Naming names: Making spreadsheet inputs play nice

One big difference between the spreadsheets that decision makers use and those that bean counters use is the desire and ability to play “what-if.” That means you’ll have inputs that you’ll want to change to see how that affects things. These are unknowns either because they represent a choice you have to make or some … Continue reading Naming names: Making spreadsheet inputs play nice

Excel formulas: Easier to write than to read

Have you ever tried to understand an Excel spreadsheet by looking at the formulas? It’s nearly impossible to figure out. (Hint: If you double click on the cell holding the formula, if will highlight the cells being used. Press Esc when you’re finished looking at it.) I love Excel, but it’s really obscure to read. … Continue reading Excel formulas: Easier to write than to read

Useful spreadsheets from a single formula: “Bucket brigade” formulas in Excel

Check out the “quickies” at http://www.decisionspreadsheets.com/free-spreadsheets/, useful spreadsheets each built using a single formula and AutoFill. Compute your checking balance, predict investment growth, calculate loan payments or figure the present value of future income. This is why I love AutoFill (see last post). Write one good formula and AutoFill it down the column to build … Continue reading Useful spreadsheets from a single formula: “Bucket brigade” formulas in Excel

Learning to function in Excel

I’ve been writing about Microsoft Excel as a great tool for decision makers. You need more than graphs of static data. You need to think about the future and balance priorities. You need to build custom spreadsheets around the hard questions you have to answer. You need to write your own formulas. Excel can help … Continue reading Learning to function in Excel