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Learn How To Be INDIRECT

One of our participants from the finance department of a well-known American retailer owns a workbook containing the budget numbers of the divisions in the company. Just like many others, the budget numbers are organised with each worksheet storing the budget numbers of a division. She has to spent 1.5 hour and use a macro to upload the budget numbers into the Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) System, which then takes another 1.5 hour to process the budget numbers before the consolidated numbers can be viewed in the system.

During our course, she asked if there was a faster way to do this in MS Excel, and a few formulas were recommended to her. One of them is the INDIRECT formula which is used to convert a text formatted range into a valid Excel range. INDIRECT looks like a pretty useless formula, doesn't it?

If you have attended one of our courses, you will know that the value of the formula is not determined by this definition. Using the INDIRECT formula, we can present the worksheet name and the range separately in two different cells and have them combined together using the INDIRECT formula to become a valid range. With this approach, she is able to consolidate all the divisions' budget numbers in the different worksheets into one in a breeze without using Copy and Paste, and then use the pivot table to present the consolidated numbers. This set up allows her to consolidate the number in less than 0.5 hour, less than 1/6 of the time she currently spend using HFM!

Wish to know how this is done? Sign up for our Dynamic Real-TIme Forecasting with Excel course and be amazed by our solution. The pre-requisite for this course is a strong understanding in VLOOKUP formula and Pivot Table. If you are not ready, attend our foundational Excel course which will show you how we apply the functions and formulas to real-life business problems.

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Yours Sincerely,

Jason Khoo
Chief Trainer
everydayExcel Business Lab Pte Ltd
Author of "Hidden Secrets of Data Analysis with Excel" and 
"Excel Secrets for Highly Effective Marketers"


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