All articles with 'Learn Excel' Tag
Imagine you run an office furniture company. You want to stop reordering two brands of furniture – Relaxer (a type of chair) and Boca Top (a type of table). You currently have 20,000 Relaxer chairs and 5,000 Boca Tops. These are valued at $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. When sold, they will yield $100,000 and $25,000 gross profit. You are hoping to sell them off in 2 or 3 years. You forecast that we can sell off these as per some yearly schedule.
You need to analyze this and prepare a cash flow model.
Let’s learn how to answer such open ended questions using various analysis techniques in Excel.Continue »
It is Easter time, and that means time for another fun Easter Egg hunt in the spreadsheet. For the last 8 years (since 2009), I have been running Easter Egg hunt at Chandoo.org. This year too, I have prepared an exciting egg extraction enigma for you. Check it out.
Can you find all the 5 hidden cells in this workbook?Continue »
One of the regular reporting tasks I do involves a manual step I hated. It goes like this:
- Dump several columns of data in the template file.
- Hide a particular set of columns (these are not together, so must be done one at a time or with CTRL+selection)
- Save and publish the file.
After doing this manually for last few fortnights, today I wanted to automate the column hide process. I was about to write a VBA macro to clone the hide settings from one workbook to another. But then I thought, may be paste special can be of use.
And what do you know. It does exactly that.Continue »
Late. Jayaram, my uncle is also a teacher. When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time with him, learning all sorts of things. He taught me chess, maths and so many life lessons. I remember one such lesson very vividly. One day, he asked me to do something. I did it in a very long way. After seeing me struggle for several minutes, he chipped in and showed me how to do it easily. He then said, “when someone asks you where your nose is, you don’t twist arm around your head. You just point to your nose directly.”
The idea is that when you have a direct, simple way to do something, you should use it.
Nose and pivot tables… how are they connected?
We are coming to the point. Read on for full case study and solution.Continue »
Let’s say you are the people manager at ACME Inc. You are looking staff list for the months – January and February 2017. You see that we had 4,000 employees in Jan and 4,200 employees in Feb. So what is the churn?
- Is it just 200?
- Or is it the sum of people who left and who joined?
- What if you want to find out how many people moved to new designations / departments or groups?
You see, churn is tricky to figure out.
So why not invite the pros? ie Power Query.Continue »
Here is an interesting problem to keep your brain cells fight boredom on this Friday & weekend.
Let’s say you have some data like above.
And you want to know, for a given customer name (in cell G4),
- What is the most frequent quantity?
- What is the most often purchased item?
How would you write formulas to get these answers?Continue »
The other day, I found myself making copies of a templated report worksheet. After trying the usual route of “right click on source sheet, select move or copy, check create a copy and press OK” a few times, I thought “well that is asinine.” So I figured, may be CTRL+Drag will create a copy. And what do you know, it does.
So that is our quick tip for the day. Whenever you need to make a copy of something, simply hold CTRL key and drag the thing.
It works for charts, drawing shapes, worksheets and even ranges.Continue »
We recently went on a road trip around parts of New Zealand’s north island. We have been to Taupo, Rotorua, East Cape and Napier. It took us 2 weeks, we drove more than 2,000 km and spent almost NZ $3,000 on the trip. Of course, being a data nerd, I made a plan of the trip in Excel and that helped us budget for this.
After getting back to home, I thought it would be fun to polish the planner workbook and share it with you all so you too can plan a fabulous road trip. So here we go.Continue »
Time for some logic check.
Suppose, you have three logic values in A1:C1 (TRUE or FALSE values in each cell)
You need to find out if ONLY two of these values are TRUE.
How would you write the formula?
Got an answer? Awesome. Just post your formula in the comments. Let’s see how much variety we can get from all of our readers.Continue »
Let’s talk about the untrimmable spaces.
We all know that TRIM() removes extra spaces from the beginning, ending and middle of a text.
So for example, if A1 has ” something and one more ”
will give “something and one more”
We can use CLEAN() function to remove non-printable characters (like the ASCII codes 0 to 31). Of course, SPACE is technically a printable character, so CLEAN() won’t remove spaces.
The untrimmable spaces…?
The other day Sreekanth emailed me a sample of data and asked, “how do I remove the spaces in this list and convert them to numbers?”
Naturally I tried to TRIM().
But the data won’t budge. See above.
Hmm, let’s investigate why.Continue »
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?Continue »
Over on Facebook, Kristin asks, Help, my blood pressure is going thru the roof. I can’t seem to solve this blood pressure problem.
Let’s simplify Kristin’s problem.
You have some data in the format shown above.
And you want to find out the BP category for each reading, using some rules. Read on to solve the problem.Continue »
Let’s say you work in super hero factory as floor manager. You are looking at the recent time sheet data submitted by your underlings and want to know who works more. So you did what any self respecting floor manager does. You made yourself a large cup of hot chocolate, whipped open Excel and created a column chart.
But now, you want to add a line to it at 6:00 PM (or some other arbitrary point) so you can clearly see which superheros are over working.
So how do you go about it?Continue »
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.Continue »
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
- 6 categories of must-know functions
- Basic math
- Date & time
- Work specific
- Closing remarks & resources for you