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Archive of posts filed under the Data Analysis category.

Generate random numbers in MS Excel

A common requirement is to generate a set of random numbers that meet some underlying criterion. For example, a set of numbers that are uniformly distributed from 1 to 100. Alternatively, one might want random numbers from some other distribution such as a standard normal distribution. While there are specialized algorithms to generate random numbers […]

Analyze ‘free’ money

Recently, I received yet another promotion from yet another company offering me money at zero percent interest with the predictable asterisk next to the zero percent. Instead of just shredding the offer I decided to create a downloadable Excel template to analyze the offer, which was an interest-free 18 month loan for a 4% transaction […]

TM Goal Seek

TM Goal Seek enhances the existing user interface to Excel’s Goal Seek feature. The built in Goal Seek is a simple optimization tool that suffices for a large number of scenarios. The UI, unfortunately, is extremely unwieldy and unfriendly. TM Goal Seek is a simple add-in that is easier to use than the default dialog […]

Excel Services Interactive View

Analyze data with Excel on the web Microsoft has introduced a new web based capability that extends its Excel Services offering.  This new capability provides a limited interactive view of any table in a web page. An introduction to this service is below.  For those interested in additional capabilities and more advanced and useful capabilities […]

Excel Advanced Filter

Excel supports two different ways to filter data that are in tabular format. Autofilter is a built-in capability driven via the user interface. As sophisticated as Autofilter has become in recent versions of Excel, no pre-defined setup can possibly cater to all the different questions that the consumer may want answered. These require a custom […]

Create a dynamic range reference

One of the most common issues that arise in Excel is that a range that contains data will eventually expand as more data are added or even contract as data are removed. If we have a formula, or an Excel functionality (such as Data Validation or a PivotTable), or a chart, that refers to such […]

Introducing TM Retro Slicer

Those who have used a slicer in Excel 2010 slicer may want to see that capability in earlier versions of Excel. I like what Microsoft did with slicers in 2010 and have wanted to extend that capability backwards. For those who haven’t used a slicer, it is a filter on a particular pivot field shown […]

Introducing TM Match Target

The TM Match Target add-in analyzes a list of numbers and finds combinations that sum to a given total. This has applications in a range of disciplines including processing receipts, reconciling payments such as health care insurance reimbursements or payments by a customer for many outstanding invoices, operations management and operations research, and supply change […]

Slicer or Data Validation list

This note documents a somewhat creative – and I suspect an unintended – way of using a slicer. A slicer is a control element introduced with Excel 2010. It is a large easy-to-use control to filter the results of one PivotTable or even multiple PivotTables. I like the UI look-and-feel of a Slicer and decided […]

Introducing TM Retro Slicer beta 1

Those who have used an Excel 2010 slicer may have wanted to see that capability in earlier versions of Excel. I like what Microsoft did with slicers in 2010 and wanted to extend that capability backwards. For those who haven’t used a slicer, it is a filter on a particular pivot field shown as an […]