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Dear Analyst #51: Who is the real audience for custom data types in Excel?

To much fanfare, custom data types in Excel were released late last month (October 2020). This feature started off as a way to see “rich data” relating to stocks and geography in a cell, and now Microsoft is letting you define your own data types. Perhaps you want to see all attributes for a customer […]

Dear Analyst #50: Walking through a VBA script for trading billions of dollars worth of derivatives with Shawn Wang

This little podcast/newsletter started as a little experiment last year. I never thought I would make it to episode number 50, but here we are! Thank you to the few of you out there who listen/read my ramblings about spreadsheets. I decided to give you all a break and invite my first guest to the […]

Dear Analyst #49: DCF spreadsheet error leads to $400M difference in Tesla acquisition

I’ve been posting quite a few episodes about spreadsheet errors as of late. The two Harvard professors and their faulty economic policies, the JPMorgan whale trader, and the EuSpRIG community who tries to catch all these errors. This is a quick story about how Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity in 2016 was botched due to a […]

Dear Analyst #48: Working with numbers formatted as text with avocado sales

For spreadsheet newbies, number formatting may seem like a pretty innocuous matter. As you become more familiar with Excel or Google Sheets, you’ll find that improper number formats will lead to formulas that don’t output what you expect or formulas that straight up don’t work. This episode explores what happens when you unknowingly have numbers […]

Dear Analyst #47: Spreadsheet horror stories from the European Spreadsheet Interests Group

The episode about how a rogue trader cost JPMorgan Chase $6.2B due to an Excel error struck a chord with folks. This episode explores three horror stories (and a recent one related to COVID) where people made simple spreadsheet errors and cost their companies and organizations millions of dollars. I don’t get too in-depth with […]

Dear Analyst #45: Thinking long-term for structuring your dataset using U.S. public food assistance data

When you need to capture some data in a structured way, you’ll open up an Excel file or Google Sheet and just start throwing data into the spreadsheet. Not much thinking; just copy and paste. As that dataset grows, the original structure you had set up for that spreadsheet may not be ideal. Specifically, the […]

Dear Analyst #44: Referencing CO₂ emissions data with INDIRECT and FILTER to build a model

I recently had the opportunity to build a growth model at work, and it’s been fun getting back to my roots in Excel/Google Sheets. Been a while since I’ve built a model from scratch so I of course referenced previous models my colleagues have built. Interesting to see the use of FILTER and INDIRECT in […]

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