Category Archives: Excel

Number of U.S. Firms by Industry Type

Industry in ActionIn doing research on industry segments, I came across some useful data on the US Census website.

After a bit of clean-up, what’s left is a spreadsheet that shows the number of firms by industry segment with total employment headcount and payroll for each industry.

Download the spreadsheet here:

Or, grab the original with all the data before my modifications.

A quick note: some of the industry lists and NAICS codes seem redundant, in that there are large categories with further sub-divisions. As a result, it appears as though some industries appear more than once. However, I think this is because the list includes all the levels of the hierarchy.

In doing a scan of the data, it looks like the shorter the NAICS code, the higher up in the hierarchy it is. So to eliminate the redundancy, hide any groups where the NAICS code is fewer than six digits.

Here’s detailed information on the structure of NAICS codes.

Using Excel to Combine Data from Different Sources

eBook cover image: How to Combine Data from Different Sources Using ExcelI’m happy to announce the publication of my new eBook, “How to Combine Data from Different Sources Using Excel.”

This tutorial covers one of my favorite functions in Excel, VLOOKUP. I have found over the years that a strong understanding of this command enabled me to work with data much more effectively. Now, when doing analysis, I’m not limited to just information from a single source because I use Excel to pull in and integrate data from other sources. I love this because I can look at more factors and answer more questions.

I felt there would be some value in putting out a tutorial that focused on the business process rather than just the software commands. Many of the tutorials currently available for Excel are fairly technical in the way they approach the material. This can make it hard to understand how or especially why you might use a particular command.

Instead of digging right into the technical details, “How to Combine Data from Different Sources Using Excel” presents one straightforward example from start to finish. Of course, it fully covers all the parameters of the commands referenced along the way, but this approach puts the technical information in context, making it is easier to understand.

There are also a number of sections devoted to trouble-shooting, which will enable most readers to get up and running quickly.

This project is being released exclusive to Kindle through the Amazon KDP Select publishing platform. If data analysis is your kind of thing, check it out and please leave a review on Amazon as well.

Unlocking the Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful Tool

ExcelOK, I’ll admit it: I’m a business geek.

It started at an early age.

Growing up the son of a marketing-exec father and CPA mom, I heard a lot of business talk around the dinner table. I didn’t understand much of it, but it all seeped in anyway. A few years down the road, in Accounting 101, the teacher introduced accounts receivables and payables. While the rest of the class fought off sleep, my reaction was intensely emotional–“So that’s what they were talking about!

Today my passion centers around the creative elements of business–building cool products and marketing them well, assembling great teams, forging a distinctive culture. But I love the numbers too. Because they tell the unvarnished truth about what’s really happening–out there, where the rubber meets the road. They reveal … is the sales campaign working? Is the new product finding traction? Are we achieving? or failing?

So in contemplating ideas for building passive income, I’m drawn to the idea of writing about Excel. Of helping people harness it’s extreme potential.

I have worked in Excel for years and I am continually amazed at it’s depth, it’s breadth. It might well be the most powerful tool the world has ever seen. I’m open to feedback on this, but I can’t think of any other tool, software or physical, that has had such an impact on the world we live in today.

Can you?

So while I consider myself more Excel admirer than expert, I know that’s a great place to start. I get excited at the idea of digging in and learning more about this amazing tool.

For years, I’ve had a “philosophy of Excel” that has served me well: spending 30 minutes once to learn how to save five minutes over-and-over is time well spent.

So in contemplating product ideas, I plan to focus on a new angle. Not just a how-to approach, but a why approach. Maybe even a little, “finding love, happiness and personal fulfillment with Excel.”

Is that promising too much? I guess we’ll find out.