Archive for November, 2016

Sorting to your Pivot table row labels in custom order [quick tip]

Published on Nov 29, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts

Pivot tables are lovely. But sometimes they are hard to work with. Let’s say you are analyzing some HR data and want to see number of weeks worked in each hour classification.

And you want this.


Except, there is a teeny tiny problem.

The sort order on the classification is all messed up.

Here is a quick fix to get custom sort order on your pivot table row labels.

Continue »

We Want Your Ideas

Published on Nov 24, 2016 in Huis, Posts by Hui
We Want Your Ideas is looking for your ideas!
What would you like to see discussed in future posts at ?

Continue »

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

Published on Nov 18, 2016 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel, Pivot Tables & Charts
Finding the closest school [formula vs. pivot table approach]

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.

Continue »

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.

Continue »

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?

Continue »