Populating one Drop Down based on the Selection of Another in Excel – Without VBA

This post will show you how to populate a drop-down menu in Excel with values, based on the value selected in another drop-down menu – all without touching VBA Read More

Showing Data Bars as a ‘Proportion to Total’ in Excel

Use this trick to show Excel Data Bars (the in-cell micro-chart) as a ‘percentage to total’ rather than relative to the max value Read More

Using NETWORKDAYS to calculate the number of business days between two dates in Excel

NETWORKDAYS (That’s Net Work Days, not Network Days) is a versatile spreadsheet function that lets you calculate working days between two dates, allowing for weekends, public holidays and more. Read More

Creating Sunburst & TreeMap Charts in Excel 2016

Familiarise yourself with two of Excels fantastic new Chart Types – the Sunburst, and Treemap (collectively known as Hierarchical charts) Read More

Using stacked images for your Excel Charts

Create colourful, engaging charts using stacked images in this comprehensive Excel walk through. Read More

Creating Waterfall Charts in Excel 2016

Excel 2016 has given us a plethora of useful – and long overdue – chart types for us to work with. One of these, is the Waterfall Chart I‘ve written before about how to create a Waterfall Chart in Excel – it has long been one of the more challenging chart types to re-create, so Read More

Using the IFS() and SWITCH() Functions to test for more than one condition in Excel 2016

Learn about 2 of the exciting new functions released as part of the Excel 2016 January update Read More

Using Ranking Functions in Excel

Master the available options in Excel for ranking you data, including the updated Rank.Eq functions. Read More

Pie Charts – how not to use them!

I originally posted this to my LinkedIn Profile, which you can find here, but thought I’d share it on here as well!


Plenty has been said before about whether or not you should use Pie Charts to present your data.

A good article covering their main pitfalls can be found here;

and a slightly lighter take on them can be found here;

Yet, it was my own father who reminded me that Pie Charts can be put to good use, as was the case with Florence Nightingale. (Though, they were of the somewhat more useful Rose Diagram type than bog standard Pie chart, but I take the point!)

Having said that, I came across this little gem, on the BBC news website of all places, which really must be the single worst usage of Pie Charts I’ve ever come across

Read More

Pivoting / Cross-Tabbing Data in SQL Server

I was having a discussion with someone the other day on the merits of using PIVOT / Cross-Tab functionality in SQL.

Back when the primary platform I used was Teradata, you didn’t have a PIVOT function, so if you wanted to do something similar to a Pivot, you had to build a series of CASE statements to build your fields up. This was fine, but you had to know beforehand what columns you wanted to have on your output

SQL SERVER (2005+) does provide a PIVOT option, but to be honest, it’s only marginally better than the CASE statement approach – you still have to know what column headings you want in your query.

So, if you want to pivot by the day of the week, that’s fine because there are a fixed number of days in the week and you can account for this.

But what if you want to have a field for each Agent/Region/date etc? You won’t always be able know what fields you’re going to need. Read More

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