All articles with 'Learn Excel' Tag

Shading an area chart with different colors for up & down movements [case study]

Published on Jul 29, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
Shading an area chart with different colors for up & down movements [case study]

We all know that area charts are great for understanding how a list of values have changed over time. Today, let’s learn how to create an area chart that shows different colors for upward & downward movements.

The inspiration for this came from a recent chart published in Wall Street Journal about Chinese stock markets.

We will try to create a similar chart using Excel. We are going to create the above chart in Excel.

Looks interesting? Read on…

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How to find out if a text contains question? [Excel formulas]

Published on Jul 17, 2015 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
How to find out if a text contains question? [Excel formulas]

On Wednesday (15th July), I ran my first ever webinar, on a topic called, “How to be a BETTER Analyst?” (here is the replay link, in case you missed it).  It was a huge success. More than 1,100 people attend the live webinar and hundreds more watched the replay. As part of the webinar, we had interactive Q&A. Viewers posted their questions and I replied to as many of them as I can.

After the webinar, I wanted to make sure I covered all the questions. So I downloaded the chat history. There were more than 700 messages in it. And I am not in the mood to read line by line to find-out the questions. A good portion of chat messages were not questions but stuff like ‘hello everyone, I am from Idaho’, ‘Wow, Chandoo has beard!”, “Enjoying a beer in Belgium while watching webinar” etc. So I wanted a quick way to flag the messages as question or not.

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CP038: Data to Ink Ratio – What is it, How to optimize it, Techniques & Discussion

Published on Jul 9, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
CP038: Data to Ink Ratio – What is it, How to optimize it, Techniques & Discussion

In the 38th session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s optimize data to ink ratio of your charts.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Announcements
  • What is Data to Ink Ratio?
  • Obvious ways to optimize Data to Ink Ratio
  • More ways to optimize Data to Ink ratio
  • Highlighting what is important
  • Conclusions
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Are you an analyst? Use these 25 shortcuts & tricks to boost your productivity

Published on Jul 7, 2015 in Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Are you an analyst? Use these 25 shortcuts & tricks to boost your productivity

Analyst’s life is busy. We have to gather data, clean it up, analyze it, dig the stories buried in it, present them, convince our bosses about the truth, gather more evidence, run tests, simulations or scenarios, share more insights, grab a cup of coffee and start all over again with a different problem.

So today let me share with you 25 shortcuts, productivity hacks and tricks to help you be even more awesome.

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What is the coolest thing you made with Excel? [weekend poll]

Published on Jul 3, 2015 in Learn Excel

It is almost weekend. I am sure most of you have plans (if you are USA, wish you happy 4th of July). As for me, I am going on a 80KM (50 mile) bicycle trip to a nearby lake to watch birds on Saturday morning. On Sunday, we (kids & I) are planning to make a scrapbook from our Australian experiences.

So let me keep this nice & simple.

What is the coolest thing you made with Excel?

Go ahead and share your answers in the comments area.

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15 Quick & powerful ways to analyze business data

Published on Jul 1, 2015 in Analytics, Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
15 Quick & powerful ways to analyze business data

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.

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Introduction to Slicers – What are they, how to use them, tips, advanced techniques & interactive reports using Excel Slicers

Published on Jun 24, 2015 in Learn Excel, Pivot Tables & Charts
Introduction to Slicers – What are they, how to use them, tips, advanced techniques & interactive reports using Excel Slicers

Slicers are one of my favorite feature in Excel. And here is a quick demo to show why they are my favorite.

Slicers – what are they?

Slicers are visual filters. Using a slicer, you can filter your data (or pivot table, pivot chart) by clicking on the type of data you want.

For example, let’s say you are looking at sales by customer profession in a pivot report. And you want to see how the sales are for a particular region. There are 2 options for you do drill down to an individual region level.

  1. Add region as report filter and filter for the region you want.
  2. Add a slicer on region and click on the region you want.

With a report filter (or any other filter), you will have to click several times to pick one store. With slicers, it is a matter of simple click.

Read more to learn all about slicers

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Calculating Billy’s total working hours [solution & discussion]

Published on Jun 22, 2015 in Excel Challenges

Few days ago, I asked you “How many hours did Billy work?” There were more than 100 responses with lots of innovative solutions.

So today, let’s examine various ways to calculate total working hours given start & end times of tasks. Please watch below video.

Calculating Bill’s total working hours (video)

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CP036: How to do trend analysis using Excel?

Published on Jun 11, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
CP036: How to do trend analysis using Excel?

In the 36th session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s follow the trend.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • A quick trip to down under
  • What is trend analysis
  • 4 types of common trends
    • linear
    • curve
    • cyclical
    • strange
  • Doing trend analysis in Excel – the process
  • How to use trend analysis results
  • Conclusions
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How many hours did Billy work? [Solve this]

Published on Jun 5, 2015 in Excel Challenges

Here is a simple but tricky problem. Imagine you are the HR manager of a teeny-tiny manufacturing company. As your company is small, you just have one employee in the shop floor. He is Mr. Billy. As this is a one person production facility, Billy has the flexibility to choose his working hours. At the […]

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CP035: on Solver, its story and future – Interview with Dan Fylstra

Published on May 21, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP035: on Solver, its story and future – Interview with Dan Fylstra

In the 35th session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s hear from Dan Fylstra, the creator of Excel Solver. I had the fortune of meeting Dan when I was in Santa Clara last month. I immediately asked him to be part of Chandoo.org podcast and he was kind enough to agree. So today let’s take a trip down the memory line, hear him talk about some of the fascinating all the early development stories of Solver, VisiCalc & Excel.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Introduction
  • Early days of Solver
  • Working with VisiCalc, migration to Excel
  • What keeps Dan busy these days
  • Advice for anyone planning to learn Solver & business modelling
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Ensure cleaner input dates with conditional formatting [quick tip]

Published on May 12, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Ensure cleaner input dates with conditional formatting [quick tip]

Here is a familiar problem: You create a workbook to track some data. You ask your staff to fill up the data. Almost all the input data is fine, except the date column. Every one types dates in their own format. Here is a fun, simple & powerful way to warn your users when they […]

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How would you train your boss to use Excel better? [Weekend Survey]

Published on May 8, 2015 in Excel Challenges

I am in Sydney and yesterday we had a meetup of Sydney Excel users. Around 15 people turned up for the event and we talked about various Excel related topics over few drinks. One of the questions that came up was,

I learn and use Excel in better ways. But my boss doesn’t how to open the workbook and use simple stuff like filters, slicers, sorting and selecting. So I end up sending screenshots or PDFs instead of powerful Excel files. What to do?

Although we discussed various possible solutions to the problem, I thought it would be a good topic for us discuss here.

So how would you train your boss to use Excel?

Please share your thoughts, experiments, experiences and suggestions in the comments. Let’s make our bosses awesome.

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Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Published on Apr 30, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Here is a fairly annoying problem.

Imagine a chart showing both sales & customer data. Sales numbers are large and customer numbers are small. So when you make a chart with both of these, selecting the smaller series (customers) becomes very difficult.

In such cases, you can use arrow keys – as shown above.

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How to insert a blank column in pivot table?

Published on Apr 16, 2015 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
How to insert a blank column in pivot table?

We all know pivot table functionality is a powerful & useful feature. But it comes with some quirks. For example, we cant insert a blank row or column inside pivot tables.

So today let me share a few ideas on how you can insert a blank column.

But first let’s try inserting a column

Imagine you are looking at a pivot table like above.

And you want to insert a column or row. Go ahead and try it.

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