Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Join Us: Nigerian Excel Users 2018 Meetup on 1st September, 2018



Last year, we had a great time rubbing minds on the amazing things one could do with Microsoft Excel and had a presentation on other data analytics platforms. There were participants from all over Nigeria and the community has kept growing strong and sharing career growing knowledge.

This year, there will be a similar meetup/conference and you can RSVP at https://www.meetup.com/Nigerian-Excel-Users-Meetup/events/253308965/

Below is the agenda:

Nigerian Excel Users 2018 Meetup
The Zone Tech Park, Plot 9 Gbagada Industrial Scheme, UPS b/stop, Gbagada - Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.
1st September, 2018 (10:00am to 3:30pm)

Start Time: 10:00am

1) Introduction and networking (25 mins)

2) General Discussions pt 1(Your Excel Journey, career advantage, Excel pet peeves, ideas, the esoteric, 40 mins)

3) Presentation 1 (25 mins) + Q & A (10 mins)

4) Presentation 2 (25 mins) + Q & A (10 mins)

5) Break (10 mins)

6) Presentation 3 (25 mins) + Q & A (10 mins)

7) Presentation 4 (25 mins) Q & A (10 mins)

8) Break (10 mins)

9) Presentation 5 (25 mins) Q & A (10 mins)

10) Presentation 6 (25 mins) Q & A (10 mins)

11) General Discussions pt 2 (Your Excel Journey, career advantage, Excel pet peeves, ideas, the esoteric, 30 mins)

12) Close (5 mins)

End Time: 3:30pm (Networking continues)

There will be drinks and snacks.

Also, if you are interested in making a presentation, then you can fill the following Google form (link here)


Monday, July 16, 2018

SUMIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIF and COUNTIFS For Multiple Values of Interest At Once

In case you are not too familiar with SUMIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIF and COUNTIFS, they are a group of formula used to sum or count records that meet a specified criterion. 

Below are some easy to follow examples to help you fully grasp them. You can download the practice file here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15W7zluKlqD3naEyIskvF4xT9wZ22qvYZ/view?usp=sharing 

SUMIF
I have a transaction database for a pizza restaurant and I am interested in total sales for Hot Veggie. With SUMIF I can get that done easily.

=SUMIF(B:B,"Hot Veggie",E:E)




SUMIFS
What if we also want to consider other conditions beyond just the name of the pizza sold, say we want to find the sales amount for all the Hot Veggie sold after 8:30 am? 

That is what SUMIFS is for; it is the plural form of SUMIF, allowing you to chain as many conditions as you want.

=SUMIFS(E:E,B:B,"Hot Veggie",F:F,">8:30")



COUNTIF
Maybe I am just interested in the number of transactions that are for Hot Veggie. Again, very easy. We just use COUNTIF.

=COUNTIF(B:B,"Hot Veggie")



COUNTIFS
How about count of transactions for Hot Veggie that happened after 8:30?

=COUNTIFS(B:B,"Hot Veggie",F:F,">8:30")



Now to the very interesting parts. What if I am interested in not just Hot Veggie, but also Meatzaa, Italiano and BBQ Chicken?

Q: Sum all the sales for Meatzaa, Hot Veggie, Italiano and BBQ Chicken
A: =SUM(SUMIF(B:B,{"Meatzaa","Hot Veggie","Italiano","BBQ Chicken"},E:E))


You might wonder why the {..} wrapping the list of pizzas. It is how Excel allows you to specify an array (a list, like we've done). Also, you might wonder why the SUM(...) around the SUMIF formula. It is what allows Excel to sum up all the different answers for each pizza type. See what I mean from the partially calculated formula screenshot below.



And you can use this same pattern for SUMIFS, COUNTIF and COUNTIFS.

Q: Sum all the sales for Meatzaa, Hot Veggie, Italiano and BBQ Chicken after 8:30 am
A: =SUM(SUMIFS(E:E,B:B,{"Meatzaa","Hot Veggie","Italiano","BBQ Chicken"},F:F,">8:30"))


Q: Count of all the transactions for Meatzaa, Hot Veggie, Italiano and BBQ Chicken
A: =SUM(COUNTIF(B:B,{"Meatzaa","Hot Veggie","Italiano","BBQ Chicken"}))


Q: Count of all the transactions for Meatzaa, Hot Veggie, Italiano and BBQ Chicken after 8:30 am
A: =SUM(COUNTIFS(B:B,{"Meatzaa","Hot Veggie","Italiano","BBQ Chicken"},F:F,">8:30"))



For more of these types of very useful tutorials you can check out https://www.urbizedge.com/Tutorials and subscribe to my YouTube channel

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sales Forecasting Tools In Microsoft Excel

image: saleshacker.com

During our monthly training classes, I notice a strong interest in being able to make sales and transactions forecast by participants from retail industry and financial institutions. Their face lit up when I tell them that there are a couple of forecast tools in Microsoft Excel they can make good use of.

In today's post, I will be walking you through those forecast tools with a focus on using them to make sales forecast.

1. Forecast Sheet 


People are usually surprised when I show them this tool. It is one of the tools added to Excel 2016 and Office 365, and you will find it under Data menu. With it you can make very useful time series forecasts that takes into consideration trend and seasonality in your data.

Let's say you work for Cadbury and would like to forecast sales for the ever yummy Bournvita beverage; it is common sense to factor in the reality that sales always spike in some specific months of the year (Christmas hampers period etc.). That is what is beautifully handled by the seasonality component of the forecast sheet tool. And there is also trend (are sales generally trending upwards or downwards). What I most like about it is the flexibility Microsoft put into it: you can handle missing records, set confidence interval, and even let it automatically detect the seasonality.



2. Moving Average

This is the most common forecasting method I see business people use. Any time you are projecting the average growth for the last couple of months or years forward, you are doing plain vanilla Moving Average. Then whenever you take that average and add a magic number to it (like we do in coming up with optimistic case and pessimistic case in most financial modelling), you are still doing Moving Average -- the strawberry and lemon flavoured version of it. And whenever management says they want to double growth rate year on year for the next three years; that, again, is Moving Average.

So how do you do it in Microsoft Excel? If you are okay with typing a simple formula in Excel, then just doing =AVERAGE(last x periods) gets you there.

However, if you are not on friendly terms with Excel formulas, you can take advantage of Moving Average in Excel Data Analysis Toolpak.



Just remember to first activate Data Analysis Toolpak from File >> Options >> Add-ins >> Manage Excel Add-ins 




3. Regression

Let's say you work for Julius Berger Construction company. The company revenue depends on Federal Government budget, GDP growth rate, number of meetings with potential clients, which party is in power, PMI and FDI. Perhaps way more than which month of the year we are in or the previous years revenue. Then it would make better sense to do a forecast model that combines all those factors and give you some sense of what type of revenue figure to expect this year. And more importantly, show you which factors strongly influence your revenue and which are not very important, plus how much you need to do as regards the factors under your control in order to achieve a specific desired revenue goal. 

That forecast model is regression.

It requires a fairly good deal of statistics knowledge but is well worth the work. And Excel has a tool that takes away most of the computational headache. You just do a couple of clicks and read a blog post on how to interpret + use the regression tool results.

You'll find it under the Data Analysis Toolpak I earlier showed you how to activate.




And these are the common sales forecasting tools you should be conversant with in Microsoft Excel. If you look through the Data Analysis Toolpak, you'll find a couple more.


If you enjoyed this and would like to learn more useful analysis tools, you absolutely should subscribe to my YouTube channel and go through my humour filled tutorial video collections. :)

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Practical Value, In Life And Work, Of Knowing Microsoft Excel Enough To Do You Own Templates And Analysis



People are surprised when I tell them that my first (and only) degree is in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. And unlike many people, I had the chance to go back to the core Engineering role I studied for but I didn't, only asked my boss to keep the offer open in case I get bored with Microsoft Excel. Now I make my full-time living from Microsoft Excel.

So what are the practical value you get from being good at using Microsoft Excel?

Let's start with in general life, outside of work. Especially for people whose work won't need them using Microsoft Excel.

1. Non-work Use
What do you think I and many other people use for their personal finance planning and investment analysis? Well, it is Microsoft Excel. Even when you buy a personal finance book and additional resources are given you for practical application of what the book is teaching you, those resources often include Microsoft Excel templates.

What do you think people use to track the performance of their side business? Actually, people use all kinds of things to track their side hustle -- from paper + biro, word of mouth, intuition, Microsoft Excel, to sophisticated apps/software. Hope you noticed Microsoft Excel in the list. If you don't have money for sophisticated apps/software and don't want to use paper + pen, Microsoft Excel is more than enough.

What do people use to plan major events and major projects expenses? Microsoft Excel.

Having a good grasp of Microsoft Excel can make many tedious non-work (or even non-data related work) activities a breeze. Imagine an IT guy needing to create email accounts for 120 newly employed staff. With Excel, all he needs to do to reduce the number of keystrokes significantly is to copy their first name and last name into Excel in separate columns, then CONCATENATE (and LEFT if the company uses initials in the email format). 

There are many non-Excel and non-work related stuff I have used Excel for and see others use Excel for. One example I even created a template around for people not Excel savvy is the need to send bulk SMS to dozens or hundreds of people and not wanting to spend an hour on arranging the numbers in the format most bulk SMS platforms require. Another is sending personalized email to your group or community members without doing it one by one or using an email marketing app.

The knowledge of Excel is as good and versatile as the knowledge of basic mathematics. You will always find situations where it will save you time and even prevent you from making wrong decisions.

2. Work Use
The moment you aspire to be part of management, to rise to the level of a CEO or CMO or CFO or COO or CIO or CTO, that moment is your clue to knowing that you can't escape the use of Microsoft Excel in your career. At that top, everything falls on data-driven strategy. You can't sweet talk your fellow CxO and board into doing something you haven't done the Excel analysis around.

I constantly come across people who have risen in their career, following a very technical path, and then suddenly they are part of management or need to work very closely with management, and find that their low competence in using Excel and carrying out data-driven analysis is an embarrassing weakness.

Then there are programmers who just love to hate Excel. They represent a category of people who would like to use something complicated for everything. Then they start having issues with managers who want some type of reports that are best made in Excel. Occasionally, I see them spend time coding a program to do something one off, something very easy and fast to do in Excel. They still don't see the value of Excel until I do it for them in Excel and they go WOW! 

Lastly, if you are a sales analyst or finance manager or accountant or project manager or marketing manager or operations manager or human resource manger and you are not very proficient in the use of Microsoft Excel you might be jeopardizing your productivity. You are supposed to focus more on high level strategy and guiding the management than fighting with data. Being very good with Excel will mean more insightful reports, fast comprehensive analysis, better chart-backed presentations and better decision making based on data. 


If you feel convinced enough to want to up your Excel competence, you can take advantage of my company's free training resources or even take my Udemy course with a certificate for free using this coupon link https://www.udemy.com/business-data-analysis-with-microsoft-excel/?couponCode=KYYMCA (just 96 coupons available via that link).

All the best!

Monday, May 28, 2018

UrBizEdge Democracy Day Promo -- Free Excel Consulting And Highly Subsidized Beginner Excel Class

image: dailypost.ng
To celebrate the Democracy Day we (UrBizEdge Limited) are offering every Nigerian (and non-Nigerian too) free consulting services. If you've got any not too complex task or need a short virtual class/training we would be glad to help you for free. If the political and economic circumstances in the country are not making you happy, then let us be the silver-lining around the clouds. We want to be the rainbow -- to give you something memorable and refreshing -- this period.

The offer starts from today and expires on 30th of June 2018. And you are only permitted to contact Hannah on 0802-118-0874 and hannah@urbizedge.com or Emmanuel on 0908-482-5064 and emmanuel@urbizedge.com to take advantage of the offer. If you call or email Michael, he's going to bill you and pass the work to them. So get same results but pay nothing.

And the whole Democracy Day promo doesn't end there. We are organizing a hugely subsidized beginner Excel class to take place in the month of June 2018. A two days class but taken at a pace and level that is perfect for beginners. We will provide our usual high quality training materials, tea break, lunch break and after training support. But rather than charging the standard fee of N100,000 we do for our regular In-depth Excel master class (often with some discounts) or the N60,000 we charge the companies sending many participants for a custom beginner class; we will be charging a token sum of N25,000/participant without cutting down on the hard copy materials, lunch, tea break and after training support.

If you know someone who should take advantage of these offers, kindly forward them this details. 

Once again, happy democracy day! Long live Nigeria! Long live you! Long live me! Long live Excel!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Business Intelligence using Power BI and Business Data Analysis Using MS Excel Training in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja



(You can help forward to anyone you feel would benefit from this. Thanks.) 

The business world is now data driven and every business professional must now be fluent in the language of data. William E. Deming had the most accurate way of portraying this new age: “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” Without data skills you will have a tough time influencing in the business world. You must learn to manipulate data, make compelling data stories, leverage data for insights and drive management decisions with rich actionable dashboards.

UrBizEdge Limited, Nigeria’s leading business data analysis company is putting together these special training for proactive business professionals. It's intended for Sales Managers, Financial Analysts, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Data Analysts, NGO program managers, MIS Analysts, Strategy Analysts, Business Intelligence Analysts, HR Executives and power Excel users.

The training will be facilitated by a Microsoft recognized Excel and Power BI Expert who is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer and the only Microsoft Excel Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Africa (there are just about 125 in the whole world and it is the highest level of recognition from Microsoft to an industry expert). He has authored bestselling books on Data Analysis using Power BI and MS Excel. We have had participants of our training from Citi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Dalberg, SaveTheChildren, Mobil, TCN, Chevron, Vodacom, Nestle, Christian Aid UK, Guinness Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, Delta Afrik, LATC Marine, Broll, Habanera (JTI), Custodian and Allied Insurance, SABMiller, IBM, Airtel, Diamond Bank, Promasidor, eHealth Africa, ECOWAS, Biofem Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Finance, FMDQ, Schlumberger, Palladium Group, Nokia Siemens Networks and DDB.

To register reach Michael on 08089382423 and mike@urbizedge.com or Hannah on 08021180874 and hannah@urbizedge.com or Emmanuel on 09084825064 and emmanuel@urbizedge.com to register. There is a class size limit.

Power BI Training Date: Friday 15th June 2018 to Saturday 16th June 2018
Venue: Kristina Jade Learning Center, 70b Olorunlogbon street, after Banex Hotel, Anthony Village, Lagos. 

Abuja Venue: Hotel Rosebud, 33 Port Harcourt crescent, off Gimbiya street, Garki 11, Abuja.

Port Harcourt Date (MS Excel): Friday 22nd June 2018 to Saturday 23rd June 2018
Port Harcourt Venue: Aldgate Hotel, 20B King Perekule street, GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt, Rivers state. 

Lagos Venue: Kristina Jade Learning Center, 70b Olorunlogbon street, after Banex Hotel, Anthony Village, Lagos. 


The Business Intelligence with Power BI training outline is:
1.     Power BI’s strength and weakness compared to the other popular BI tools
2.     Important concepts of Power BI: real-time insights, drilldown, drill through, management dashboards, live connection, data governance, real-time collaboration, going from data to insights and from insights to action, trigger alerts, controlled access etc.
3.     Connecting to any type of data source (from structured to unstructured which will require some transforming)
4.     Getting data from existing services, organizational content pack, flat files and live databases
5.     Data Transformation (very broad and requires some knowledge of data analysis) and we will use DAX and M formulas too.
6.     Creating relationships between the datasets and leveraging hierarchy (a.k.a. data modelling)
7.     Creating Reports
8.     Visualizations and the science behind choosing the right visuals
9.     Importing custom visuals (especially word cloud for sentiment analysis and other very useful non-native visuals)
10.   Creating dashboards
11.   Publishing Reports from the Power BI Desktop and pinning to dashboards
12.   Scheduling refresh and configuring data gateways
13.   Q & A Natural Language query
14.   Integrating with Cortana
15.   Live Dashboards
16.   Collaboration and sharing
17.   Printing and Export to PowerPoint
18.   Analyzing the dashboard data (report) from Power BI service in Excel (new feature)
19.   Value Proposition to corporate customers
20.   Use case scenarios for entire company or business unit or departments
21.   Access from mobile app and setting data alerts (automated notifications when something of note happens)
22.   Lots of interaction and practice

The Excel based Data Analysis training outline is:

1) Data Manipulation in Excel 
We’ll show you, from a consultant expertise level, how to manipulate data in Excel. From data preparation/cleaning to data formatting the professional way. We’ll cover both the science and the art of data manipulation in Excel, and share very useful keyboard shortcuts and expert tricks that will speed up your productivity in Excel.

2) Data Visualization and Presentation in Excel
A picture is worth a thousand words. And in the business world, it is often the only way to not bore your audience and pass the valuable message you’ve uncovered in your data analysis. We will teach you the foundations of data visualization – from the different types of charts to when to use each of them. Then we will work through business samples to learn the art part of doing data visualization right. You will learn the rules of business data reporting via charts and gain from our industry wealth of consulting for businesses in this vital area.

3) Large Data Analysis: Pivot Table, Pivot Chart and PowerPivot
You should never say you know Excel if you don’t know how to use Pivot Table. It is that important. It is Excel’s premium tool for analysing large data – sales data, inventory data, HR data, transaction data and most business operations data. We are going to cover from the basics to the very advanced use of Pivot Tables. We will show you how to create dynamic reports with Pivot Table; how to overcome some of its layout issues; how to turn off the distracting controls in your final report; how to create calculated fields; how to create Pivot Charts; and the special tricks only a full-time Excel consultant can show you that will turbo-charge you Pivot Table skills. Then we’ll show you how we analyse data of up to (and even above) 30 million rows in Excel. Yes, in Excel. Heard of PowerPivot?

4) Business Data Analysis 
In this section, we teach you the secrets that separate the analysis experts from the people with head/academic knowledge Excel. It is one thing to know the different tools in Excel and it is another completely different thing to know how to expertly mix them together to creatively deliver value at high speed. As full-time Excel chef, we will show you the secret ingredients that make companies consult us even when they have Excel super users in their organization.

5) Executive Dashboards and Reporting
This is the level self-knowledge will not get you to. How do you create an uncrowded insightful visualization for a report with 1000s of rows? Then how about for your sales analysis report of many products and regions? How do you show the different interactions in your data? In short, how do you bring your data to life and take it from a boring confusing mass of text to an interactive exciting visualization? You have to come to get the answers.

6) Excel to PowerPoint
Management level reports are best presented in PowerPoints. When you’ve got a delicate story to tell, you have to guide your audience through a one idea/insight a slide PowerPoint. We won’t teach you how to design slides but we will teach you how to make your chart slides speak very loud. You will also learn the tricks of linking your PowerPoint charts to Excel. It will help cut down the hours you spend on weekly/monthly PowerPoint reports. We will also show you how to embed Excel files in your PowerPoint slide. No more sending separate Excel files when you can embed them right on the very slide you reference their data.

7) Excel VBA
Forget about all you’ve heard about Macros or VBA. Let’s show you how easy and exciting it is to break into the Excel VBA world.

To register reach Michael on 08089382423 and mike@urbizedge.com or Hannah on 08021180874 and hannah@urbizedge.com or Emmanuel on 09084825064 and emmanuel@urbizedge.com to register. There is a class size limit.

For a taste of our high quality content, view our free tutorial videos at www.urbizedge.com/tutorials

Thursday, May 10, 2018

March 2018 Webinar: My Most Important Excel Formulas; Would Recommend You Master Them



As a full-time Microsoft Excel consultant, of all the over 450 formulas in Excel there are just a handful I focus on in my training classes because they provide the most value in practical day-to-day use of Excel. If you examine any reports or templates (even the most complex one you've ever come across), you will see that the these formulas are the ones powering those reports.

In this webinar, I will be taking you through those formulas in my usual very practical way and provide you with the practice file for your own use later on.

The formulas are:
1. VLOOKUP
2. HLOOKUP
3. LOOKUP
4. INDEX & MATCH
5. IF
6. SUM
7. COUNTIF
8. SUMIF
9. SUMPRODUCT
10. ROUND
11. CEILING
12. CONCATENATE
13. LEFT
14. RIGHT
15. MID
16. TODAY
17. DAY
18. MONTH
19. YEAR
20. UPPER
21. LOWER
22. PROPER
23. RAND
24. RANDBETWEEN
25. INDIRECT

The webinar was live on YouTube and the recording is made available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KxWVqqV6ZA

Time: 3:00pm (GMT +1)
Date: 28 March 2018
VenueYouTube Live (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KxWVqqV6ZA)


To be in loop of all our future webinars, then sign up to our Webinar Directory (http://eepurl.com/bKwoaT)