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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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Drag to multi-select slicer items [quick tip]

Drag to multi-select slicer items [quick tip]

Hola folks…

My trip to Houston & Dallas was very successful, fun & awesome. I got back home on Friday and instantly I am in another fun, awesome & happy place with my kids, Jo (my wife), rest of the family & friends.

Today, I want to share a very simple yet super awesome trick with you. I learned this from Augie, one of the Houston Masterclass participants.

You can drag slicer items to multi-select them.

Selecting multiple items in a slicer quickly

We know that slicers are powerful, friendly and fun way to filter the pivot tables, pivot charts, power pivot tables and regular tables (only in 2013). They are visual filters that can be used to instantly filter the data (or report). But when it comes to selecting multiple items, slicers can be hard. We must hold CTRL key and tap multiple slicer items one at a time to select them. At least that is how I used to do it.

Do you know we can drag to multi-select?

See this demo:

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CP020: Top 10 time saving strategies for business analysts

CP020: Top 10 time saving strategies for business analysts

In the 20th session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets save some time.

What is in this session?

We all want to save time and stay productive. The obvious answer seems like using keyboard shortcuts. But they can only get you so far. So what about the real productive strategies? That is what we address in this podcast.

In this podcast, you will learn,

  • Announcements
  • 5 key areas of business analyst work – tracking, analysis, reporting, data management & modeling
  • Time saving strategies for tracking
  • for analysis
  • for reporting
  • for data management
  • for modeling
  • Conclusions
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Thank you, Houston meetup & Bonus tip

Thank you, Houston meetup & Bonus tip

My mom will be very unhappy with this post. She always told me to focus on one thing at a time. But in this post we are talking about 3 things, not one. Sorry mom.

1. Thank you

I want to thank you for visiting chandoo.org & supporting us.

As I am about to leave to USA for attending Excelapalooza conference, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how much you have given me & my family. Almost 4.5 years ago, when I left my plush corporate job to work full time on Chandoo.org, I had no clue how the future will unfold. Today my heart is full of happiness, my family is secure, my site has grown by heaps and our community (especially you) is awesome.

Without your enthusiasm to learn and keen desire to become awesome, I would not have a job (of running this website). You inspire me to learn new things everyday so that I can share them with you.

Thank you for all the visits, clicks, comments, emails, tweets, likes, signups, purchases & love.

Thank you.

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