The following isn’t meant to be a “how-to.” This is designed to quickly show how we got over a challenge faced by a client who didn’t think that there was a simple solution. Have a look. Maybe this will inspire you to think about ways that your own spreadsheets/data can be massaged more efficiently.
Here is a situation where someone was given a massive amount of data that wasn’t immediately useful for what she was hired to do.
- Client had 300 rows of data on one spreadsheet
- Needed to insert 13 rows between each existing row
- Later, populate each space with financial data from another spreadsheet
My job was to figure out how to insert the 13 rows without manually one-by-one inserting the rows.
- 2 days of repetitive Copy/Insert and my client was less than half-way through the 300 rows
- Expensive! My client was being paid more than $25/hour to do accounting, not COPY/INSERT
- Give the original 300 rows a unique identifier by numbering them such that each row has 13 spaces in between; i.e., 1, 15, 29, 43 …
- Generate a column starting with 1 and going down to 4201
- Use VLOOKUP to locate the data that’s correlated to 1, 15, 29, 43 …
- Where there is no correlative value (e.g. 7) the VLOOKUP will return #N/A
- Delete all occurrences of #N/A
- COPY and PASTE VALUES to get rid of the underlying formulae
Elapsed time 15 minutes from problem to strategy
1 hour for implementation, cleanup and validation