# All articles with 'array formulas' Tag

## An odd lookup problem [Formulas]

Published on Dec 6, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel

Let’s say you have some employee data in employee name, manager name format. But the data is all in one column, with odd rows containing employee names & even rows containing manager names. Something like above.

And you want to find out who is the boss for a given employee. Say, “Andrea Nichols”.

Your regular MATCH() formula for Andrea over the data range returns wrong answer as it will find first occurrence of Andrea (which in this case happens to be on even row, hence a manager record).

So how would you write the lookup formula?

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## Finding the closest school [formula vs. pivot table approach]

Published on Nov 18, 2016 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel, Pivot Tables & Charts

First a quick personal update: There has been a magnitude 7.8 earth quake in NZ on 14th November 2016 early morning. It is centered in Kaikoura, which is about 250 km away from Wellington. We did feel several shakes and after shocks. It has been an interesting and often scary experience. But my family is safe. I feel very sad for the all the damage and the loss for families in NZ. If you suffered from this quake, My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Yesterday, a friend asked me an interesting question. He has school distance data, like above. He wants to know which is the closest school for each school.

There are a few ways to answer this question. Let’s examine two approaches – formulas & pivot tables and see the merits of both.

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

Published on Oct 18, 2016 in Learn 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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## Analyzing 300,000 calls for help [case study]

Published on Aug 24, 2016 in Analytics, Learn Excel, Pivot Tables & Charts, Power Pivot

Over the weekend, I got an email from Mr. E, one of my students. Mr. E works at a police department in California and as part of his work, he was looking at calls received by police. Whenever police get a call for help, multiple teams can respond to the call and go to the location. All of these dispatches are recorded. So a single call can have several such dispatches. And Mr. E wanted to findout which team responded the first. The problem?

Finding the first responded team is tricky.

Today let’s take up this problem as a case study and understand various methods to solve it.  We are going to learn about writing better lookups, pivot tables, power pivot and optimization. Put on your helmets, cause this is going to be mind blowingly awesome.

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## What is the sum of values excluding items on stop list? [home work]

Published on Jun 10, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel

Okay, this is an extension of the Neither “A” Nor “B” sum problem we discussed few days back.

Imagine you have a table named mydata with a few columns and a stop list named stop.list as shown above.

How would you calculate,

• Sum of Hours for all activities excluding those in stop list?
• Sum of all Regular hours for activities not in stop list?

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## How many ‘Friday the 13th’s are in this year? [Formula fun + challenge]

Published on May 13, 2016 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel

Today is Friday the 13th. If you are a raging friggatriskaidekaphobiac, I suggest you to stop reading this post. For the rest of you, I have something fun.

Given a year in cell C3, let’s find out all the months with Friday the 13th. Something like above.

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## Extract the 10 digit number [formula homework]

Published on May 6, 2016 in Excel Challenges

Okay, time for another challenge.

Imagine you have some data like this. Each cell contains 3 numbers separated by line break  – CHAR(10) and you need to extract the number that is 10 digits long.

Go ahead and solve this riddle.

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## Analyzing half a million complaints – Customer Satisfaction Scorecard [Part 3 of 3]

This is the final part of our series on how to analyze half a million customer complaints. Click below links to read part 1 & 2.

1. Complaint reason analysis – Part 1
2. Regional trends & analysis – Part 2

Customer satisfaction scorecard

In the previous parts of this case study, we understood what kind of complaints were made and where they came from (states). For the customer satisfaction scorecard, let’s focus on individual companies.

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Published on Nov 4, 2015 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel

Imagine you are the head of training department at ACME Inc. You arrange training programs round the year to empower your team. It is hard work, coordinating between employees, trainers, department heads, venues and coffee machines. What if there is something to help you keep track of all this? I am not talking about getting you a shiny new iPad, you silly. I am talking about a tracker & calendar built in Excel that ties everything together (well, almost everything, you still have to fill the coffee machine.)

We are going to build a training program tracker & calendar using Excel.

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## Case Sensitive Lookups

Published on Sep 7, 2015 in Excel Howtos

We all know that VLOOKUP (and its cousins MATCH, HLOOKUP and LOOKUP) are great for finding information you want. But they are helpless when you want to do a case-sensitive lookup.

So how do we write case sensitive VLOOKUP formulas?

Simple. We can use EXACT formula.

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## VLOOKUP the last value

Published on Aug 11, 2015 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel

VLOOKUP is one of the most useful Excel functions. So much so that I even wrote a book about it. But it has one serious limitation.

It looks up the first occurrence and returns corresponding data.

What if you want to find the last value?

Say, for example, you are looking at a task assignment list and want to know what is the last task assigned to employee Emp13?

We want to extract the task “Make amazing workbook”. Of course our good old VLOOKUP stops once it finds Emp13 and returns the answer as “Create intuitive workbook”.

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## Calculate sum of top 10 values [formulas + homework]

Published on Aug 4, 2015 in Formula Challenges, Learn Excel

Analyzing top n (or bottom m) items is an important part of any data analysis exercise. In this article, we are going to learn Excel formulas to help you with that.

Let’s say you are the lead analyst at a large retail chain in Ohio, USA. You are looking at the latest sales data for all the 300 stores. You want to calculate the total sales of top 10 stores.  Read on to learn the techniques.

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## Who is the most consistent seller? [BYOD]

Published on Feb 18, 2015 in Analytics, Excel Howtos, Pivot Tables & Charts

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.

1. Who is the best seller?
2. Who is the most active seller?
3. Who is the most consistent seller?
4. Which seller has fewest invoices?

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## Excel to the Next Level by Mastering Multiple Occurrences

Published on Dec 9, 2014 in Learn Excel

This is a guest post by Sohail Anwar.

August 29, 1994. A day that changed my life forever. Football World Cup? Russia and China de-targeting nuclear weapons against each other? Anniversary of the Woodstock festival?

No, much bigger: Two Undertakers show up at WWE Summerslam for an epic battle. Needless to say: MIND() = BLOWN().

And thus begun one boy’s journey into understanding the phenomenon of Multiple Occurrences.

My journey continued, when just a few years later my grandfather handed me down a precious family heirloom: A few columns of meaningless data that I could take away and analyze in Excel. You may laugh but in the 90’s, every boy only wanted two things 1) Lists of pointless data and …

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## The ultimate VLOOKUP trick – Multi-condition Lookup

Published on Oct 28, 2014 in Learn Excel

This is a guest post by Sohail Anwar.

Let’s not bore you with an intro. You are about to learn a VLOOKUP trick that Lucifer himself would not want you to know. It’s so absurdly powerful that it was developed in a lab and had to be tested on Rocky’s arch nemesis Ivan Drago.

Presenting the Multiple criteria VLOOKUP!

…boring…pass, we’ve seen it.

Oh, have you? Not like this you haven’t. This will change the way you work with Excel.

Let me start with an easy example. Here’s some data and we would love to know what Bb and Dd is.

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