Tutor profile: Geoff T.
Subject: Microsoft Excel
What are some advantages of turning an Excel data set into a table using the Table function?
If you have a data set that is arranged in row/column format, you can turn it into a table by clicking anywhere within the data set and selecting Insert > Table from the ribbon (speed key Ctrl-T). Turning the data set into an Excel Table creates many powerful advantages. Here are a few: 1. A table has a unique name that you can reference elsewhere, such as to create a Pivot Table or to establish Data Model Relationships. A great advantage here is that as your table grows, the Pivot Table or Data Model will continue to reference the entire table - not just the range that was initially specified when the component was created. 2. You can add new records at the bottom of (or within) your data set and they will automatically become part of the table. As mentioned above, this is very useful when a table is the referenced range of a Pivot Table or Data Model. 3. If you add a formula in the table, the formula will automatically copy to all subsequent rows in the column (as well as to any rows that you add in the future). 4. You can build Index/Match formulas that reference table columns; this is much easier than building such formulas from data sets that are not defined as a Table. 5. Tables have all of the sorting and filtering capabilities that are found in the "Data > Filter" function. 6. Tables automatically alternate the color of rows for easy tracking. If you add a row within the table, the colors of subsequent rows adjust automatically. These formats can be customized for personal preference.
What is the difference between the past tenses "passé composé" and "l'imparfait"?
The passé composé is used for a specific event that happened in the past, such as "I ate an apple", translated "j'ai mangé une pomme." It is a specific action that happened in the past. "L'imparfait", by contrast, describes past events that took place over time or that were in progress when something specific happened. As an example of the first case of "l'imparfait": "when I was young", translated "quand j'étais jeune". Being young is not something that is normally viewed as a specific event or action that happened; rather, it was a state of being that existed for an extended period of time. An example of the second case of "l'imparfait" would be: "I was eating an apple when you knocked on the door", translated "je mangeais une pomme quand vous avez frappé à la porte." I was in the process of doing something (eating an apple), when the specific action of you knocking on the door happened. Therefore, eating the apple uses "l'imparfait", whereas the specific action of knocking on the door would use "passé composé".
What is one of the larger challenges facing finance groups these days, in working with other functions within their organization?
Finance groups are often considered to be a "necessary evil", looked upon as being: the bearers of bad news during budget cuts, merely a customer service center when financial data is needed, and one of the many overhead expenses that disproportionately eats into profits. Changing this mindset can only come when Finance has proven that it belongs at the table with other functional leaders (i.e. Vice Presidents, Directors, Senior Managers); that they cannot make many of their decisions without input and alignment from Finance. This only comes once functions feel that Finance brings real value their business. Some of the essential basics of success on this journey are: acquiring deep business acumen, perfecting the ability to boil down information into real headlines and relevant stories, and real partnering to drive results.
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