Category Archives for "General"

October 6, 2020

One Step to Data Analytics from Excel

Do you see the white dotted lines on the road? 

Just like this road that is separated by the dotted line, Excel and Data Analytics are also separated by a thin dotted line.

If you have been extracting data, filtering data, copying and pasting data in Excel, you can easily step across to the other side of the road and take the data analytics path. Both share the same skills and both can be achieved using Excel. Check out both courses below.

Hidden Secrets of Data Analysis in Excel

Grow Your Profits Through Data Analytics and Data Modelling

October 6, 2020

Arrow or Dart?

The target was at a distance, about 100m away. She held up the bow, place the arrow on the bow, pulled the arrow against the string and took aim. The arrow flew out of the bow and she let go and hit the target at the bullseye. 

The bow is like the control key on your keyboard. The arrow key is the arrow. If you just simply press the arrow key, you can only move to the next cell. But by pressing and holding on to the control key first and then press the arrow key at the same time, you can fly to the last row of your data.

Without the control key, your arrow key is like the dart. It can only move bit by bit. But with the bow and arrow, you can shoot further and faster. 

Remember the control and arrow keys.  

Check out the course below if you wish to boost your productivity 

October 1, 2020

Download Transform Load (DTL)

I was chatting with a friend online and she told me that she has attended a course on Power Query and Power Pivot.

That is a good thing. I checked on the online course she attended and it seemed to cover most of the features in the course.

The next question I asked was: Have you applied any of it?

Do you know the answer?

When we acquire a skill, it is important to know how to use it. So I created this video to share with her and you. This is what you could do when you learn data analytics, specifically power query.

Hope the video helps you understand how data analytics can simplify your job.
Enter your text here...

September 24, 2020

Green bar in Power Query

Did you see the green bar in the picture? It is just below the header.

These 2 columns have different green bars. One is a complete green bar while the other is shared with a grey bar. The green bar is an indication that the list in that column.

If the green bar is full, it means that all the values are displayed.

But if the green bar is shared with a grey bar, this means that some of the values are filtered.

Actually, there is another colour. It’s red. When it appears, it means that the column contains error values.

June 2, 2020

High Expectation

The man passed by a shop selling jigsaw puzzles and bought one for his 5 year old son. He can't wait to give it to his son Jordan. Jordan had never played with one before. 

Upon reaching home, he went straight to Jordan's room to show him his favourite cartoon character printed on the box. Jordon's eyes brightened up. The man quickly unwrapped the box and poured the 500 pieces of jigsaw puzzle on the floor and left him to complete it. 

I bet you don’t give your son a 500 pieces puzzle to start with. You would probably give him 10 piece puzzle and show him how to put 2 pieces together. And then you would teach him how the pieces are supposed to fit together to make up the cartoon character.

And when he had completed the puzzle for the very first time with you, you would probably want him to do it again to make sure he knew how to do it all by himself.


When it comes to budgeting, most of you expect your staff to perform like an expert after they were sent for a basic Excel course.

You see, Budgeting in Excel is very similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Knowing the basic Excel skills is not enough. 

Your staffs need to know the functions/formulas before they can use these functions/formulas for budgeting. This is not an easy task and it takes weeks if not months to figure out the process and put into practice. 

But Jason, we don’t have time to do that. The budgeting season is starting soon. 

Well if this is the case, then I am able to help. You see, I understand the problem they are facing and I know which function/formulas are needed for budgeting. And I have created a proprietary process which will be able to shorten the time taken for budgeting from a few months to just days.

This means that they don't have to figure that out any more and they can simply learn what is necessary to get the job done.  And the process they learned can be applied to other areas of their job as well once they see how it works.  I won’t waste their time and yours by subjecting them to the all functions and formulas type of training which they may not use for the next 20 years.

And with a few practice which will just take only hours, they will be able to do this all on their own. How about that?

Complete the form below for a non-obligation chat with me if you value your staff time and want to have a stress free budget.  

June 1, 2020

Is it worth it?

My bluetooth ear piece cannot connect to my laptop. I tried to turn on and off, reboot the computer, delete and set up the device again. All didn't help.

I googled for the driver and click on the support link. It went to a 404 page, meaning that the page cannot be found. I called Plantronics and after a long long wait, I got to someone. It was the wrong line. I was re-directed to another line and the wait started all over again.

When I finally got to talk to the right person and explained to him what happened, the line was cut off before the customer service guy could respond to me. The guy got my number but he didn't call me back. I give up.

I have wasted the entire morning with this and yet it cannot be resolved. 

Do you have the same experience like me when it comes to corporate budgeting?

When we do corporate budgeting, one of the many fears we had was broken links. When it happened, it sent a shiver down our spine. And we started to question ourselves - 

  • Was this the only broken link?
  • What if there were others and we were not aware of?
  • Did we incorporate the numbers from all the departments in the budget?

We do not know what had caused the broken link especially when we have checked and ensured that all the links were valid. We couldn't develop a plan to prevent it. And history always repeated itself.

Somebody recommended to me budgeting software. I tried a number of them. They were not as good as Excel because they took away the flexibility Excel offered, such as

  1. copying the formula across the columns with one click,
  2. scroll left and right and up and down easily. ​
  3. printing the budget within one page for viewing and checking.

Excel still reigns.

Not wanting to be overcome by this fear of corporate budgeting, I started to study the functions in Excel and tried to see how I can jump out of this budgeting nightmare. 

After many trials over the years, I finally managed to find the right model to corporate budgeting with the following advantages.

  • No more linking to other worksheets with formulas
  • No more multiple files to consolidate the results.
  • No more multiple files to break down the company expenses by department.
  • And it takes less than one hour to setup. It is that fast. 

If you are struggling with corporate budgeting and would like to know how my solution can help you, drop me a text to find out. No worries, there is no obligation for asking. 

May 28, 2020

How to create a professional employee evaluation report without repetitive copy and paste

It is time for employee evaluation. Armed with the employee data worksheet,

the skills evaluation worksheet

the mean score worksheet,

you start to present your case and flipping from one worksheet to another. Not only it appears uncool, it can perceived that you are not well prepared for the meeting. Why not put them together and give a one screen summary like the one below and have a fruitful discussion?

If you wish to find out more, watch the video below.

May 14, 2020

How to create a re-certification report

re-certification report

Create a re-certification report using Pivot Table is easy. Watch the video below to find out. If you like what you see, help me like the post and share it with your L&D friends.

Reports are easy to create, if and only if you have the correct set of data to work on. In our courses, we use the iiMAP framework to create any report that is easy to maintain. It is not complicated but requires you to possess a certain level of skills in 3 areas, Excel, Database knowledge and your domain knowledge (in this case L&D). We have 

  • public runs (Fixed outline)
  • customized courses (learn what you need to know)
  • coaching program (hand hold you as you create that report)
  • and consultancy (building the reports for you).

Contact me if you want to have a quick turnaround time for your reports.

April 29, 2020

You can never create a successful data Visualization with this data

Pivot Table Friendly data

Source: (The Humanitarian Data Exchange)

This looks like a great set of data at one glance. Every detail seems to be there. But if you wish to create a data visualization project with the data, you will surely fail. 

This is because the data is not in Pivot Table friendly layout. 

What Pivot Table friendly layout has got to do with Data Visualization?

You see, Pivot Table was designed for basic data visualization. Those who were successful in creating a Pivot Table did in in less than 3 minutes. Most of them did not know that they were using Pivot Table friendly data and therefore managed to do it for some but not others. The first experience was not replicated.

Others failed not because they are bad with data. It's because the data they were using was not in Pivot Table friendly format. Therefore, they failed to create one. ​

Here's how a Pivot Table friendly layout looked like.

Pivot Table Friendly Layout

To be be able to create a successful Pivot Table or Data Visualization Project all the time, you need to know first what is a Pivot Table friendly layout before you jumped into data visualization. That's where I can be of help to you. If you wish to be successful in creating a report whether it is in Pivot Table or for Data Visualization, you need to attend our course. It is happening on 19& 20 May 2020, 9am to 5pm (SGT), online. Drop me a text for more details.

April 16, 2020

What is Sales Data?


Our estate has a chat group to buy fresh seafood. The salesperson will deliver the stuff to our estate without delivery fees. This week, there is one group buy. When she tally the orders, I saw the order was written on a piece of paper. There is nothing wrong in writing the details on a piece of paper. It is still a sales record, hence, it is still a database. The problem with this approach is that when she needs to collect money from the customers, she will need to re-organize the orders all over again, this time by customers. 

A simple spreadsheet could have captured the details nicely. And if it is a shared worksheet, customers could still amend their orders on their own up to the order closing time. If she has used Excel, she could have pivoted the data and easily summarize the data by products/customers or by customers/products/total amount and avoid duplicate work.

This is just a group buy for one estate. If she has many such cases, she would have saved tons of time sorting out the orders. And over time, she could have created a long records to identify the product preference of customers in each estate and improve her product offering to each estate. 

Without the proper tools, she has wasted time and opportunity to serve her customers better and grow her sales exponentially.

What is a sales database?

Sales database is a record of sales activities. In its simplest form, it tells business owners and sales managers how many units of each products is sold and at what price.

But knowing these 2 column of information is not sufficient to grow the business. It is important to know who the products are sold to, on which day, the size, colour, location (if you have more than one sales locations), salesman who handled the sales. By gathering these information over time, business can offer more products that meet the customers preference and increase their sales over time. For small business owners who do not wish to spend extra on a sales system, Excel is a good tool to create the sales database and level the playing field with the big boys.