Dear Analyst #77: The top 3 mental models I never think about and live by (I think)

The promise of mental models is that it helps you bridge the gap between what’s in your mind and what happens in real life. They are interesting thought exercises in how you think. But that’s where it ends for me. How often do you approach a big decision in life and decide to pull from […]

Dear Analyst #76: Productivity hack for creating a Google Calendar event by sending yourself an email

Taking a slight detour off of the data analysis/spreadsheet path and getting into the world of productivity hacks with this episode. A productivity hack can mean different things, and in this case it’s a hack to improve your workflow at, you guessed it, work. This hack gives you the ability to create a Google Calendar […]

Dear Analyst #75: How to extract first, last, and multiple middle names into 3 separate columns

In episode 52, I talked about how to extract text from a cell. You might use this formula to extract a certain value from a cell when your database or CSV export contains a bunch of miscellaneous prefix data. This formula relies on finding a certain character in the cell and then using the MID […]

Dear Analyst #74: Quick hack to count the number of words in a cell with LEN and SUBSTITUTE

While this little Excel/Google Sheets trick is a pretty straightforward hack, it led me to think about how we use our tools, how we stretch the capabilities of our tools, and think outside the box to come to arrive at a solution. Seems like a lot for a formula trick on counting the number of […]

Dear Analyst #73: From a career in the U.S. Navy to data analytics YouTuber with Luke Barousse

The path to a career in data analytics can be full of twists and turns. Along the way, you pick up tools like Excel, Python, Tableau, and R. What about learning how to use YouTube and growing an audience of 50,000+ from publishing videos about data analytics? I’m always fascinated by people who are able […]

Dear Analyst #72: A simple trick to be faster in Excel on the Mac (like you are on the PC)

The impetus for this episode is a new Google Sheet (and Excel) tip I just shared on Instagram and TikTok (I never thought I’d join these platforms to start posting tips but alas, this is how people learn these days). After I learned how to be productive the PC version of Excel, I opened my […]

Dear Analyst #71: Benn Stancil, Co-Founder and Chief Analytics Officer at Mode Analytics on all things analytics

Learning the tips and tricks for doing data analysis in Excel is great and all, but stepping back to see the bigger picture leads to better questions (and answers) you can ask as an analyst. Benn Stancil is one of the founders at Mode Analytics, a data visualization platform you may have used before. Benn […]

Dear Analyst #70: New advanced PivotTable class and a PivotTable calculated field trick for percentages

I’ve been planning a few advanced Excel classes with Skillshare and excited to launch my first one today called Advanced PivotTable Techniques for Analyzing and Presenting Data Faster. I use PivotTables on and off depending on the task at hand. In preparation for this class, I had the opportunity to research and learn some advanced […]

Dear Analyst #69: Import data from another Google Sheet and filter the results to show just what you need

You may be filtering and sorting a big dataset in a Google Sheet and want to see that dataset in another Google Sheet without having to copying and pasting the data each time the “source” data is updated. To solve this problem, you need to somehow import the data from the “source” worksheet to your […]

Dear Analyst #68: Generate unique IDs for your dataset for building summary reports in Google Sheets

If your dataset doesn’t have a unique identifier (e.g. customer ID, location ID, etc.), sometimes you have to make one up. The reason you need this unique ID is to summarize your dataset into a nice report to be shared with a client or internal stakeholders. Usually your dataset will have some kind of unique […]