Dear Analyst #56: Self-serve dashboards, Excel, and data accuracy with BI Analyst John Napoleon-Kuofie of Farfetch

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with John Napoleon-Kuofie, a senior business intelligence analyst at Farfetch. In this conversation, we talked about how John’s career led him to Farfetch, a traffic dashboard he’s built for his stakeholders at Farfetch, and how Excel was his gateway into SQL and the wonderful world of […]

Dear Analyst #55: Using Google Translate to quickly translate text with Le Grand Débat National data

This is a super simple formula in Google Sheets, and I don’t want to understate its utility. You can literally translate text from any language into another language. This formula came out on Google Sheets in early 2019 I believe. You basically don’t have to copy and paste into Google Translate anymore to get the […]

Dear Analyst #54: 5 lessons learned in 2020 and 5 skills for data analysts to learn in 2021

With the last episode for 2020, I wanted to take a look back and pull out some of the main themes and topics from the podcast. As people rushed to pick up new data skills to adapt to our changing environment this year, I think the precedent has been set for how one can learn […]

Dear Analyst #53: Making your Google Sheets do more for you with Google Apps Script and how to become more data-driven

When I worked in FP&A, I discovered that VBA could automate a lot of tedious tasks I was doing in Excel. From creating charts to formatting data, I realized that there possibilities with VBA were endless. As I started using Google Sheets more, I found that Google Apps Script offers similar functionality to extend what […]

Dear Analyst #52: Extracting text from the middle of a cell using World Happiness data

Sometimes you have a long list of data in a column and you want to pull out a specific string of characters in the cell and put the output in another column. I’ve done this countless times and was reminded of this task after watching this meetup on Power Query vs. Excel formulas from Danielle […]

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 […]

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