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ExcelWebApp & Sriracha Smackdown Round 2 - Oz du Soleil

Sriracha Smackdown

Rachel Esralew and I are leading Sriracha Smackdown Round II: The True Sensation. This will be a Google Hangout where many of us will sample and rate the joyful joy of various brands of sriracha.


One night I stumbled across Rachel’s blog Sriracha for Breakfast and was thrilled that someone else shares my passion and was a fellow evangelist for sriracha.

She and her friends held a Sriracha Smackdown on 17JUN13 and my favorite Lee Kum Kee came in dead last of the 19 they sampleed. Immediately, I smelled a fish! (Well, they might say that the fish was the fish sauce that’s an ingredient in Lee Kum Kee.)

Rachel is also a data rockstar so, let’s put a bowtie on this Sriracha Smackdown by using some of Excel’s slickest features!

Cosby Sweater, CUE THE MUSIC and heat up this party!

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/98545401″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Smackdown II will have

  • judges
  • several brands of sriracha
  • rankings based on
    • Flavor
    • Heat
    • Bottle Art
    • Bonus Criteria

If you work with data, polls or personal preferences, questions always come up.

  • Will the results change if we remove Bottle Art as a criteria?
  • What are the results if we compare the all-natural brands, removing the ones with preservatives and stabilizers?

So, why not share the results from different angles, and embed it all in a web page using ExcelWebApp? Here it is and here’s how it’s done!

THE STEPS: From Idea to Collaboration to Sriracha Smackdown

  1. I start with a local spreadsheet, building a model with dummy data. Fake sriracha names, fake judges names, fake scores. I toy with the idea of weighted criteria; e.g., should Heat, Flavor and Bottle Art be graded equally? Whether they’re weighted or not, I set up formulas so that we can change the weights or set them all at 1 if we decide to rank the criteria equally.
    Click to see the full image

    Scoring Table and criteria weights (click image to see the full image)

  2. The scoring is set in a Table because we don’t know how many judges and srirachas we’ll have on Saturday. Using an Excel Table will carry our formulas forward without concern for the number of entries we have.
  3. Make Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in anticipation of the kinds of things we’d like to have visualized:
    • Judges and their personal favorite sriracha
    • The overall highest-ranked sriracha
    • Sriracha scores broken down by criteria (Can we detect a sriracha that had bad flavor, all heat and kick-ass bottle art?)
      Pivot Chart and Filter (click image to see full size

      Pivot Chart and Filter (click image to see full size)

  4. Load the document into my SkyDrive account and email editing credentials to Rachel so that she can collaborate, check my math, make suggestions and use her statistical skill to enhance what I’ve done.
  5. Inside SkyDrive I use the Embed feature which opens the ExcelWebApp.
  6. ExcelWebApp generates the HTML code that I paste into my blogpost’s text editor.

Rachel and I will continue to collaborate and add the real data to the document. During Sriracha Smackdown II my intention is to make real-time updates as the judges announce their scores.

Oh! The Details:

Sriracha Smackdown II: The True Sensation
Saturday 13 July 2013
10AM to Noon CST

For a list of the srirachas, more details, and less tech-geek mumbo jumbo, see Rachel’s site: Sriracha for Breakfast, Sriracha Smackdown Round 2

Please comment, let me know if this opens up anything in how you use Excel or work with data. Let me know if you have questions. And it’d be great to have you join the Smackdown.