All articles with 'Learn Excel' Tag

Can you solve this blood pressure problem? [IF Formula Homework]

Published on Nov 4, 2016 in Formula Challenges, Learn Excel
Can you solve this blood pressure problem? [IF Formula Homework]

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.

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How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

Published on Nov 2, 2016 in Charts and Graphs
How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

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?

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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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Check if a range has all numbers from 1 to n [Homework]

Published on Sep 30, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel
Check if a range has all numbers from 1 to n [Homework]

Finally, spring weather showed up in Wellington this week. We cashed it as much as possible by going on treks, cycling trips, more treks and of course doing laundry.

Anyways, I don’t have time to blog. I must go out and help kids with some cycling. But I want to keep you busy this weekend. So here is a fun homework problem.

Does my range have all numbers from 1 to n?

Let’s say you have a range called range (duh!).  And you want to check if range has all the numbers 1 to n (say n=5) in it, each number appearing only once (no more, no less). You can assume the named ranges range and in your formulas.

See above examples to understand the problem.

So go ahead and post your formulas in the comments section. I will sneak in whenever I can to look at all your creative answers.

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Mapping Spread of Obesity [Chart Critique and Alternatives]

Mapping Spread of Obesity [Chart Critique and Alternatives]

Over at Flowing Data, Nathan has published an interesting visualization about spread of obesity.

While the above chart is quite interesting, it doesn’t offer much insight in to the data. There are a few drawbacks,

  • Understanding obesity trends for a given state over the years is hard due to the layout and format of the chart.
  • Finding which states are experiencing most obesity growth rates is not possible
  • Ironically, the chart itself is obese. It takes too much space to explain the data.

Nevertheless, the chart looks cool and can be reused with smaller data-sets (quarterly trends or just for a few years). So let’s recreate the same in Excel. While we are at it, let’s also build an alternative visualization to explore the obesity data.

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Visualizing target vs. actual progress – Biker on a hill chart

Visualizing target vs. actual progress – Biker on a hill chart

Over the years, we have discussed a whole heap of techniques to visualize budget vs. actual charts. Today let’s take a ride on this slope again and learn another fun, silly & awesome way to depict target vs. actual progress.

Introducing biker on a hill chart

Tada!!!

Biker on a hill!?! Don’t worry, I didn’t fall down on a descent and lose my brain. I am talking about an Excel chart to visualize target vs. actual progress on a time line with biker on a hill analogy. See the above chart, you will know.

Looks interesting? Read on to learn how to create this in Excel.

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