So Long as There’s Small Business, There Will Be Small Data (and Excel)

This week, with a little time off between semesters, I’ve been helping a family member with financial reporting & analysis for his business. It’s been over a year since I worked in finance and this exercise reminds me how frustrating this can be and how critical a strong command of Excel is to modern data […]

Grouping PivotTable Data by Week

I must admit, my Excel use has declined significantly since returning to school full-time. But, I still find plenty of uses – and, because they are not my routine office tasks, sometimes they are more interesting and I have more to write about. This one comes from a project I am helping a family member […]

The Great Bottle Deposit Financial Model

I have loved Seinfeld ever since college, when as an RA on duty I spent many a Southern Michigan weekend night watching the show with my fellow on-duty RAs. The Bottle Deposit held particular interest for me, both culturally and economically. As a Northern Ohioan, the mythical Michigan Deposit Run loomed near. Like Newman and Kramer, many Ohioans […]

Survey Says: Big Data, We Have Some Work to Do.

I recently read, per the tweeted recommendation of Secret Life of Pronouns author James Pennebaker, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.  See Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s book Everybody Lies. Best #bigdata/#language book in years. Must read for #socialpsychology #economics — James W Pennebaker (@jwpennebaker) June 2, […]

R Explained for Excel Users: What is a Data Frame?

Like in Excel, data in R comes in different shapes and sizes. In Excel, there are cells, ranges, worksheets and so forth. R does things a bit differently. Ultimately, these difference come down to the use of a vector as its information building block.  Picture a table in Excel. If you know how to design […]