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Techniques

Use Get & Transform to Reconcile Two Lists

By Jeff Lenning | February 2, 2017 |

In this post, we’ll use a Get & Transform query to help with our reconciliation. The idea for this post came from a question from Laura (thanks Laura!) The basic idea is that we have two worksheets. One contains the invoice totals and the other contains line item details, where there are many line items per…

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Data Validation with ALL CAPS

By Jeff Lenning | November 10, 2016 |

In recent back-to-back webinars, two different attendees asked how to check to see if a user entered a text string with all caps. Specifically, they asked how to set up a data validation rule to determine if all letters are capitalized. So, I figured I would write a quick post about the technique. Objective Let’s just take a moment…

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Use Power Query to Create a Drop-Down List without Duplicates

By Jeff Lenning | June 8, 2016 |

In this post, we’ll create a drop-down that contains a unique list of choices derived from a column that contains duplicate values. This may sound familiar as we previously accomplished this with a PivotTable. However, the Power Query feature that’s built-in to Excel 2016 makes this process easier. Objective We have a data table that contains RepID,…

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Multi-Column Lookup with VLOOKUP and SUMIFS

By Jeff Lenning | September 17, 2015 |

When you need to perform a lookup, your instinct tells you to use VLOOKUP. But, when your lookup uses multiple conditions and columns, you may be inclined to use SUMIFS. However, when the value you need to return is a text string, rather than a numeric value, you are precluded from using SUMIFS since it only…

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Moving, Rolling, and Trailing Averages

By Jeff Lenning | March 19, 2015 |

The terms Moving, Rolling, and Trailing are commonly used to describe the same calculation idea…that we want to operate on the previous say 3, 6, or 12 data rows. In this post, we’ll allow the user to define the number of rows to include and use the OFFSET function to dynamically define the desired range. Objective…

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Slicers by Jeff Lenning

Slicers as an Alternative to Conditional Drop Downs

By Jeff Lenning | February 9, 2015 |

Beginning with Excel 2013 for Windows, we can use Slicers to filter table data. In this post, we’ll explore how to use Slicers as a relatively easy alternative to conditional drop-downs. Objective When we want to allow a user to select a choice from a list of items, we often consider using the Data Validation feature to…

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Income Tax Formula

By Jeff Lenning | December 31, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll examine a couple of ideas for computing income tax in Excel using tax tables. Specifically, we’ll use VLOOKUP with a helper column, we’ll remove the helper column with SUMPRODUCT, and then we’ll use data validation and the INDIRECT function to make it easy to pick the desired tax table, such as single or married…

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Heat Maps in Excel

By Jeff Lenning | October 29, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll recreate a heat map presented in Stephen Few’s Information Dashboard Design, 2nd Edition, using an Excel PivotTable and a bit of conditional formatting. Objective Before we get too far, let’s take a look at our objective. We are trying to create a heat map that uses variation in color intensity to…

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Select Drop Down Item and use VLOOKUP to Return Multiple Attributes

By Jeff Lenning | October 2, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore a method to allow a user to select an item from a drop-down list and then use formulas with the VLOOKUP function to retrieve multiple values from the related item table. Objective Before digging into the mechanics, let’s review our objective with an example. We would like to allow our…

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Date Data Validation Drop-Down

By Jeff Lenning | September 18, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll create two data validation drop-down cells that provide the ability to select From and To dates based on the transaction dates stored in the source data. This will ensure that the date selections fall within a valid range of dates, that is, those months with data in the table. This technique…

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