How to Pass the Excel Certification Exam

Apr 6th, 2021 / Data Analysis
Want to pass the Excel certification exam? Maybe you want proof that you can rock Excel for your resume? For your LinkedIn profile? Do you want a confidence boost that, yes, you know Excel? Back in January, I registered for the Excel certification exam. I’d always been curious to see whether I could pass. Spoiler alert: I passed! In this blog post, I’ll share behind-the-scenes tips for registering for and pacing the MOS-200 exam.
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How to Use Vlookup in Microsoft Excel: Two Step-by-Step Examples for Beginners

Mar 30th, 2021 / Data Analysis
Vlookup is my all-time favorite function in Excel! (Well, the entire lookup family—vlookup, hlookup, index-match, and xlookup.) In this blog post, I’ll walk you through what what vlookup is used for, why it’s tricky and how to fill in the four pieces of the formula. In this blog post, you’ll learn what vlookup is used for; why vlookup can be tricky; how to fill in the four pieces of the formula.
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10 Must-Have Analytical Skills

Mar 23rd, 2021 / Data Analysis
Data cleaning and data analysis alone can take hours, days, or weeks. It will always take some time, but it doesn’t have to take forever. It might not be your favorite part of the process. But it doesn’t have to be a headache, either. In this blog post, we’ll cover 10 analytical skills that can make your next data project easier, faster, and error-free.
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24 Conditional Formatting Visuals in Microsoft Excel that Should Be Retired

“You should go work at Microsoft and fix Excel’s terrible formatting.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from workshop participants. Bill Gates, are you reading this?? Microsoft Excel is lonnnnng overdue for some updates. Don’t get me wrong—it’s still my favorite program. With 750 million users worldwide, I won’t be switching to anything else. It’s used by every business professional I know for at least part of their workflow. I’m getting tired of making excuses for Microsoft. Here are 24 conditional formatting visuals that should be retired ASAP because they’re ableist, time-consuming to read, or look like they’re from 1995.
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Getting Started with Google Sheets: Conversation with Ben L. Collins

Dec 8th, 2020 / Data Analysis
I recently had the chance to talk with my longtime friend, Ben L. Collins, who is THE Google Sheets instructor. Ben joined as a special guest at Office Hours (special live sessions for full course students where we share ideas and give feedback on each other’s projects). Ben shared about his consulting and training work with Sheets, and his personal take on Sheets – favorite features, surprising features, and so on. The personal insights and reflections you can’t learn just by googling something.
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Re-envisioning a University’s Monthly Report: Two Reports with Two Different Purposes

Oct 20th, 2020 / Dashboards
“How can I show my audience that 24,000 is a big number??” an evaluator asked me. She’s right; this is challenging. A single number on its own doesn’t tell us anything. Have you heard those (un)professional recommendations like, “Just type the 24,000 in large font so it grabs attention!” or “Add an icon next to the 24,000 to bring it to life!” Sigh. Want to bring numbers to life? We need to compare numbers to something. Here are two suggestions.
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