Excel Roundup 20150921
In this week’s roundup, avoid nested IF formulas, understand circular references, see bad charts, and much more.
1. Beware of Nested IF Formulas
This week I wrote about the IF function, and how it can lead to some complex and messy nested IF formulas. The IF function is invaluable, but don’t abuse it, if another function could do the job better.
2. Circular References
If you’ve used Excel for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably seen a Circular Reference warning at some point. A circular reference is usually created accidentally, but some people use them intentionally, for finance or engineering problems. Charles Williams takes a look at circular references, explains why they calculate slowly, and why you should avoid them.
3. Bad Chart Analysis
In her "Bad Chart Thursday" post, Melanie Mallon has problems with a recent chart from economist Paul Krugman (New York Times). At first glance, she wasn’t sure what the chart is trying to show, and she recommends that "when your chart could be easily misread by reasonable people", clearer labels and a title should be added.
4. Office 2016 Release
Office 2016 will be released tomorrow, September 22nd, and Microsoft’s Excel Team have outlined which Business Analytics tools are included in the different Office plans. It’s been very confusing in past versions, so I hope it’s easier to find what you need in Office 2016.
5. Charting Utility Version 3.0
Jon Peltier has released Version 3.0 of his Excel Charting Utility. There is a $10 discount if you buy before September 30th, and additional discounts if you want to upgrade from a previous version. If you build Excel charts more than occasionally, you need this!
6. Back in Time With Excel
Next Wednesday, September 30th, it will be Excel’s 30th anniversary — it was first released on Sept. 30, 1985.
Do you remember when you started using Excel? Was it decades ago, or just this year? Was it exciting or painful? What were you working on?
If you’d like to share your earliest memories of Excel (with or without your name), please email me your story, and I’ll try to include it in an Excel anniversary compilation for my blog on September 30th. (edited if necessary).
7. Toot Your Excel Horn
Do you understand data, and know how to make it sing? Can you create a beautiful chorus of charts? Geek Ergo Sum usually keeps quiet, but recently took a few minutes to toot his own horn about his "Excel-lent skills". Maybe you can relate!
8. ModelOff New York Meetup
If you’re in the New York area, you can register for the free ModelOff New York Meetup, for a panel discussion and networking.
- When: Thursday 1st October from 7:00pm onwards.
- Where: NYSSA, 1540 Broadway #1010 (near 45th/7th Ave), NYC
- Cost: FREE. Drinks and finger food provided.
- Registration is essential – ModelOff NY Meetup Registration Page
9. Excel Humour
Finally, for a bit of spreadsheet humour, you can see what people are saying about Excel, in my weekly collection of tweets. Here’s one of my favourite tweets from this week’s collection. It’s wrong though – a pivot table is the solution to every Excel problem! ;-)