Archive for August, 2015

How to create cascading drop downs in Excel – video

Published on Aug 31, 2015 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
How to create cascading drop downs in Excel – video

Cascading drop downs enhance usability of your dashboards & interactive workbooks. A cascading drop-down is a 2 or more level selection mechanism. When you have 100s of selection choices, instead of creating one massive drop down or combo-box, you can set up multiple levels of drop downs, so that users can narrow down their selection. For example, users can select Country, State and then City using cascading drop downs.

There are many ways to setup cascading drop downs. You can use formulas coupled with either data validation or form controls. You can also use Slicers. In this video we will review these techniques.

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Build models & dashboards faster with Watch Window

Published on Aug 30, 2015 in Learn Excel, VBA Macros
Build models & dashboards faster with Watch Window

Here is a familiar scenario: You are building a dashboard. Naturally, it has a few worksheets – data, assumptions, calculations and output. As you make changes to input data, you constantly switch to calculations (or output) page to check if the numbers are calculating as desired. This back and forth is slows you down.

Use Watch Window to reduce development time.

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Make a quick funnel chart in Excel to track sales performance [video]

Published on Aug 29, 2015 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
Make a quick funnel chart in Excel to track sales performance [video]

Funnel charts are useful to visualize sales & marketing performance. In this brief video, let’s understand how to make a quick funnel chart in Excel.

Read on to learn how to make funnel charts & to download a template for your funnel analysis needs.

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Monthly Planner Template [downloads]

Published on Aug 28, 2015 in Templates
Monthly Planner Template [downloads]

Here is an awesome planner template to help you manage activities over a month. It is useful for charity drives, activity planning, school schedules, marketing initiatives, project planning etc.

Read on to download a copy of the template & learn how to use it.

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CP043: My favorite time saving features of Excel, Revealed.

Published on Aug 27, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP043: My favorite time saving features of Excel, Revealed.

In the 43rd session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s talk about top time saving features of Excel.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Quick announcement about Awesome August
  • My 9 favorite time saving features of Excel
  • Remove Duplicates
  • Tables
  • Pivot Tables
  • Auto fill
  • Format Painter
  • Find & Replace
  • VBA / Macro Recorder
  • Auto save
  • Auto complete / Intellisence
  • Recap & Conclusions
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Use GETPIVOTDATA to integrate pivot tables with dashboards

Published on Aug 26, 2015 in Pivot Tables & Charts
Use GETPIVOTDATA to integrate pivot tables with dashboards

Pivot tables are very powerful analysis tools. They can summarize vast amounts of data with just few clicks. But they are lousy when it comes to output. Imagine the horror of putting a pivot table right inside your beautiful dashboard. One refresh could ruin the layout and create half-an-hour extra work for you.

How to combine the power of pivot tables with elegance of your dashboards?

The answer is: GETPIVOTDATA()

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Summarize only filtered values using SUBTOTAL & AGGREGATE formulas

Published on Aug 25, 2015 in Learn Excel
Summarize only filtered values using SUBTOTAL & AGGREGATE formulas

We all know the good old SUM() formula. It can sum up values in a range. But what if you want to sum up only filtered values in a range? SUM() doesn’t care if a value is filtered or not. It just sums up the numbers. But there are other formulas that can pay attention […]

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Dynamic Print Areas

Published on Aug 24, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Dynamic Print Areas

Yesterday, you learned about Print Areas – a time & paper saving feature of Excel. While print areas are great, you can only set up one print area per sheet. What if you want to print either report or data based on user selection? 

In such cases, you can set up dynamic print areas. 

That is right. See above demo to understand how it looks. Read on to learn how to set up dynamic print areas.

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Save time & paper with print areas in Excel

Published on Aug 23, 2015 in Excel Howtos

Here is a very simple but effective tip: use print areas. Oh.. but what is a print area? Imagine looking at a report or dashboard worksheet. Now, that sheet also has few calculations, some extra stuff to the right of the report. When you print, you don’t need those extra elements. Just the report will do. This […]

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Filter as you type [Quick VBA tutorial]

Published on Aug 22, 2015 in VBA Macros
Filter as you type [Quick VBA tutorial]

Filtering a list is a powerful & easy way to analyze data. But filtering requires a lot of clicks & typing. Wouldn’t it be cool if Excel can filter as you type, something like above.

Let’s figure out how to do this using some really simple VBA code.

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How to import web data to Excel using Power Query

Published on Aug 21, 2015 in Power Query
How to import web data to Excel using Power Query

Power Query offers many ways to get data to Excel. One of them is to Web Data import feature. Let’s understand how this works by importing world stock exchange closing data from Google Finance website.

[Related: Introduction to Power Query]

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Dashboard best practice: Highlight user selection [video]

Published on Aug 20, 2015 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel

Here is a best practice to improve your dashboard usability. If you have an interactive dashboard, highlight user selections thru conditional formatting.

Check out below quick video to understand what this means.

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Give descriptive titles to your charts for best results

Published on Aug 19, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
Give descriptive titles to your charts for best results

Here is a simple & effective tip on charting.

Give your charts descriptive & bold titles.

How to set up title that are smart & descriptive?

Simple, follow below steps.

  1. Create the title you want in a cell
  2. Select the chart title
  3. Go to formula bar, press = and point to the cell with title
  4. Press enter.
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Reconcile debits & credits using Solver [Advanced Excel]

Published on Aug 18, 2015 in Analytics, Excel Howtos
Reconcile debits & credits using Solver [Advanced Excel]

Here is a tricky problem often faced by accountants and finance professionals: Let’s say you have 5 customers. Each of them need to pay you some money. Instead of paying the total amount in one go, they paid you in 30 small transactions. The total amount of these transactions matches how much they need to pay you. But you don’t know which customer paid which amounts. How would you reconcile the books?

If you match the transactions manually, it can take an eternity – after all there are more than 931 zillion combinations (5^30).

This is where solver can be handy. Solver can find optimal solution for problems like this before you finish your first cup of coffee.

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Use mail merge to create custom letters, invoices, labels and more

Published on Aug 17, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Use mail merge to create custom letters, invoices, labels and more

The idea of mail merge is simple & powerful. Imagine you handle recruitment at a large company. You just hired 300 analysts for the big data division. The next job – generate employment offer letters for each of them. Of course, you don’t want to type these letters one at a time. You have the details of all the 300 offers (name, email, address, offer code, role, benefit package details and date of joining etc.) in a spreadsheet. You also have a template of the offer letter.

Enter mail merge. This powerful feature of MS Word combines (Excel) data with Word document contents to generate all the 300 letters in just few minutes.

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