My last post I blogged about how to get the Day Names and Month Names using VLOOKUPs. However, today let’s look at doing exactly the same but, using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Now for the non-coders reading this it may seem kinda scary but, give it a go and you may be surprised about how easy coding in Excel can be.
I would recommend though that you learn in a practice document that isn’t going to affect real data or an existing document.
When creating Dashboards, insight reports and spreadsheets it is something important to give day names or month names rather than a specific date string. Now this isn’t as hard as it looks but, all that Excel provides you with is a day number or month number. So why not translate that into something more meaningful?
This post will show you how to change day numbers and month numbers into names in two methods. The first by using VLOOKUPS (don’t worry they aren’t are terrifying as that) and secondly in VBA (visual basic for applications) which will be published in a second blog post.
I was just looking through my Google Reader feeds and came across someone that has deactivated their Pinterest account. OK, now is this something that they did because they had a bad experience?
No, it was simply because they had joined for a purpose – they were redesigning a room. They wanted to share their ideas with their followers and receive feedback. Seems OK to me. But because the project has ended does things justify leaving a social network?
Are you a reader of the “Database Marketing” magazine? Its a great read for all those people that are interested in databases, business intelligence, analysis and news. In their January edition they published a letter from Guy Mucklow and it is something which resonates with me. I’ve also been reading about all the well known stores that are shutting down because of the economic environment – HMV, Jessops, Comet, Blockbuster, Republic and only today Readers Digest (yes they are still around) have just filed for bankruptcy in New York.
Business doesn’t stop just because the weather makes travel awkward or impossible. Clients still need servicing and work still needs to get done. However, what can you do if your staff can’t get in? To me this raises the question do they actually really need to be in? So what if they are working from home in their dressing gown? So what if they have the TV on in the corner? Perhaps this is more conducive for a more efficient working environment.
So I ask businesses – what is stopping you?
Do you know who has your data?
Whilst reading the latest Database Marketing magazine I came across a piece: O2′s parent company – Telefonica – is planning to sell your mobile information to the highest bidder (or maybe any bidder). Is this something to be concerned about as a consumer or is this the start of you thinking about who else has data on you and what are they doing with it?
Microsoft Excel – HMRC CIS how to record payments and aid reporting
I have a number of clients that need me to speed up their administrative tasks. Now this may seem rather dull to some consultants, who much prefer writing use cases and looking into data, however I find that showing people how things can be done easier (Business Process Improvement) is fantastically rewarding.
In the UK’s construction industry scheme we have a method of paying subcontractors and short term employees. The way it works is that you have a sub-contractor (who has already registered himself with HMRC) and we take their UTR (unique tax reference) their national insurance and then deduct 20% or 30% from their pay. This deduction gets sent to HMRC each month. So in fact main contracts managers become little tax collectors.
Pinterest – Another Social Network or the Next Facebook.
With all the social networks that are out there – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ to name the main ones. Out of seeminly no-where comes Pinterest (although I think the success of Instagram for mobile may have had an influence). This site has an impressive page-rank of seven according to Google. However, can ALL brands benefit from this social network. For example could an insurance company? Could a bank? Could a consultancy?
Are there going to be any tangible benefits? positive linkage? conversion? actionable customer insight? Is using this social network going to allow you to target your target market?
Sales Funnels – Optimise or die!
This has to the be the biggest bain of all web analysts lives? We are asked questions like where are people dropping out of, why don’t the funnel figures match the management information team’s figures? What is happening on the page to make people exit?
Do you know how to answer the questions? Do you know why web analytics funnels sometimes don’t agree with other sources of information?
Ratings – 21st Century Word-of-Mouth
For a consultant word-of-mouth is an essential way to get new business. People obviously talk and its important that when discussing over a pint who is the best person for a job that your name gets mentioned. The adage that “you’re only as good as your last job” has never been truer in an increasinly price and skill competitive market. An analyst doesn’t just need to have the technical skills but, soft skills to handle management, third party suppliers, team members and most importantly finance so that your bills get paid.
If we apply this need of word-of-mouth endorsement to a business then where do you look? On the company’s site? So would you buy insurance from a company that says they are price concious, tailor the pricing policy against “x” number of variables or favour ex-forces, women or young drivers? Would you?