Author Archive

Elevator problem – Excel homework

Published on Dec 13, 2018 in Excel Challenges

The other day while I was in lift (elevator), it made an alarm like sound and won’t close the doors. Turns out there are one too many people in the lift for it to operate safely. As soon as a couple of people volunteered and stepped out, it started fighting gravity and took us upstairs. […]

Continue »

Quick tip: Make a list of numbers (or dates) in Power Query easily

Published on Nov 13, 2018 in Power Query

Just a quick tip to revive the blog from a month long silence. I am alive and kicking. I have been occupied with a quest to rescue princess & maidens on video game console. Recently we bought SNES classic console from Nintendo and I have been playing Legend of Zelda – a link to past regularly. As it is almost summer, I am also enjoying the beautiful outdoors in Wellington. All this means, little time for blogging. I will try to post a few more times before the end of year.

Make a list of numbers in a jiffy with Power Query:

We know that in Excel, you can type a few numbers and use the fill handle to fill down (or up etc.) numbers as you want.

But what if you need some numbers in Power Query?

Continue »

Leave entitlement vs. usage analysis with Power Query

Published on Sep 24, 2018 in Excel Challenges, Power Query
Leave entitlement vs. usage analysis with Power Query

Last Friday, I asked you to analyze “sick leave entitlement vs. usage” data and answer homework questions. We got several interesting responses to that. Today, let me share a quick video highlighting how to analyze such data with Power Query.

This is part of our Power Mondays series, where every Monday you will learn something new & useful about Power BI, Power Query and Power Pivot.

Continue »

How many people used their entire sick leave entitlement? [Power Query / Excel homework]

Published on Sep 21, 2018 in Excel Challenges
How many people used their entire sick leave entitlement? [Power Query / Excel homework]

Imagine you are the HR analyst at BigLargeCompany. You are asked to find out whether staff at BLC (BigLargeCompany you silly) use up their full sick leave entitlement.

You have two tables – emps & leaves as illustrated below.

sample data - sick leave entitlement vs. usage

Your mission is to find out answers to below questions.

  • How many employees used exactly 100% of their entitled sick leave?
  • How many employees did not take any sick leaves?
  • Listing of all employees who used 100% of their entitlement

 

Use either Power Query, Excel formulas or any other technique to answer the questions.

Continue »

Lenient lookup [Advanced Formula Trick]

Published on Sep 13, 2018 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Lenient lookup [Advanced Formula Trick]

We all know VLOOKUP (or INDEX+MATCH) as an indispensable tool in our Excel toolbox. But what if you want the lookups to be a little gentler, nicer and relaxed?

Let’s say you want to lookup the amount $330.50 against a list of payments. There is no exact match, but if we look 50 cents in either direction, then we can find a match. Here is a demo of what I mean.

Unfortunately, you can’t convince VLOOKUP to act nice.

Hey VLOOKUP, I know you are awesome and all, but can you cut me some slack here? 

VLOOKUP is tough, reliable and has a cold heart. Or is it?

In this post, let’s learn how to do lenient lookups.

Continue »

My top 5 tips for designing beautiful Power BI reports

Published on Sep 10, 2018 in Power BI
My top 5 tips for designing beautiful Power BI reports

Power BI allows you to create rich, interactive and informative reports. But it is also a massive pain to create beautiful yet functional reports with Power BI. Over the last 12 months of heavy usage, I have picked up a few tricks to speed up my Power BI report design time. In this post, let me share my top Power BI design tips for creating pretty reports.

Continue »

5 tips: Power Query for Accountants (and finance people) – Free Masterclass

Published on Sep 3, 2018 in Master Class, Power Query

Do you work with accounting or finance data? You are going to love, no scratch that, adore Power Query. It can save you precious time, make you look like a hero in-front of clients and keep you sane.

In this masterclass, learn all about Power Query for accountants (and other kinds of finance people) & 5 tips.

Why Power Query?

Power Query is a data processing software. Using Power Query, you can create process driven programs (queries) to collect data, clean or reshape it, calculate things and publish final output as a table. Once you create a query in PQ, when the underlying data changes, you just refresh the query and brand new data will be fetched, cleaned and published for you.

For example, you can use Power Query to combine ledger files from various accounts to one master file with Power Query. No more VBA or manual copy pasting. Just one query and you are done.

Continue »

When is the next Monday? [Homework]

Published on Aug 31, 2018 in Excel Challenges
When is the next Monday? [Homework]

Psst. Hey you, yeah, you there… have time for a quick date? A date with Excel that is.

If so, take up this homework problem and post your answers in comments.

Assuming you have an input date in cell A1,

  • What is the formula for finding next Monday?
  • What is the formula for finding first Monday of next month?

Post your answers in comments

Continue »

What is Power BI, Power Query and Power Pivot?

Published on Aug 27, 2018 in Power BI, Power Pivot, Power Query
What is Power BI, Power Query and Power Pivot?

In this installment of Power Mondays, let’s go the very basics of it all.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a software to create and publish interactive, web-enabled reports & visualizations for your audience. You can use Power BI on a PC or web to create things. Once you publish a report (or few visuals), your audience can consume them by using any device – PCs, Macs, Web browsers, Apps on cell phone / tablets etc. 

Continue »

How to get a random sample of data with Power Query

Published on Aug 20, 2018 in Power Query
How to get a random sample of data with Power Query

Today’s Power Monday trick is about Power Query. This is based on my experience of working with large volumes of data.

Today I have been building a hotel dashboard (more on this later). As part of the dashboard, I wanted to show a random sample of user reviews. Reviews database had quite a few rows, so I wanted to extract a randomized sample of 100 reviews and show them in the report. When you refresh the report (Data > Refresh), then a new set of reviews will be fetched and shown.

Let’s learn how to generate a random sample with Power Query in this article.

Continue »

Make funky and creative hand-drawn chart in Excel – Quick tutorial

Published on Aug 16, 2018 in Charts and Graphs
Make funky and creative hand-drawn chart in Excel – Quick tutorial

Charts are great way to tell story about what is going on in your business. But they also feel a bit too impersonal and meh. How about adding your personality to them? I don’t mean making them tall, dark and pretty. I mean using hand-drawing style to make them pop out. Something like above example of hand-drawn chart.

The best thing is, You don’t need to actually draw these charts by hand. We can use a powerful charting trick to get these charts automatically generated (and linked) to your data. Interested? Read on to learn how to create hand-drawn charts in Excel.

Continue »

Top 5 with above average – Power Pivot Trick

Published on Aug 13, 2018 in Power Pivot
Top 5 with above average – Power Pivot Trick

Welcome to Power Mondays. Every Monday, learn all about Power BI, Power Query & Power Pivot in full length examples, videos or tips. In this installment, learn how to get top 5 list with a twist.

Let’s say you are analyzing sales data and you want to know who are your top 5 sales persons?

Of course, this is simple, you just create a pivot to see total sales by person and then sort the pivot. First five rows have the answer you need. You can even apply a value filter > top 5 to show only their data.

Continue »

Announcing Excel School v2.0 – Quick intro and details inside

Published on Aug 8, 2018 in Learn Excel
Announcing Excel School v2.0 – Quick intro and details inside

Do you want to learn Advanced Excel, data analysis, creative charting, dashboard reporting and be productive in Excel? Then you are going to love my Excel School v2.0.

This is the golden age of data. Any rewarding job or entrepreneurship requires good data literacy. We are all expected to understand the relevance of data, how to manage it, how to analyze it, visualize it and tell elegant stories.

This is where Excel School comes in.

Continue »

12 Steps to learn Excel and become awesome @ work in 2018

Published on Aug 7, 2018 in Learn Excel
12 Steps to learn Excel and become awesome @ work in 2018

Obviously, everywhere you look this week, you find advice on how to do better this year.

Well, you don’t have to wait for a new year to become awesome at your work, any day is new year for the rest of your life.

So, today I want to share 12 steps to learn Excel and becoming awesome. But first I have a secret to confess…,

I think becoming awesome in Excel useless.

What we really want is, to become awesome in our work. Since we spend a lot of time using Excel (and other office software), knowing how to use these better can have a huge impact on how we do our work.

In that spirit, lets look at 12 steps to learn Excel so you become awesome in your work.

Continue »

Nest Egg Calculator using Power BI

Published on Aug 6, 2018 in Power BI, Power Pivot, Power Query

Welcome to Power Mondays. Every Monday, learn all about Power BI, Power Query & Power Pivot in full length examples, videos or tips. In the first installment, let’s take a look at something we all can related to – Money. 

We all know that Power BI is good for creating awesome visual experiences. Today let me share another fun way to use Power BI – to build a calculator. Learn how to create nest egg calculator in this Power BI parameter example tutorial.

Continue »