Archive for October, 2016

Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

Published on Oct 28, 2016 in Charts and Graphs
Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

It’s Halloween time. As adults, we can’t go trick or treating. We can of course dress up in costumes and entertain others. But what about the poor spreadsheets. Don’t they deserve some of this fun too?

Hell yeah! So I made a spider web generator in Excel. Just use it to make a spooky cob web pattern and add it to your report / dashboard / time sheet or whatever else. Surprise your colleagues.

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CP056: So which formulas you should care to learn?

Published on Oct 27, 2016 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP056: So which formulas you should care to learn?

In the 56th episode of Chandoo.org podcast, let me answer the chicken and egg question of Excel users. How many formulas should you care to learn?

What is in this session?
In this podcast,

  • Two personal updates
  • 3 legs of formula writing
    • Function knowledge
    • Operators
    • Referencing
  • 6 categories of must-know functions
    • Basic math
    • Conditions
    • Lookups
    • Text
    • Date & time
    • Work specific
  • Closing remarks & resources for you
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Find first & last date of a sale using Pivot tables [quick tip]

Published on Oct 26, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts
Find first & last date of a sale using Pivot tables [quick tip]

Here is a quick Pivot table tip. Let’s say your work at ACME inc. requires some fancy pants analysis of product sales. Imagine looking at below data & trying to find out the earliest & latest date for each product sale.

Of course, we can concoct a version of MINIFS & MAXIFS to answer the question. But why bother, when you can answer the question with just a few clicks.

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How many formulas should you learn? [Weekend Poll]

Published on Oct 20, 2016 in Learn Excel

Over at twitter, @for_the_moves asks,

That got me thinking. How many functions should you care to learn?

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Finding if a cell has 7 in it… [Pattern matching in Excel]

Published on Oct 18, 2016 in Learn Excel
Finding if a cell has 7 in it… [Pattern matching in Excel]

Imagine you work at MI5 as a HR officer. You want to find all agents who have license to kill (licence 7). Your data looks like above.

How would you go about it? 

If you filter the list or use FIND() or SEARCH() formulas, you will end up with agents who also have licenses 77, 17 or not7. So how would you solve this problem?

Of course, you do what any smart person does. You summon Excel and ask it nicely by using some wicked pattern matching logic.

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CP055: “Yes, I am back” edition (and a bonus Excel tip)

Published on Oct 13, 2016 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP055: “Yes, I am back” edition (and a bonus Excel tip)

Ladies & gentlemen, its time we revived the much loved Chandoo.org podcast. In the 55th episode, I do a lousy imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous “I will be back” and tell you why there was such a long gap between episodes, my plans for reviving our podcast and more.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Why there was such a long gap between last and this episode
  • What next?
  • How to extract every 6th item from a list?
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Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

Published on Oct 11, 2016 in Charts and Graphs, Pivot Tables & Charts, VBA Macros
Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

It is election time in USA, and that means there is a whole lot of drama, discussions and of course data analysis. There are tons of cool visualizations published on all the data. Previously, we talked about “How Trump happened” chart.

Today let’s take a look at the beautiful decision tree chart by NY Times explaining what would happen if each of the 10 swing states vote for Democrats or Republicans. Go ahead and look at that chart. And when you are done playing with it, come back.

My first thought after looking at the chart is: Wow, that is cool. I wonder how we can recreate that experience in Excel?

But as you can guess, making a dynamic tree visualization in Excel is pretty hard. You can create a bubble chart mixed with XY chart to show all the nodes of the decision tree, but as this tree has 2^10 nodes at the bottom level (and 2^11-1 total nodes) our chart would look very clumsy and busy.

So, instead of replicating NY Times chart, why not make our own version that explains the data? You can reuse this idea when visualizing outcomes of several what-if scenarios.

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Currency format Pivot fields with one click [Friday VBA]

Published on Oct 7, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts, VBA Macros
Currency format Pivot fields with one click [Friday VBA]

Anyone who has made a pivot table and their grandma knows that formatting them is a pain. Let’s recap the steps to apply one of the most common formats – currency format.

  1. Right click on any value field
  2. Go to Value field settings
  3. Click on “Number Format” button
  4. Choose Currency format
  5. Close the boxes, one after another

Unless you get paid per click, you wont be happy with all those clicks.

Wouldn’t it be cool to just click once and apply most common format to your pivot fields?

Of course you can. Just add oneClickCurrency macro to your personal macros workbook. And then add this to your Home ribbon as a custom button and you have a one click format option for any pivot.

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How to generate all combinations from two separate lists [Pivot Table Trick]

Published on Oct 4, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts
How to generate all combinations from two separate lists [Pivot Table Trick]

Time for a quick but very useful tip. Ever wanted to create all combinations from two (or more) lists? a la Cartesian product of both lists.

Here is a ridiculously simple way to do it.

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A quick tip about data analysis while on bike [Video + Personal]

Published on Oct 3, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts
A quick tip about data analysis while on bike [Video + Personal]

Wellington(NZ) sure is beautiful on a clear day. There are so many cool bike tracks, walking trails and beaches to keep you busy. Today, I went cycling on my usual route towards Makara beach. At the turn off point, I thought, “This is selfish. I can’t keep all this beauty to myself. I must share it with you.” So here we go.

A quick video about data analysis while on bike

Technically, I was not on bike when recording this video.  Watch it below or on our YouTube Channel.

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