Business & Simple Math

Microsoft Office sits on virtually every business computer as well as home computer. But for most, the art of using a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet at a more intermediate level pass the basic formulas of SUM and AVERAGE is either a mystery or akin to a language from another galaxy.

A well put together spreadsheet can serve as more than just a document of rows and columns filled with text and numbers for tallying.

Excel is a database program, and like any database, it can be used to organize and analyze data to almost every imaginable thought possible once you know how to work with the program.

One common mistake that most make is to compile blocks of text into one cell on a spreadsheet.

Tip!

If you are a novice or basic Excel user, do not place unnecessary blocks of text into one cell block on a spreadsheet; Combining blocks of text is better done in a word processing program like Microsoft Word.

Example

A user may place both the “street name” and “district” to give the address of a customer.
If you are a business or institution, it is very likely that at some point in the future you may need to use your data for analysis.  For example, you probably would like to have an idea how many of your customers live in different districtsin order to promote your business objectives.  If you cannot separate street names from districts, your data would become very hard to work with.

Now the truth of the matter is, if you are like most small business operations you probably do not have the in-house expertise to make this task simpler and, if you are not familiar with the more than basic use of Excel, it would be tedious going through rows and rows of data which you would probably wind up retyping (basically restructuring your Excel data at a later date).

A way out of this sticky and time consuming scenario however, would be to use the RIGHT formula and there are several ways of doing it this depending on the structure of your data.  Example: Suppose part of your Excel spreadsheet had the following addresses below.  Your first row of data begins in cell A1 and continues down column A.  Most individuals enter their data using commas to separate blocks of text.

In this scenario, you can use the following formula: =RIGHT(A1,(LEN(A1)-SEARCH(“,”,A1)-1)) 

This is easier digested by taking a look at the syntax of the formula from inside out, so starting with the combinedformulas (LEN……….SEARCH(….) would subtract the number of characters following the “,” giving you a number; the formula “RIGHT” which actually consists of =RIGHT(text, [num_chars]) would return the text value from the right with the number of characters you specify; the number of characters you specify is substituted with the calculation (LEN……….SEARCH(….).  In addition you use “-1” to delete the empty space following the comma (,).

The result of the formula is shown in cell F1.

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