Did that just work? Case formatting in Excel

I recently came across this quote from Isaac Asimov — it is so true: I absolutely love this quote. Breakthroughs hardly happen when you expect them. This requires a level of humility and even playfulness. On a scaled-down Excel note…  I was trying to type in the word “PAs” (as in “Physician Assistants”) and kept […]

Repeat Field Items in PivotTables

Have I mentioned I love PivotTables? While the default PivotTable isn’t bad, here’s one quick tweak that makes it even better. If you have a lot of data sharing an attribute, it can get difficult to read. It’s nice to have all the attributes of your data being a quick glance away.  To repeat a […]

Don’t be dim… use MID()!

MID( ) is intimidating for such a short function. But when you’re in the process of data “wrangling” — that is, transforming it for more useful analysis — it can be very useful. Many numbers in accounting have symbolic meaning. In this example, the cost center has a numeric logic. The third and fourth digit […]

Ctrl + 1derful!

I call formatting a necessary evil in Excel. It can easily take as long as the analysis itself — but the nice thing is that good formatting makes for better, quicker data analysis. Keep the Ctrl+1 shortcut handy when formatting your data. It will launch the Format Cells menu from which you can re-format selected […]

Get In Line!

A good Excel analyst thinks about formats. Do these borders, colors and blocks help drive the overall narrative of your data? Or do they just make it look busy? Formatting can be a significant time-suck. Lots of mouse clicks gone astray, clashing colors, etc. That’s why I present nearly all my data inside a PivotTable — […]