chess Viewer in Excel without VBA, only with formulas and chess games written in Algebraic Notation.

    This idea coming to me reading an article from the Excel Hero Blog by Daniel Ferry, about an Excel 2007 Chess Game Viewer, very impressive and smart solution especially not using any VBA to implement it.

    Now I share with all of you my own Chess Viewer in my blog.

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