Category: Microsoft Excel

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.

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.

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:

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 […]

Excel: Automatically set width and height
If I’ve been there once, I’ve been there a thousand times; I’ve got a spreadsheet in excel with varying widths and heights that don’t fit the data. Now, sure, you could go in and correct it manually – but that’s not only boring, it’s a pain it the behind. Luckily, there are keyboard shortcuts to […]

Excel: Merge cells without losing data
If you’ve ever attempted to merge cells that hold data in Excel, you will almost certainly have encountered this warning:

Calculating percentage change in Excel
If you do a lot of work in Excel, odds are you’ve needed to calculate a percentage change. Luckily, Excel does this for you quite readily if you simply apply a basic formula of (New Value – Old Value)/Old Value. There is, however, a pitfall that you’ll not get the values you expect if the […]

Outlook: Mail merge
I have previously written about one of my many responsibilities; contacting users whose login credentials have shown up in breach lists. While the pertinent results of the breach files are delivered to me in a flat file, I use Excel’s Text to Columns feature to separate logins (usually email addresses) from the password. While this […]

Excel: Text to Columns
I work a lot with text files containing data which is, to some degree or another, structured. Whether a breach file from a published breach, or the result of a powershell query such as GetADUser, GetADComputer, or GetADDirectReports, I need to separate the data into columns so that I can work with it. This is […]