All articles in 'Analytics' Category
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.Continue »
Here is a situation all too familiar.
You are looking at a spreadsheet full of data. You need to analyze and tell a story about it. You have little time. You don’t know where to start.
Today let me share 15 quick, simple & very powerful ways to analyze business data. Ready? Let’s get started.Continue »
In the 30th session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s learn how to uncover fraud in data.
What is in this session?
In the wake of hedge fund scams, accounting frauds and globalization, We, analysts are constantly second guessing every source of data. So how do you answer a simple question like, “am I being lied to?” while looking at a set of numbers your supplier has sent you.
That is our topic for this podcast session.
In this podcast, you will learn
- Quick announcements about 50 ways & 200k BRM
- Introduction to fraud detection
- 5 techniques for detecting fraud
- Benford’s law
- Auto correlation
- Discontinuity at zero
- Analysis of distribution
- Learning systems & decision trees
- Implementing these techniques in Excel
- A word of caution
Who is the most consistent of all?
Imagine you are a category manager at a large e-commerce company. Your site offers various products, but you don’t really make these products. You list products made by other vendors on your site. Every day, these vendors would send you invoices for the amount of product they have sold. Above is a snapshot of such invoices.
Looking at this list, you have a few questions.
- Who is the best seller?
- Who is the most active seller?
- Who is the most consistent seller?
- Which seller has fewest invoices?
Let’s go ahead and answer these using Excel. Shall we?Continue »
Situation: Our commissions are growing way faster than revenues
Let’s say you are looking revenues & sales commissions of your company for last few years. The data looks like this:
And you want to highlight the fact that commissions are growing faster than revenues.
So you plot YoY growth rates for revenues & commissions.
Problem: The chart of YoY growth rates is not convincing
Take a look at the chart. It doesn’t convey the message that we want. At best it says “revenue growth is less than commission growth”
How to convey the message “Commission growth is a problem for us”?Continue »
Imagine you are the in-charge of finance department at Hogwarts. So one fine day, while you are practicing the spells, Dumbledore walks in to your office and says, “Our electricity bills are way too high. As the muggles don’t accept wizard money, we have to find a way to reduce our power consumption.”
So you summoned the previous 12 month utility bills to examine energy consumption patterns, and pretty soon you realized that most of the electricity consumption is due to the light bulbs. You suddenly have a brilliant idea. Why not replace the light bulbs with a variety that consumes low power? A light bulb moment indeed.
Your next step is to figure out what varieties of light bulbs are out there. Fortunately this is easier than catching a snitch in a game of quidditch. A quick search revealed that there are 3 types of light bulbs:
- Regular incandescent bulbs (the kind Hogwarts currently uses)
- Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL)
- Light Emitting Diode bulbs (LED)
Now your job is to do a cost benefit analysis of these options and pick one.Continue »
Hi friends & readers of Chandoo.org,
I have an exciting and awesome new training program for you. 50 ways to analyze your data is aimed to give you critical data analysis & charting skills necessary for your success as an analyst (or manager). I want to make sure that this course offers you best content & value. I need your help in designing it. Please take a few minutes to read this short post & share your feedback.Continue »
Removing duplicate data is like morning coffee for us, data analysts. Our day must start with it. It is no wonder that I have written extensively about it (here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). But today I want to show you a technique I have been using to dynamically extract and sort […]Continue »
If anybody asks me what is the best function in excel I am drawn between Sumproduct and Data Tables, Both make handling large amounts of data a breeze, the only thing missing is the Spandex Pants and Red Cape!
How often have you thought of or been asked “I’d like to know what our profit would be for a number of values of an input variable” or “Can I have a graph of Profit vs Cost”
This post is going to detail the use of the Data Table function within Excel, which can help you answer that question and then so so much more.Continue »
A Pareto chart or pareto graph displays the importance of various factors in decreasing order in columns along with cumulative importance in a line. Pareto charts are often used in quality control to display most common reasons for failure, customer complaints or product defects. The pareto chart is a great way to do the pareto analysis. Today, we will learn how to use excel to make a pareto chart.Continue »
Often when you are writing code or testing an application, it might be helpful to have random phone numbers generated for you. Here is an excel formula that I use: =value(left(substitute(rand(),”0.”,””),10)) try these 2 instead (thanks to John) =RAND()*(9999999999-1000000000)+1000000000 =RANDBETWEEN(1000000000,9999999999) [needs analysis toolpack add-in or excel 2007] Even though it works most of the time […]Continue »
Often I wish Microsoft had spent the effort and time on a data genie (and a set of powerful formulas) that can automate common data cleanup tasks like extracting duplicates, makings lists unique, find missing items, remove spaces etc. Alas, instead they have provided features like clippy which are intrusive to say the least. So […]Continue »
This is a Guest Post by Robert on Visualization Techniques for Excel KPI Dashboards. This 6 Part Tutorial on Management Dashboards Teaches YOU: Creating a Scrollable List View in Dashboard Add Ability to Sort on Any KPI to the Dashboard Highlight KPIs Based on Percentile Add Microcharts to KPI Dashboards Compare 2 KPIs in the […]Continue »
There is always a debate about how good or evil pie charts are. While visualization purists believe pie charts should be avoided at all costs, newbies find creating and using pies very easy and often over do it. I have blogged few techniques involving pie chart visualizations like in-cell pie charts, speedometer charts, donut clocks […]Continue »
Sorting text is such a day to day activity that it always surprises me why Excel hasn’t provided a simple spreadsheet formula for doing it. Of course you can use the sorting menu command (menu > data > sort) but this requires manual steps (or VBA). Most of the times we get raw textual data […]Continue »