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 […]

R Explained for Excel Users: What is a Directory?

Like Excel, R can read in files and create new files based on your commands. R will assume these files will be read from and written to your directory.  This is a common stumbling block for new R users, but pretty easy to understand with a couple of basic functions. In the below example, I created […]

R Explained for Excel Users: Assigning Variables

The single-greatest difference? R and Excel are both powerful tools for the analyst. A good analyst uses each when appropriate. Many analysts haven’t used R, for different reasons. For one, it has a steeper learning curve than Excel. It is also less likely to be used by your boss. But it is a very powerful […]