All articles with 'Learn Excel' Tag

Which power plan is best for me? Excel for everyday problems

Published on Nov 9, 2017 in Analytics, Financial Modeling
Which power plan is best for me? Excel for everyday problems

We had to switch power providers soon, so I started reviewing the options. There are heaps of providers in New Zealand and each offer a ton of different plans. Some offer welcome bonus or credit worth up to $ 200. Other offer straight forward rates. Some others offer discount if you sign up for both electricity and gas with them. So how do you decide which one is better for you?

Using Excel of course.

The result is awesome. I ended up saving more than $1000 with a simple model. Puzzled? Curious? Check out this short but powerful video tut.

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Histograms & Pareto charts in Excel – tutorial, tips and downloadable template

Published on Oct 5, 2017 in Charts and Graphs
Histograms & Pareto charts in Excel – tutorial, tips and downloadable template

Time for some statistics and charting fun. Let’s learn all about histograms and Pareto charts in Excel 2016. You will learn

  • What, why and when?
  • How to set up and customize histograms
  • How to use Pareto charts?
  • How to create dynamic histograms?
  • Creating histograms in old Excel (2013 or prior versions)

Sounds interesting? Let’s get started then.

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VLOOKUP that fat table with ease [3 quick tips]

Published on Sep 18, 2017 in Learn Excel
VLOOKUP that fat table with ease [3 quick tips]

Time for some good, old fashioned VLOOKUP love. Let’s say you are writing VLOOKUP()s to get data from an unusually fat table, ie one with heaps of columns. You want to get to lookup ID in first column and get thingamajig in what is that column number. Well, better get counting from 1 and after 19 seconds and lots of squinting you arrive at column number 53 – which has thingamajig. 

If this sounds like your VLOOKUP routine, check out these three amazingly simple tips to save some time and effort with your lookups.

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Convert unevenly spaced list to table [Data from Hell]

Published on Aug 30, 2017 in Power Query
Convert unevenly spaced list to table [Data from Hell]

Introducing Data from Hell:

Watch out, its data from hell. In this new video series, we are going to examine some nutty, frustrating and fun data reshaping challenges and solve them using Excel. We will use Power Query, Formulas, VBA or other features as needed to free this data from damnation.

For our first installment, let’s reshape unevenly spaced list of values to a table.

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Copy Paste Visible Cells only (Two more ways to do it)

Published on Aug 28, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Copy Paste Visible Cells only (Two more ways to do it)

Last week, we talked about how to copy and paste visible cells alone (ie exclude any filtered rows or hidden columns etc.) In the comments section many of you suggested two more ways to deal with this annoying problem. Let’s take a look them.

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Copy & paste visible cells only [Excel Trick]

Published on Aug 24, 2017 in Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Copy & paste visible cells only [Excel Trick]

Here is something annoying with Excel.

Open any Excel file with few columns of data. Hide some of those columns (select the columns and press CTRL+0). Now, copy a few rows of data. Paste it else where. Excel will paste the values in hidden columns too. We thought Excel would omit the values in hidden columns.

What the filter Excel?!? I thought we were friends, but you annoy me with some of these quirks.

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Awesome chart to visualize Salary Increases for 3,500+ people [Tutorial]

Published on Aug 17, 2017 in Charts and Graphs, R programming
Awesome chart to visualize Salary Increases for 3,500+ people [Tutorial]

Game for some charting awesomeness?

Off late, I have been doing a lot of data analysis and visualization on performance ratings, salary hike, gender pay equality etc. Today let me share you an awesome way to visualize massive amounts of data.

Scenario: Your organization of 3,686 people recently went thru annual performance ratings & review process. At the end of it, everyone was offered some salary increase (from $0 to $24,000 per year). You have 7 business groups. How do you tell the story of all these salary hikes in one chart?

How about the one above?

Ready to know how to create this in Excel? Read on.

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Use File > Info to quickly unprotect multiple worksheets [Quick tips]

Published on Aug 1, 2017 in Excel Howtos
Use File > Info to quickly unprotect multiple worksheets [Quick tips]

Ever had a workbook with multiple protected worksheets? May be you are enterprise architect at Death Star or chief strategist at Mordor and got all the plans in a tidy little but protected workbook. Of course, you hate having to unprotect many of the worksheets every time you have a new evil plan for world domination. Don’t you worry, you can use this handy little trick to unproect en masse.

  • Just open the workbook
  • Go to File > Info
  • Right on the top, you can see all protected worksheets and a link to unprotect them.
  • Click to unprotect the ones you want to.
  • Done.
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Extract currency amounts from text – Power Query Tutorial

Published on Jul 27, 2017 in Power Query
Extract currency amounts from text – Power Query Tutorial

Let’s say you got some text values and want to extract the amounts from them. Something like above.

How to go about it?

We could use a variety of techniques to extract the values.

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Joyplot in Excel

Joyplot in Excel

Over on Twitter, I came across this beautiful chart, aptly titled – Joyplot. It is the kind of chart that makes you all curious and awed. So I did what any Excel nerd would do. Recreated it in Excel of course. This post takes you thru the process.

Take a look at final outcome above. Read on to learn more.

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Rounding time to nearest minute or quarter hour etc. [formulas]

Published on Jun 26, 2017 in Excel Howtos
Rounding time to nearest minute or quarter hour etc. [formulas]

The other day, I was building a spreadsheet to calculate FTE (full time equivalent) for staff based on hours worked on various days in a fortnight. While building the spreadsheet, I came across an interesting problem. Rounding Time to nearest minute.  We can’t use ROUND() or MROUND() to round time as these formulas aren’t designed to work with time values. Although time values are technically decimal, rounding time to nearest minute (or quarter hour etc.) can be tricky when usual round formulas. Let me share a few formulas to round time to nearest point.

Let’s say you have a time value (either user input or calculated) in cell A1.

Use below formulas to round time in A1.

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SUMPRODUCT Vs. Power Query on Mt. KauKau

Published on Jun 15, 2017 in Learn Excel, Power Query
SUMPRODUCT Vs. Power Query on Mt. KauKau

When faced with tough problems I react in one of three ways

  1. Come up with ingenious solutions
  2. See if a simpler cheat solution is possible
  3. Sit back and ignore

For most problems, I choose 3rd reaction. Occasionally, I rely on 2nd option and very rarely the first one.

When faced with a tricky time sheet summary problem (as outlined above), after initial lethargy I wanted to solve it.

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Jo’s first keyboard shortcut

Published on Jun 12, 2017 in Keyboard Shortcuts

Jo, my lovely wife quit her job as my partner in crime at Chandoo.org recently and took up a lucrative position at NZ govt. agency. The other day I asked her “how was your day?” when she got home. She smiled and said, “I learned my first Excel shortcut!”.
Guess what it is?

F4.

That is right. The mighty F4 key. You can use it to repeat any action.

Jo was using it to insert rows in her workbook. After inserting first row (using CTRL+ of course), she would press F4 to add more rows as needed.

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Selective Sub-totals in Pivot Tables [Quick Tip]

Published on May 2, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Pivot Tables & Charts
Selective Sub-totals in Pivot Tables [Quick Tip]

Recently I was creating a pivot report with multiple items in row labels area. I had to show sub-totals, but only for one of the fields. Something like above.

How to show selective sub-totals in Pivot Tables

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Avoid Hiring Boo-boos with Excel – COUNTIFS for the win [video]

Published on Apr 26, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Avoid Hiring Boo-boos with Excel – COUNTIFS for the win [video]

Imagine you are head of human resources at Casual Contracting Co. Every month you hire a lot of temporary staff who spend 1-4 months with CCC before leaving. Sometimes you hire the same people again. Of late, you have noticed a strange process gap. You are paying same person two (or more) salaries.

This is because you are hiring a person for new temp role even before their current one ended. See above picture.

So how to avoid making such hiring boo-boos.

Simple, using Excel of course.

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