Use MicrosoftÂ® Excel Differently to Gain a Productive Edge
Issue - Oct 2009
Christmas is just round the corner. Are you already busy sorting out the number of greeting cards you need to send out for the coming Christmas? And are you finding that it is an uphill task to come to the actual number of cards required, sieving out the duplicates in Excel containing same addresses and same names that are written in different ways such as Mark Lee and Lee, Mark? Sending out two or more Christmas cards to the same person not only means extra spending for the company but it also does not reflect positively about your company.
We are certainly not referring to duplicate records in Excel that contain exactly the same information, written in exactly the same way. These can be identified and eliminated in a few seconds. We are referring to records containing the same postal addresses recorded in different ways, such as the use of abbreviations and inclusion of spaces. For instance, someone may unknowingly enter two same entries, with one displayed as Blk 5 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 and the other as 5 AMK Ave 10. Because of the starting character, the entries in Excel are likely to appear far apart after sorting, separated by other addresses, making it difficult to detect the duplicate. To solve this problem, you can make use of Excel formulas to compare the Postal Code and the Unit Number of the addresses. The whole process will take another few more seconds to resolve than the earlier example.
But what if your customers' names are listed twice in your Excel database, with one presented as Mark Lee while the other as Lee Mark? Such records appear far away from each other in Excel after sorting. You may think that this is a big challenge. But with Excel, you can solve this in just minutes, with the opportunity to verify the records before they are deleted. This means that you are in total control over your customer list, unlike Customer Database Program which will delete them away without verifications. So how do we do this? Well, we have a secret formula that can be used to sort out the duplicated names that are entered in any order, Mark Lee or Lee Mark, as long as there are no extra characters in the names.
If you wish to find out how could sort out your mailing list for the Christmas card efficiently in minutes instead of days, sign up for our Customer Data Analysis with Excel Course now!PS: You will be able to save on envelopes, stamps, greeting cards. And the most important of all, protect your company's image!
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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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