Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers is a great read – I reviewed it here. Its premise is that some outliers (events that are far outside “normal” expectations) have causes and hence are worthy of investigation. Excel have some functions that can help identify outliers in your data.
Recently a client wanted help in summarising a large data list of employees. They wanted to identify the years of service in terms of 5, 10, 15 years and other milestone years based on a start date.
In Excel it is quite common to test a cell for either a zero or a blank. If either of these two entries are found then you do a particular calculation. There is an easy way to handle this.
I recently read a blog post about using Excel for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It mentioned a function to extract a domain from a URL. The function was from Google docs, not Excel. So I wrote an Excel formula to extract the domain from their list of URLs.
Rounded values in Excel can pose a few issues. There is a formula you can use that can round a range of values and then SUM the results. This can be used as a check total for rounded values.
Let’s say you have codes that have differing numbers of characters and you need to analyse them based on how many characters a code has. There is one function that can SUM and COUNT based on the number of characters in a code.
Getting dates into order is usually a job for Power Query, but not everyone has it or uses it so I still get requests for formulas to fix text dates.
Excel 2016 has introduced a new type of IF function to simplify handling multiple conditions. It is called IFS.
Some systems add DR and CR to the end of numbers when they export into Excel. This renders the values useless for normal calculations. You can use data cleansing techniques to remove the characters using formulas or Power Query. There is one function however that can perform calculations on these types of entries.
When data is imported into Excel sometimes the values come in as text rather than values. Most functions can’t perform any calculations with text numbers, but one can. See how easy it is to add up text values.
What is the best layout when working with months/quarters/half years and full years? There are a few common structures. I prefer the one that lets you create single formulas that can be quickly copied across and down with as few copies as possible.
When you create formulas that refer to other sheets Excel typically includes the name of the current sheet when you return to the current sheet and refer to a cell.
My consulting work recently highlighted a stark contrast in different Excel models and the effort it takes to create or change them. I make some recommendations to make things easier for yourself at the end of this post.
We’ve all heard the term “A month of Sundays” to describe a long time. Well what if you wanted to count how many Sundays between two dates?
If you are using date-based headings in your reporting models please consider using dates in the headings rather than text. I’ll explain why.
The NETWORKDAYS.INTL function was added in Excel 2010. It allows to calculate how may work days between two dates using non-standard weekends. Some countries don’t have Saturday/Sunday weekends.
Making Subtotals Bold
When you use the SUBTOTAL feature in the Data ribbon tab it automatically inserts subtotals in your list – see blog post on it here.
One problem with this is that is only makes the cell with the word Total bold – it doesn’t make the whole row bold.
If you want the whole row to be bold it isn’t hard to fix.
- Select the whole range involved.
- Use the grouping button 2 top left corner. See image below.
- Then hold the Alt key down and press the ; (semicolon key) – this selects just the visible cells.
- Then press Ctrl + b to bold it.
- Click another cell to reset the range and you are done.
I had a question during one of my Date and Times Webinars in February. It was about months and fortnights. I couldn’t answer it during the webinar, but I did follow up with an email with the solution. The answer follows.
Most people are unaware that the SUMIFS function has a serious limitation when it comes to codes with leading zeroes. This post shows you how to perform calculations involving codes with leading zeroes. This issue also affects SUMIF, COUNTIF and COUNTIFS.
I had a question on another post on how to convert Nov 21, 2014 into a date Excel recognises. The solution involves six functions working together.