All Filler – No Killer

If repetition is the key to mastery, repeating an activity the wrong way is a killer in disguise. A countless waste of hours dedicated to a mundane task. Fortunately, Excel is intended to avoid such things, and the distance between getting it done and being a master is much shorter than you may realize. killer filler [kil-er] verb, Slang task or activity, that is particularly […]

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What The Func?!

Undoubtedly you have called a function a formula and a formula a function; it’s just the nature of the Excel-lingo beast. That stops now. I want you to see functions for what they truly are: computer programming. You may feel like you are not yet ready to call yourself a computer programmer – but you are. And I […]

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Make Spreadsheets Accessible Again!

The founding fathers of Multiplan intended that spreadsheets would be for everyone: the rich and the poor, the data analyst and the data scientist, the sighted and the vision impaired. Often, things that we take for granted make a world of difference to others. Take the appropriate steps now to ensure that your work is up to accessibility standards. Download Workbook Add It: Navigate to […]

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Love It Or List It

“What gets measured gets managed.” Peter Drucker Analysts estimate anywhere from 50-80% of their time is dedicated to cleansing information (Source: New York Times). Making use of Excel’s data validation controls can drastically reduce this necessary evil when developed properly. No longer will you spend hours trying to infer if “S” really means “Saturday” or “Sunday”; […]

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Defining The Great Divide

Not since the great territory battles of 7-Eleven Vs. Quiktrip, has there been such an unparalleled rivalry: “VLOOKUP or INDEX/MATCH?“A seemingly innocent question, when asked among Excel users, gives you a general perception of one another. There is one function’s inability to turn left and the others reliance on multiple functions for use. One’s perceived simplicity vs. the others perceived complexity. Are […]

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In a world of instant gratification and “I need this done yesterday,” it’s difficult to consistently check your work. Being the mad data scientist that you are, you would prefer to double-, triple- and even centuple-check your workbook before releasing it into the wild. Well, what if I told you that you could be both thorough and efficient? […]

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To Err Is Computational

You will never learn more about Excel than on the day you inherit a broken workbook. You’re tasked with uncovering the method to the original author’s madness, and if you’re not careful you can get lost trying to understand why the author did things the way they did instead of finding the solution. Error Type Description #NULL! When a […]

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We Need To Talk

We all have problems. Excel is an executable. No more or less than 1’s and 0’s interpreted by your operating system. To its unsuspecting users it is perceived as a daunting application full of things that you keep meaning to learn more about. Just stop.   Excel is not the solution to your problems, you are. Without an answer […]

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Wait a Minute Doc. Are You Telling Me That You Built a Time Machine Out of a Spreadsheet?

“I don’t know what you’re making me do and I have no idea when I will ever use this.“ Good. That means you’re on the right track, because I need you to look past the obvious and start concentrating on the possibilities. Let’s consider this idea: 50% of Excel’s abilities have to do with inputting text and numbers. The other 50% have to […]

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The Million Dollar Bracket

In our last lesson we talked about following the laws of fields and records. Now is the time to expand on that thought process because everything you knew about cell ranges and formulas is about to get turned upside down with two simple keyboard strokes. Right now is your come-to-Jesus moment. You have been abusing yourself managing […]

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