Search Not Just Numbers


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Excel Tip: Don't fiddle with the data!

Yesterday I had a conversation with a client that I have had, in various forms, many times before.

It relates to using information in a spreadsheet from an external source.

Almost every time I find a client using data from their accounting system, or provided by a supplier, customer or other third party, they approach it in a way that significantly multiplies the work involved and increases the risk of errors.

It's a shame because all that is required is a different approach, that rarely requires greater Excel skills than they already have.

In most cases the information is received as a spreadsheet - either generated from another software package, or emailed from a third party. Typically this information then needs to be edited and re-formatted to produce the desired end product - which might also have some pivot tables or charts based on the data.

The usual response to this situation is to do just that - take the spreadsheet that has been received and then edit it until it look s how they want it.

Unless this is a truly one-off situation, it is almost certainly the worst route to take, as you will need to do all of this editing again when you receive the next version of the data, next month, next week, or tomorrow!

Applying a little thinking to the situation suggests a much more efficient approach.

You will always receive this data in the same format, and will always require the same output format, so why not use this knowledge.


Instead of editing the spreadsheet you receive, paste it into a blank sheet in a new workbook and create the output you want on the other sheets referring to the sheet with the data on it, but not editing the data itself at all.

Doing it this way, means that next month/week/day you can just paste the new data in and your job is done!

You can spend your time getting it right once - reducing the risk of errors - and remove all of the work in future.

Incorrect spreadsheets have hit the headlines in the US this week, with Excel errors discovered in the calculations behind a report by Harvard Economists Reinhart and Rogoff that has been used by Republicans to support budget cuts. Another timely reminder of the potential consequences of not getting these things right.

Click here for our our exclusive offer on Online Excel Training

If you enjoyed this post, go to the top of the blog, where you can subscribe for regular updates and get your free report "The 5 Excel features that you NEED to know".


  1. Your important supplements in the N Sophisticated are generally brazilian hair uk necessary for curly hair health insurance and the most effective method to obtain Vitamin and mineral N can be brewers' thrush. Yet another very good method to obtain Vitamin and mineral N can be hard working liver, consequently be sure what you eat involves no less than one hard working liver supper 7 days. Vitamins critical for the sake of flowing hair incorporate flat iron, water piping along with iodine. Flat iron along with water piping are mixed together throughout every day food similar to various meats along with leafy green vegetables. Most of these injuries for you to hairs might be stopped by subtracting pure proper care. The top brazilian hair herbs pertaining to thinning hair incorporate Hylix Ointment which often can properly take care of hair loss. It is usually consumed pertaining to recovering just about any thinning hair trouble mainly because it is made up of a lot of exceptional along with highly effective herbal products which could boost the strength of curly hair, their size and still provide remarkable advancement inside experience in the curly hair. Men and women seeking better curly hair maintenance systems to help remedy hairfall could get pure Hylix ointment mainly because it can be brazilian hair sale powerful throughout restoring destruction involving curly hair along with delivering serious eating routine pertaining to long-term expansion. The idea performs in follicle amount to acquire excellent stand out along with light.

  2. Mohon ijin berpromosi. service Ac segala jenis merk. kami service Ac mencakup wilayah coverage seluruh Surabaya, Gresik, Sidoarjo. kami juga menerima jasa service perbaikan AC bongkar dan pasang AC. pekerjaan kami cepat, tepat, profesional, harga kompetitif di banding harga jasa luaran.
    service ac split sidoarjo
    tukang service ac sidoarjo
    service ac surabaya sidoarjo
    service ac surabaya selatan
    service ac surabaya timur
    service ac surabaya barat
    service ac surabaya utara
    service ac kota surabaya


    Segera hubungi kami, dan kami akan datang kerumah Anda 24 Jam Non Stop.
    (Hari Sabtu / Minggu / Hari Libur buka)
    PIN BBM : 54BE0B4B / 5474CD93 / TELP : 085645475574

    Martabak Paling Enak di Jakarta
    Tempat Tidur Minimalis
    Tempat Tidur Minimalis