Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parsing Names

I'm thankful for the coworkers who ask me to do odd-jobs in Excel.  If it wasn't for them, I'd never have anything to blog about.

Today's post is about parsing text, and specifically about turning a full name into a first, middle, and last name.  Let's start with a list of names.  Oh look, an obscure 80s television reference!

So we want to change these into first, middle, and last names.  How hard is that?  Select the names, go to Data > Text to Columns, select space delimited, finish the wizard, and Bob's your uncle.  Is that a correct use of an apostrophe?  A contraction of Bob is?  I think so.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Add Scroll Bars to a Chart, Blog Stats

I got asked to do a random project at work looking at paid claims for a large claimant before and after a certain date, so I created a chart with a scroll bar that presents that data in a slightly more interesting way.  I'll get to that in a second, but first, how about some fun blog stats?

Posts:  12
Page Impressions:  288
Ad Clicks:  1
Comments:  1*
Google Adsense Earnings:  $0.14
Amazon Associate Program Earnings:  $0.00
Incidents of Paranormal Activity:  2

So I need to post a lot more, people are still reading my blog, my posts are so thorough that no one feels the need to comment, all of my readers are probably running AdBlock, and financially my blog is a runaway success.  Now when people ask me if writing an Excel blog is rewarding, I can answer, "Yes, soul-crushingly so."

Enough fun, let's get down to business.  Here is the data set we're going to start with:

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