How to Easily Remove Duplicates in Excel

If you work with data in Excel, you're likely to find yourself dealing with the issue of duplicate records or data points.

 

With small data sets, you can manually scan and try and remove duplicates. But if you have large data sets, doing this manually would take a lot of your time.

 

The good news is that Excel has an inbuilt feature that allows you to remove duplicate with a few clicks. 

 

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps you need to follow to remove duplicates from your data set in Excel.

 

Suppose you have a transaction records as shown below:

As you can see, the second and third record are the same. 

 

While you can visually see this duplicate data point in this example, if you have hundreds or thousands of records, doing this manually would be time consuming.

 

Here are the steps to remove duplicates from the data set shown above:

  • Select the entire data set.
  • Go to Data and with the Data Tools group, click on the Remove Duplicates icon.
  • In the Remove Duplicates dialog box, make sure all the columns are selected (which is the default setting).
  • Click OK.

This will instantly remove all the duplicate records from the data set.

 

Note that this technique alters your data set. If you want to keep the original data set as is, make a copy of the data set and then perform these steps on it.

 

Hope you find this technique useful and it saves you some time.

 

If you want to learn more about this technique and how to use it, here is a tutorial that covers this topic in detail.

 

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5 Ways You can Use Excel to Be More Efficient

Excel has many features that can help you get a lot of work done faster and more efficiently.

 

Here is a list of 5 excel features you should master to be super productive:

  • PIVOT TABLES: Pivot Tables can crunch thousands (or even millions) of data points in a matter of seconds. If you have a data set such as sales records or transaction records, you can quickly use the drag and drop feature of Pivot Table to create summaries. It can quickly answer management level questions such as which sector is doing better than other or which sales rep has highest contribution to profit.
    Here is a great Pivot Table resource I found online.
  • Excel Functions: Excel functions are the life and soul of Excel. You can a great deal of analysis using function. Be it dates, numbers, or text, there are functions for everything. While there are ~500 Excel functions, you need to know a handful to get a majority of tasks done.
    Here is a collection of Excel Functions with Examples and Videos.
  • Excel Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time and effort. It saves you time by not requiring you to leave the keyboard and go to mouse for every other thing. There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts but if you can master the ones you need regularly, you will find a considerable difference in your productivity.
  • Excel Table: When working with tabular data, you should always convert it into an Excel table. To do this, select the data that you want to convert into an Excel Table and press Control + T (hold the Control key and then press T). There are many benefits of using Excel Table. 
    • If you have a data set that expands, Excel Table would automatically account for it in formulas.
    • You can use Excel Table column names instead of confusing references when creating formulas
  • Conditional Formatting: If your work involves creating reports and analyzing data, you'll find conditional formatting to be a great ally. It helps you visually show the variation in the data. For example, if you have the sales numbers for 10 sales reps, it can visually show the higher ones in green, medium ones in Orange and low ones in red. There are many visual formats you can use including Harvey bubbles, arrows, colors, and bars.
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5 Excel Functions That Will Save you Time and Effort

Excel functions form the backbone of data analysis in Excel. There are more than 470 functions in Excel that can help you when working with numbers, text, or alphanumeric strings.

 

You don't need to know all the Excel functions of course. But if you get a grip on some of the important ones, then it can help you a lot in your daily work.

 

Here I am listing 5 Excel functions that you, as an analyst, must champion.

Must Know Excel Functions

  • VLOOKUP Function: In the world of Excel spreadsheets, VLOOKUP is the king. It is one of the most popular functions and helps you while working with large data sets. It looks for a value in a column and when it finds a match, it returns the corresponding value from the specified column. Here is a detailed guide on using VLOOKUP Function that I found online. Click here to get an in depth understanding of how this function works.
  • IF Function: IF function evaluates a condition and if the condition is met, it returns the specified value, and if not, then it returns the other specified value. For example, if you are grading students, you can easily check the marks are more than 35 or not. If not, specify it to return FAIL, else PASS.
  • SUMIF function: This function adds the values in the specified range if the specified condition is met.
  • COUNTIF function:This function counts the values in the specified range if the specified condition is met.
  • LEFT Function: This function is to be used when working with text. It can extract the specified number of characters from a given text string. For example, if I want to extract the first 5 alphabets from "spreadsheet", I can use this function.

These function will get you started. Once you have a good handle on these functions, start experimenting with other functions.

 

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