All articles in 'Excel Challenges' Category

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 »

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 »

Which two teams qualify to next stage? [Excel Homework]

Published on Jun 15, 2018 in Excel Challenges
Which two teams qualify to next stage? [Excel Homework]

Time for some soccer fun in spreadsheets. Given a team points table like above,

How would you figure out in Excel, which teams qualify for next stage. The rules for this exercise are,

  • Pick the top two teams by points
  • If there is a tie, use Goal Difference (GD) to break ties (more GD is good)
  • If there is a tie, use Goals For (GF) to break ties
Continue »

How many Excel themed cryptic crossword clues can you solve? [Easter Eggs 2018]

Published on Mar 29, 2018 in Excel Challenges
How many Excel themed cryptic crossword clues can you solve? [Easter Eggs 2018]

It is Easter time. This is the first Easter we are celebrating in our new house. So it is bound to have so many special memories. For last 10 years (wow, it has been a decade of tradition), I have been running Excel based egg hunts every Easter. It all started in 2009, when I was living in Sweden (where Easter is a BIG thing). I had to share the enthusiasm with someone, so I made our first Easter egg hunt on the blog.

This year, join me on an Excel themed cryptic crossword clues – Easter egg hunt. Don’t forget to share your scores and explanations in the comments.

Continue »

There are 5 hidden cells in this workbook – Find them all [Excel Easter Eggs]

Published on Apr 14, 2017 in Excel Challenges
There are 5 hidden cells in this workbook – Find them all [Excel Easter Eggs]

It is Easter time, and that means time for another fun Easter Egg hunt in the spreadsheet. For the last 8 years (since 2009), I have been running Easter Egg hunt at Chandoo.org. This year too, I have prepared an exciting egg extraction enigma for you. Check it out.

Can you find all the 5 hidden cells in this workbook?

First step. Download this workbook. There are five worksheets, each containing one egg. You need to find the hidden cell in each worksheet.

Continue »

How many employees are on leave during Easter holidays [Homework]

Published on Apr 7, 2017 in Excel Challenges
How many employees are on leave during Easter holidays [Homework]

Easter is around the corner. After what seemed like weeks of lousy weather, finally the sun shone today. I capitalized on the day by skipping work, walking kids to school, taking Jo out for some shopping, enjoying a leisurely walk / cycling with Nishanth in the park and almost forgetting about the blog. But it is dark now and before tucking the kids in, let me post a short but interesting home work problem.

Let’s say you are HR manager at Egg Co. and you are looking at the vacation plans of your team.

Easter is your busiest time and it would be a bummer if a majority of your staff are on leave during the Easter season (14th of April to 28th of April, 2017). So you want to know how many people are on leave. A snapshot of your data (table name: lvs) is shown above.

Click here to download the sample file.

You want to answer below three questions:

  1. How many employees are on leave during Easter holidays (14th of April to 28th of April)?
  2. How many employees are on approved vacation during Easter holidays?
  3. How many employees in “Team ninja” are on approved leave during Easter holidays? Assume team employee numbers are in named range ninja
Continue »

Lookup most frequent item [Homework]

Published on Feb 17, 2017 in Excel Challenges
Lookup most frequent item [Homework]

Here is an interesting problem to keep your brain cells fight boredom on this Friday & weekend.

Let’s say you have some data like above.

And you want to know, for a given customer name (in cell G4),

  • What is the most frequent quantity?
  • What is the most often purchased item?

How would you write formulas to get these answers?

Continue »

Check for two out of three conditions (Homework)

Published on Jan 13, 2017 in Excel Challenges
Check for two out of three conditions (Homework)

Time for some logic check.

Suppose, you have three logic values in A1:C1 (TRUE or FALSE values in each cell)

You need to find out if ONLY two of these values are TRUE.

How would you write the formula?

Got an answer? Awesome. Just post your formula in the comments. Let’s see how much variety we can get from all of our readers.

Continue »

An odd lookup problem [Formulas]

Published on Dec 6, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel
An odd lookup problem [Formulas]

Let’s say you have some employee data in employee name, manager name format. But the data is all in one column, with odd rows containing employee names & even rows containing manager names. Something like above.

And you want to find out who is the boss for a given employee. Say, “Andrea Nichols”.

Your regular MATCH() formula for Andrea over the data range returns wrong answer as it will find first occurrence of Andrea (which in this case happens to be on even row, hence a manager record).

So how would you write the lookup formula?

Continue »

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.

Continue »

Find the seals [Excel puzzle]

Published on Aug 5, 2016 in Excel Challenges
Find the seals [Excel puzzle]

First a little back story:

Last Friday (on 29th of July), we (Jo, kids & I) went on a day walk to Red Rocks. It is a rugged coastal walk near Owhiro bay in Wellington. It was a windy & cold day. So why did we brave the elements of nature on this 10km walk? To see seals of course. And we did find a few of them. We also caught glimpses of snowy peaks in Southern Island of New Zealand.

3 Seals Excel Puzzle

Now I can’t take you on the same walk thru internet. There is no Excel function that can teleport you from your office (or home) to Owhiro bay. So I made the next best thing.

An Excel puzzle with 3 hidden seals.

Continue »

How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]

Published on Jun 24, 2016 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Challenges
How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]

Our newest contest is inspired from a question asked by Kaushik, one of our forum members, interesting problem.

Need to quickly visualize 3 variables ( Company, years, Financials) in a single […] chart.

Create a chart to understand multiple variable data and you could win $100 Amazon gift card. Do send your charts before 4th of July to qualify for the prizes.

Continue »

What is the sum of values excluding items on stop list? [home work]

Published on Jun 10, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel
What is the sum of values excluding items on stop list? [home work]

Okay, this is an extension of the Neither “A” Nor “B” sum problem we discussed few days back.

Imagine you have a table named mydata with a few columns and a stop list named stop.list as shown above.

How would you calculate,

  • Sum of Hours for all activities excluding those in stop list?
  • Sum of all Regular hours for activities not in stop list?

So go ahead and post your answers in the comments.

Continue »

Extract the 10 digit number [formula homework]

Published on May 6, 2016 in Excel Challenges

Okay, time for another challenge.

Imagine you have some data like this. Each cell contains 3 numbers separated by line break  – CHAR(10) and you need to extract the number that is 10 digits long.

extract-10-digits

Go ahead and solve this riddle.

Continue »