If Carlsberg did formulas

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

On a coach full of inebriated colleagues being dropped off after a Christmas party, I was once asked “What’s your favourite Excel function?” This led to an extended discussion about the merits of the various usual suspects and some more esoteric options, only stopped short by the arrival at my stop. This speaks loudly to the type of conversations I attract (and revel in). In today’s post I champion SUMPRODUCT and how it blossoms beyond its mathematical roots.

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Plunging into Pivots

“I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed.” ~ Robert Frost

One of the most requested topics when I’ve run Excel upskilling sessions has to be Pivot tables. When asked what people want to do with them the typical reply is something like “I just don’t get them.” Do you find yourself saying or hearing this as well? Lets dive in and have a look at pivoting data.

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Accuracy Vs Precision

“If you don’t know the answer, just guess and use two decimal places. Nobody will question it.” ~ Anonymous previous manager of mine

As analysts I’m sure we all feel the draw to improve the accuracy of any figures we provide. It’s all too easy, however to confuse precision with accuracy. Unfortunately this is at least as true for the people we deliver to as it is for us. I wouldn’t advocate following the advice in the quote above (despite having received it myself!) but it is all too likely to be effective…   for a while.

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