Review of Sensemaking. (What Makes a Good Analyst? Hint: Not Just Excel.)

An old professor of mine used to quip that, for proof of the permanent income hypothesis, observe how engineering majors often drive nicer cars than philosophy majors. May it be because, he jested, the top five engineering firms are hiring at more competitive salaries than the top five philosophy firms?   Christian Madsbjerg’s Sensemaking: The […]

All White Space, No Fillers: Hiding Gridlines in Excel

I don’t use Excel for everything these days, but I continue to use it for formatting tables. Because, let’s be honest. Word is simply not up to the task when it comes to cleanly-formatted tables. Generally tables in publications do not include gridlines – it’s pixel overload. So to remove my gridlines before saving the […]

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 […]