Tag Archives: Analysis

Excel tip: How to clean duplicate rows

Data is often imperfect. As consultants we know that perfect data is a myth. No matter the organization or website, data is gunky, irregular, and often broken. Was at Starbucks this morning doing my travel and expenses. Went to the American Express website and downloaded the last 6 months of corporate charges, or about $34K in planes,… Read More »

Good day for me, Tableau stock up 20%

I am a terrible stock-picker.  Trust me, my portfolio returns lag the general market. If you read about a stock on this consulting blog – just look the other way. I am writing about it because management consultants need to understand how the capital markets, annual reports, investor relations presentations, and investment research work. If you can learn a… Read More »

The problem with metrics

Metrics are everywhere. As a consultant, we are in the business of quickly understanding business problems, proposing solutions, and measuring results. Metrics are a necessary evil of any project. The classic continuous improvement methodology DMAIC depends on M (measuring) and C (controlling the process).  Seemingly, Consulting is all about metrics and key performance indicators (KPI).… Read More »

Data analysis in 20 minutes

Consultants are in the business of taking messy, unorganized data and turning it into information, and hopefully, some insights. Here is a simple example of excel clean up, and the steps to copy, paste, filter, sort, and cleanse data. For most consultants, the data cleansing would 7-10 minutes (takes some trial and error) and the graphics would be… Read More »

No more excel graphs, Tableau is the future

Tableau. Yes, this is french for Table.  It is also the most user-friendly, powerful, and amazing desktop visualization tool for consultants. Tableau is a company based out of Seattle Washington, founded in 2003 to commercialize work out of Stanford. Fast-forward 10 years, and it is a publicly traded company of 1,500+ employees, $232 million in revenue… Read More »

A consultant’s confession: I sometimes use “averages”

Consultants know better than to use the word “average” too loosely. It is certainly useful, but too general and sometimes misleading. It’s a good first step, but it is analogous to a chef using pre-cut vegetables or day-old bread. It’s easy, a bit lazy, and potentially dangerous. Look at this histogram. 1. There is more… Read More »