Category: Microsoft Office

Excel: Looking up data continued
Last week, I showed you the simplest form of the XLOOKUP function. Though highly useful, it’s only really useful if you find exact matches. If you’re looking at an array of data – e.g. pay averages for age groups instead of specific ages – you need to help it a little. To this end, the…

Excel: Looking up data
This time, I show you how I look up data in a table using the XLOOKUP function.

Excel: Calculating days, months, and years
One thing I find myself needing to do on a relatively regular basis, is calculate the number of days, months, or years between two given dates. Like with so many other things, Excel has a function for this, too. It’s intuitively named DATEDIF, and here’s how you use it. The syntax is =DATEDIF(startdate,enddate,UNIT). The units…

Excel: Find average based on multiple criteria
Last week, I showed you how to find an average based on a single criterion. That works well enough, but what if you want to find an average based on multiple criteria? In that case, the AVERAGEIFfunction will fall short. In its place, you must use the AVERAGEIFSfunction. This time, we want to find the…

Excel: Finding averages based on a specified criterion
One of the many things I do in my capacity as a union representative is to assemble my own statistics based on raw numbers I get from my employer. One of the stats I calculate is the average pay in each section. As you might remember, last week I assembled a list of forty seven…

Excel: Finding unique values
In complex datasets, finding the unique values can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. While you can often simply remove duplicates, if you intend to create a lookuptable, that isn’t an option, and you need to do it differently. Enter the UNIQUEfunction. For this example, assume that you want all unique entries in column…

Excel: Adding multiple axes in a chart
One of the many things I do as a union representative, is negotiate wages with management. I argue my point using a number of tools, not least of which is the change in pay over time. I have one set of data which is what we use when negotiating, which represents the estimated change. I…

Excel: Visualising pay differences
As I’ve mentioned more than once previously, I’m a union representative. Among my many duties in this role is wage negotiations. While we negotiate collectively, I also make sure to dive into the numbers to look for the unexplained outliers, and to have them addressed. One of the tools I use to do this is…

Top 15 Excel shortcuts
As I’ve described elsewhere, I use Excel a fair amount. To this end, keyboard shortcuts are very useful. Here are some I find to be very useful: Alt and = Sum up a column Ctrl and + Insert a cell Select a row/column and enter Ctrl and + Insert a row/column above Ctrl and …

Outlook: Problems opening and organizing calendars
On a relatively regular basis, I find my days packed with appointments, reminders, and meetings. At other times, I need to organize a meeting, or talk to a colleague, and need to check their availability. For these reasons, and others, I’m an active user of digital calendars. Anything that happens during the work day is…

Excel: Allow dividing formulas to fail gracefully
I’m sure I’m not alone in having had this happen: I was using Excel to make some quick calculations, and got #DIV/0!errors for some rows because one of the fields I’d been dividing by was empty. Sometimes you don’t have all the information you need for every single row, but you still want to have…