Excel University Sparkline

Message from Jeff

This week, I'd like to talk about a perspective shift that really helped me (and I hope it can help you too).

I'd be updating a workbook and would ask myself "Hmmm ... I wonder if Excel can do that?" After a bit of effort, I figured out that it could.

In another workbook, I saw an opportunity to improve it but then asked myself "I wonder if Excel can do this?" Turns out it could. Over and over, time and time again, I would discover that yes, Excel can do that.

So, I changed my perspective. Instead of asking "if" Excel could do that, I just assumed it could. My new question was "how can I get Excel to do that?" In other words, I started with the premise that Excel could do it and I just needed to figure out how.

This simple shift helped me make huge improvements to my workbooks. So, next time you encounter a situation, simply ask yourself "how" and you'll be well on your way to streamlined workbooks.

Excel Topic of the Week

This week's Excel topic is about the FILTER function. Although this function isn't available in all versions of Excel, if you have it you will love it.

This function can do what we traditionally use VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, XLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH and SUMIFS to do. Wow!

I love the FILTER function. In fact, Microsoft had me put together a short video where I was able to compare FILTER to other functions. You can check out the video by clicking the play button below:

Note: the fastest way to determine if your Excel has it is to type =FIL into any blank cell and see if the full function name FILTER appears in the function list that pops up.

Student Success

I'd like to highlight one of our students. Luis is an accountant in Los Angeles.

He said that one of the functions he learned during his studies with us saves him "hours of time!"

He enjoys when his friends look at him working in Excel and are amazed at how fast he can get his work done. Awesome Luis!

Weekly Challenge

This breakout puzzle has a gaming theme and has three steps.

In step one, you'll need to use your Excel skills to figure out a three digit number.

Use the number in Step 2 to reveal the code.

Enter the code in Step 3 and verify your results.

If you decide to play, download the puzzle below ... and good luck!

The video below is a walkthrough of how to complete the breakout puzzle.

Excel Shortcut

Save workbook:

• Windows: Ctrl S
• Mac: ⌘ S

Closing Thought

In closing, I'd like to talk about the time investment for learning Excel. Depending on where you learn, there may be also be a financial investment. However, the financial investment is a small component of the overall investment. Time is the biggest investment you'll make in taking your Excel skills to a new level. So, the question is ... is learning Excel worth the investment? Well, this quote can help put it into perspective for us:

"If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance."

-Howard Gardner

In my experience, this investment pays significant dividends ... both in terms of time savings and opportunity. Those who do NOT know Excel are at a disadvantage in today's business climate. Those who DO know Excel have an advantage. And I want YOU to have that advantage 🙂

Excel University Info

Excel University helps you learn Excel and work faster. We have tons of free resources as well as structured training programs.