Tag Archives: Excel

Awesome Excel Dashboard Course

The next class of the Excel Hero Academy will open in about a month (mid September, 2012)!
I am thrilled that there are already several hundred students on the waiting list, and many of them have been waiting since February.
In the meantime I have recently learned that Mynda Treacy has put together a truly fantastic Excel Dashboard Course. She was kind enough to allow me to review several of the videos, and I can report that her My Online Training Hub has put together a truly first-rate course.
Dashboards are the new buzzword when it comes to Excel reporting and employers are specifically asking for these skills.
If you need to take your Excel skills to the next level to get that dream job, then knowing Excel Dashboards will help you stand out from the competition. 
Dashboarding is an incredibly valuable tool in today’s market for consultants, analysts, and managers.  But Excel surely does not make it straightforward to build highly professional and interactive dashboards.  That’s why this type of training is crucial.
The course is video based, delivered online and is available 24/7. You also receive comprehensive workbooks and sample dashboards to keep. There’s even an option to download the videos.
The previous classes have been a huge hit with many saying that they love the cool techniques and that they’ve been able to impress their colleagues by using them in all sorts of reports, not just dashboards.
Click here to find out details of the course, read comments from past students, and watch the ‘behind the scenes’ video that shows you what you’ll receive as a student.
BONUS
If you sign up by the 7th of August you can get it for 20% off, and if you do, I will be happy to offer you a special $150 discount on Excel Hero Academy 4 next month. Just email me your receipt!
I am really happy that Mynda and her crew have put this Excel Dashboard Course together. 
There are many techniques in this course that will surprise you, and you will immediately be more productive.
Do yourself a favor and read this page.  The course is awesome.  The price is incredibly fair.  And for the next six days, you can enroll with a 20% discount, and save $150 off of EHA4, next month.
Consider this: although I get approached by countless people to promote their Excel related products, I rarely do.  I must consider it awesome first and foremost, and it must be extraordinarily valuable to you.  The only Excel training products I have ever recommended are my own course (EHA), Chandoo’s courses, and now Mynda’s Dashboard Course.  Think about that.
If you are reading this in email or RSS and connot see the above form, please click here.

Motion Induced Blindness

Hello All.

My name is Ian Huitson “Hui“.

I am quite honored that Daniel has invited me to become a regular contributor here at the Excelhero.com/Blog and hope I can maintain the high standard on content that this site has become renowned for. I look forward to your feedback on this and future posts.

A few months ago I spotted a new optical illusion over at http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/mot_mib/index.html

I figured I’d give it a go in Excel and this post documents
my approach to a solution.

Motion Induced Blindness

What to see

On the right you see a rotating array of blue crosses and 3 yellow dots.
Now fixate on the centre (watch the flashing red/green spot). Note that the yellow
spots disappear once in a while: singly, in pairs or all three simultaneously, right?
In reality, the 3 yellow spots are continuously present, honest! This is captively called “motion induced blindness” or MIB.

What to see (copied from michaelbach.de)

Below you see a rotating array of blue crosses and 3 yellow dots. Now fixate on the centre (watch the flashing red/green spot). Note that the yellow spots disappear once in a while: singly, in pairs or all three simultaneously, right?

n reality, the 3 yellow spots are continuously present, honest! This is captively called “Motion Induced Blindness” or MIB.

What to see

On the right you see a rotating array of blue crosses and 3 yellow dots.
Now fixate on the centre (watch the flashing red/green spot). Note that the yellow
spots disappear once in a while: singly, in pairs or all three simultaneously, right?
In reality, the 3 yellow spots are continuously present, honest! This is captively called “motion induced blindness” or MIB.

MIB.gif

The actual MIB Excel model is much smoother than this animated GIF representation.

The MIB Model

There were three approaches I thought about using for this optical illusion.

1.   Use a single series to define all the points
(49) and place a cross at each point.

Illusion Pics1a.png

 

2.   Use 2 series to define each cross, there are 49
crosses.

Illusion Pics2a.png

3.    Use a Bitmap for the Background including
crosses and rotate it.

Choice of Attack

The first method wouldn’t suit the needs of the illusion as each
marker doesn’t rotate as the series is rotated, but instead stays fixed
relative to the ordinal axis.

The second method would require a large number of
co-ordinates for each cross, that is 4 X and 4 Y co-ordinates for each cross
and there are 49 Crosses, for a total of 98 series, and 196 co-ordinates. Time
consuming but at least the crosses will rotate. This is the methodology I choose for the model.

Illusion Pics4a.png

The Third method of rotating a fixed bitmap although very
feasible, wasn’t I felt in the spirit of doing it all in an Excel Chart. I
should note that this method would allow for much faster rotation than has been
achieved using Method 2.

You can follow along with the real model and all associated preparatory workings in the attached file: Motion Induced Blindness.xlsm. All preparatory workings described below are on worksheet “2”.

Setup

Firstly I setup a table of numbers -3 to +3 in X and Y and
then added/subtracted a small amount to each one to represent the width of the
cross. I settled on 0.15 as it looks about right.

This gave me a table of X and Y values for each point.

Offset

0.15

Pt No

X1

X2

Y

Circle

Quadrant

1

-3.15

-2.85

-3

3

2

-2.15

-1.85

-3

3

3

-1.15

-0.85

-3

3

4

-0.15

0.15

-3

3

5

0.85

1.15

-3

4

6

1.85

2.15

-3

4

7

2.85

3.15

-3

4

8

-3.15

-2.85

-2

3

9

-2.15

-1.85

-2

3

10

-1.15

-0.85

-2

3

etc

 

 

 

 

Rotation

The problem with X and Y values is that to rotate them
around a point it is easier to use Polar coordinates, but Excel requires
Cartesian Coordinates to plot.

So the process would be

1.
Setup the 49 points of 4 sets of X, Y pairs

2.
Transform them to polar co-ordinates.

3.
Setup a named formula for each end point

4.
Add a radial increment to the revised polar
coordinates

5.
Use a named formula to convert the polar
coordinates to Cartesian coordinates

6.
Plot

7.
Repeat from Pt 4.

Polar Co-ordinates

Point 2 in the above sequence means converting each set of
coordinates into polar co-ordinates consisting of Radius r and Angle Ø.

Illusion Pics3.png

Solving the above we have

r           =sqrt(x2
+ y2)

= Sqrt(-2.852 + -22)

Ø          = Atan(y/x)

=Atan(-2/-2.85)

This is done for every end point of each cross section, 98 pairs
of X, Y Co-ordinates.

Now we have the polar co-ordinates of the end points, we can
setup the rotation equations.

That is the equations to convert the original polar
co-ordinates back to X & Y values, which Excel needs to plot.

This is done by 2 simple equations:

 

X = r * Cos(Ø)                  

Y = r * Sin(Ø)

 

X = 3.731*cos(3.707)     

Y = 3.731*sin(3.707)

 

Now we can add a rotation angle, lets
use t.

 

So that the new position after
rotation is

X = r * Cos(Ø + t )           

Y = r * Sin(Ø + t )

 

Xrot = 3.731*cos(3.707 + t)           

Yrot = 3.731*sin(3.707 + t)

 

This is done for each point of the
cross for all crosses.

 

x1

y1

4.350*cos(3.903+t)

4.350*sin(3.903+t)

3.691*cos(4.091+t)

3.691*sin(4.091+t)

3.213*cos(4.346+t)

3.213*sin(4.346+t)

3.004*cos(4.662+t)

3.004*sin(4.662+t)

3.118*cos(4.988+t)

3.118*sin(4.988+t)

3.525*cos(5.265+t)

3.525*sin(5.265+t)

4.138*cos(5.472+t)

4.138*sin(5.472+t)

3.731*cos(3.707+t)

3.731*sin(3.707+t)

2.936*cos(3.891+t)

2.936*sin(3.891+t)

2.307*cos(4.191+t)

2.307*sin(4.191+t)

etc.

 

 

 

Matrix Arithmetic

 

To draw a line on a scatter chart,
Excel needs 2 X values either in a Range or an Array as well as 2 Y values in a
Range or Array.

 

Thankfully I’ve been a member of
Daniel’s Excel Hero Academy. In a Module on Matrix Arithmetic we learn
that we can add 2 named formulas together to make an array in a Named Formula.

 

We need to do this to end up with an
Array representing the X and Y values for each of the 98 segments of the 49
Crosses.

 

X Values = { X1, X2 }

Y Values = { Y1, Y2 }

 

As an Excel Named Formula I used:

 

Named
Formula   Formula

sx_08                     =
{1,0} * 3.731*cos(3.707+t)  + {0,1} *
3.482*cos(3.753+t)            

sy_08                     =
{1,0} * 3.731*sin(3.707+t)  + {0,1} *
3.482*sin(3.753+t)

 

This is done for all the 98 cross
segments.

 

To simplify the construction of all
these, the co-ordinates, transformation to polar coordinates and construction
of the rotated transform formulas was done in Excel (Refer Worksheet “2” in the
example file).

 

This allows errors in co-ordinates to
be checked.

 

Once all the named formula are ready to
be uploaded, I have used a technique involving a simple VBA Named Formula
upload subroutine. This is described in my post at:
http://chandoo.org/wp/2011/06/23/automating-repetitive-tasks.

 

The VBA routine is available in Module
2 of the attached Sample File, “Load_Named_Ranges()”.

 

 

Add Chart Series

 

Once the named formula are constructed
and loaded, it is simply a matter of adding a blank scatter chart to Excel and
setting up a table of Series Names, X value and Y Values:

 

Chart
Series Name

X values

Y values

S01

=1!sx_01

=1!sy_01

S02

=1!sx_02

=1!sy_02

S03

=1!sx_03

=1!sy_03

S04

=1!sx_04

=1!sy_04

S05

=1!sx_05

=1!sy_05

S06

=1!sx_06

=1!sy_06

S07

=1!sx_07

=1!sy_07

S08

=1!sx_08

=1!sy_08

S09

=1!sx_09

=1!sy_09

S10

=1!sx_10

=1!sy_10

Etc

 

 

 

Once again I have setup a table of
Named Formula name, together with X and Y Named Formula and used a small VBA
routine to add these series to the chart.

 

The VBA routine to do this is available
in Module 2 of the attached Sample File, as “Add_Cht_Series()”.

 

 

The 3 Yellow Spots

 

The 3 yellow spots are a manually loaded
series in the chart using an Array of coordinates.

 

X Series                              ={1.5, 0, -1.5}

Y Series                              ={1.5, -1.8, 1.5}

 

The Marker was set to Yellow and size
15

The Line Type was set to None

 

The Centre Spot

 

The centre spot was a manually loaded
series in the chart

 

X Series                              =0

Y Series                              =0

 

The Marker was set to Red and size 12.

The Line Type was set to None.

 

 

Animation

 

Animation of the chart is achieved by
adding a simple Named Formula “t” and the changing the value of t and updating
the chart.

 

This is done through a simple VBA
routine “Rotate()”

 

This is described below

 

Sub Rotate()


Dim t As Double
‘Dimension
the only variable

    t = 361 ‘Start at 361 Degrees


Do While [AA1]   
‘Loop while cell AA1 is True


t = t – 1
‘Decrease
rotation angle by 1 Deg


If t = 0 Then t = 360
‘If Rotation
= 0 go back to 360


ActiveWorkbook.Names.Add Name:=”t”, RefersToR1C1:=(t * 2 * Pi
/ 360)


‘ Add a
named Formula t with value = t * 2 * Pi / 360


‘ t expressed in radians


DoEvents
‘Refresh
screen

 


If (t >= 0 And t < 90) Or (t >= 180 And t < 270) Then
‘If t in a range set Centre Marker color
Red or Green


ActiveSheet.ChartObjects(“Chart
2″).Chart.SeriesCollection(99).Format.Fill.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(255, 0, 0)


Else


ActiveSheet.ChartObjects(“Chart
2″).Chart.SeriesCollection(99).Format.Fill.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(0, 255, 0)


End If



Loop

 

End Sub

 

 

Download

 

The above example is attached below:

 

Worksheet 1, contains the working model.

Worksheet 2, contains the original
source data as well as all transformations of it.

 

Download here: Motion Induced Blindness.xlsm

 

FINALLY

 

This is my second post at ExcelHero.com
and I’d like to thank Daniel for allowing me to
post here again.

 

I am a member of the inaugural Excel
Hero Academy and MVP of the Excel Hero Academy 2 & 3, where Daniel explains a lot of the techniques you will see throughout this site as well as so much more.

 

It is one of these techniques that made
this project possible.

 

I am a regular contributor at
Chandoo.org where I answer questions at the Forums and have contributed over 30 Posts.

 

For more about my Excel work please visit:
http://chandoo.org/wp/about-hui/

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Continue reading