# All articles with 'screencasts' Tag

## Modelling Inventory Run Rate & Cash Flows using Excel

Published on Apr 19, 2017 in Analytics, Charts and Graphs

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.

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## Hide columns one one tab same way as they were in another place [quick tip]

Published on Apr 5, 2017 in Excel Howtos

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.

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## Sand Pendulums – Lissajous Patterns in Excel

Published on Apr 3, 2017 in Charts and Graphs, VBA Macros

Few days ago, I saw a beautiful homemade science experiment on Sand Pendulums on Bruce Yeany‘s YouTube channel. Go ahead and check it out. It is a cool project to do with your kids.

I will try this experiment with kids during school term holidays around Easter. But first, I wanted to try the simulation in Excel.

Simulating sand pendulum pattern in Excel

Take a look at the final simulation above. This is what we will create in Excel.

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## Use CTRL to make copies of worksheets quickly

Published on Feb 15, 2017 in Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel

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.

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## Find them and Extract them – VBA Macro

Published on Feb 10, 2017 in VBA Macros

I started a new consulting gig with NZ Ministry of Business (aside: when I told my daughter about this, she widened her eyes and said ministry of MAGIC!!! ). On my first day, while having lunch in breakout area, I chatted with the gentleman sitting opposite me. We got talking about this and that and eventually the topic turned to What I do at MB. So I told him that I am helping the HR with some data analysis and reporting using Excel & SQL Server. He asks me, “So you must be familiar with Excel object model”. I said, “oh, why yes”. He then asks me, “I have this problem that is bothering me for years. You see, I get a lot of data. And I use Find (Ctrl+F) to find all the cells that contain certain code. But the results are all over the place. I want to know how to extract all the finds to a target worksheet – value & address format.”

I explained him how to do this while chewing mouthfuls of rice & veggies.

But once I am home, I thought, “hey, maybe there are others out in the world who want to do this”.

So here we go.

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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

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

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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## 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

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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## Visualizing Financial Metrics – 30 Alternatives

Published on Aug 30, 2016 in Analytics, Charts and Graphs

Around 2 months back, I asked you to visualize multiple variable data for 4 companies using Excel.  30 of you responded to the challenge with several interesting and awesome charts, dashboards and reports to visualize the financial metric data. Today, let’s take a look at the contest entries and learn from them.

First a quick note:

I am really sorry for the delay in compiling the results for this contest. Originally I planned to announce them during last week of July. But my move to New Zealand disrupted the workflow. I know the contestants have poured in a lot of time & effort in creating these fabulous workbook and it is unfair on my part. I am sorry and I will manage future contests better.

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## PSA: Don’t let auto correct spoil your party

Published on Aug 26, 2016 in Learn Excel

So here is a news from strange but true department. Microsoft Excel blamed for gene study errors [bbc.com].

Microsoft’s Excel has been blamed for errors in academic papers on genomics.
Researchers trying to raise awareness of the issue claim that the spreadsheet software automatically converts the names of certain genes into dates.
Gene symbols like SEPT2 (Septin 2) were found to be altered to “September 2”.

Aah, classic!

This is what happens when you spend countless hours learning genome sequencing and very little about the software tools where your data goes. May be we need clippy back to warn people about such sticky situations.

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## On / Off conditional formatting with this simple trick

Published on Jul 13, 2016 in Learn Excel

Here is a quick & awesome way to make your dashboards sexy. Add an on / off switch to your conditional formats.

Take a look at above demo to understand what I mean.

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## Earth Venus cosmic dance – Animated chart in Excel

Published on Apr 25, 2016 in Charts and Graphs, VBA Macros

Recently I saw an interesting Earth Venus cosmic dance video on Facebook. See the original video below or here.

Although this is not entirely accurate from physics & astronomy perspectives, the dance is a stunning example of patterns that are generated by simple things.

I wanted to recreate this cosmic dance in Excel. How else am I to get my spreadsheet fix on a Saturday?

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## A slicer that doesn’t slice [Pivot Table Tricks]

Published on Mar 30, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts, Power Pivot

Mary Ellen, one of our readers, has an interesting conundrum,

I have some data that goes to Pivot table then to pivot chart. There is a slicer to filter the data. But when I slice, my pivot chart gets messed up. How to have the slicer, but still see the insights in the chart?!?

See above demo to understand:

This is because when you slice by a school, the pivot table gets filtered and hence % row total for that school becomes 100% (as there are no other schools).

How to fix the problem? The easy answer is to remove the slicers. But we want to have our slicers and eat a slice of them too. So we crank up the Excel awesomeness valve and get to work. There are two ways to achieve what we want.

• Old school method: Two pivot tables, some formulas & a line chart
• New Excel method: Power Pivot and a line chart

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## These icons are so pretty, can I get them in green? [conditional formatting trick]

Published on Mar 22, 2016 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel

One of our readers emailed this question recently,

I like the conditional formatting icons. I am trying to present some business data where going down is good. How do I get a green colored down arrow icon?

Essentially, Ms. CanIGetItInGreen wants this:

Unfortunately, Excel’s conditional formatting icons are not customizable. So we can’t get the green down arrows without some sneak. And sneak we shall.

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## “How Trump happened” in Excel [visualizations]

During last week, an alert reader of our blog, Jørgen emailed me a link to “How Trump happened“.  It is an interactive visualization by Wall Street Journal. Jørgen asked me if we could replicate the visualization in Excel. My response: “Making a new chart in Excel? Hell yeah!”

Read on for awesome visualizations and full explanation.

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