Determine latest condition of each equipment and show a month wise count


There are 100 machines in a factory.  Every machine has different test frequency. In a given month, not every machine is tested but we still have the last known rating (from some previous month) of that machine.  We have to show the latest rating of each machine for each month in a stacked column chart. This way, the total number will remain 100 every month in the chart, but the rating distribution (color based on legend) will change based on last available rating of that machine.

For example, in January, 35 machines were tested. So we have latest ratings of these 35 machines. But as the rest of the machines also have some previous rating, the graph needs to show all 100, with last available rating.

The expected result should look like this

You may download my PBI Desktop file from here.  The very same DAX formulas can be written in the DAX formula language of MS Excel as well.

Count tasks by status


Assume a simple 3 column dataset as shown below - the date of each task and the status of that task.
The objective is to get the status wise count of tasks by the last time stamp.  So for the Status "To-do", the count should be 2 - Task ABC and DEF.  Only these two tasks on their last time stamp have the status as "To-do".  Tasks CED and ADR should not be counted because their last time stamp had a status other than "To-do".  So the final expected result in MS Excel is:

Since the original data is being fetched from an external data source, no additional tables or columns can be created from/in the source data table.

The final result in PBI Desktop is this
You may download my PowerPivot solution workbook from here and PBI Desktop solution file from here.

Segment customers into dynamic buckets


Consider a 4 column table - Respondent ID, Device ID, App Name and Category.  So this dataset shows which apps are installed on which device ID by which user and which category do the apps fall into.  It is a small dataset with only 4 columns and 2,000 rows.

The question on this dataset is - "I would like to segment the total user base by Categories into the following 9 buckets:

  1. Those who only have 1 app installed; and
  2. Those who have 2 apps installed; and
  3. Those who have 3 apps installed; and
  4. Those who have 4 apps installed; and
  5. Those who have 5 apps installed; and
  6. Those who have 6 apps installed; and
  7. Those who have 7 apps installed; and
  8. Those who have 8 - 10 apps installed; and
  9. Those who have 10+ apps installed

The expected result is a Pivot Table with buckets in the column labels, Categories in the row labels and number of people in the value area section (as shown below)

Here's how one can interpret the Pivot Table shown above:

  1. Cell B50 - There are 75 people who only have 1 "Tool" app installed
  2. Cell J44 - There is just 1 person who has 10+ Photography apps installed.

I have solved this problem using Power Query and PowerPivot.  Since these two Business Intelligence (BI) tools are available in PowerBI desktop (PBI) as well, you may download a folder with both files (the MS Excel workbook and PBI file) from here.

Customer analysis by Country and time period


Here is a Sales dataset of 8 columns and 29 rows.  It basically details the revenue earned and cash collected by service type, Customer, Country and Period.  For a selected Country and time period, there could be customers availing of both services or of any 1 service.

There are 2 broad questions that one may want to get answers to:

  1. Determine the number of customers who availed of a certain number of services
  2. Determine customers with whom business was forged for the first time and those who churned out

For a chosen country and Year/Month, the first question stated above further sub-divides into:

  1. How may customers availed of both services - Consultancy and Implementation
  2. How may customers availed of only one of the two services

So if a user selects the Country as India and Year/Month as January 2015, then Customers who availed of both services would be 1,3 and 4.  Note that Customer 2 should not be considered (even though he/she availed of both services) because the revenue earned from one of the services (Implementation) was nil.  For the same selection (India and January 2015), the Customers who availed of only 1 service would be Customer 2 - this customer availed of only the Consultancy service (Revenue was earned from this Customer only for this service).  After applying a filter on the source dataset, the rows for India and January 2015 are:

The expected result is shown below in PowerBI desktop software.  If you are not concerned with who those customers are (you just want the count), then you may simply remove the Customer Name field from the visual.

The second question is to determine the number of new and lost customers.  If a customer was not in the database in any prior month, the customer is identified as new.  To clarify, a customer who availed of the Consultancy service in a prior month also availed of the Implementation service for the first time in the current month would not be counted as a new customer.  If a customer ceases to generate revenue in any month, the customer would be counted as lost (churned) in that month.  So when USA is selected in the Country slicer and Year/Month is February 2015, the expected result is:

I have solved this question with the help of the PowerPivot.  You may download my PowerBI desktop solution file from here and source Excel workbook from here.  This problem can also be solved in MS Excel using the PowerPivot.

Perform an aggregation on Top x items after satisfying certain conditions


Visualise a 5 column dataset as show below.  This is a very small sample of the actual dataset.  It shows the date on which supplies were received for each item from Vendors and whether those supplies had errors in them.  Finally those identified errors have been bucketed into relevant categories.  The Item ID# is a code assigned by the Client Organisation.  The format of the ID# is X [Last two digits of year of receipt] [Four digit Number].  For items received from a certain vendor, the last four digits of any item will always be in ascending order of the Date received.  In other words. for items received from a certain vendor, the last 4 digits of an item received on 13 January 2017 will always be greater than the last 4 digits of an item received on 11 January 2017 from the same vendor.  There will never be repetitions in the Item ID# column.

Vendor Name Item ID# Date Received Error with Item? Error Category
California X170016 1-16-2017 No
California X170014 1-13-2017 Yes Labeling Error
California X170015 1-13-2017 Yes Packaging Error
California X170008 1-9-2017 Yes Quality Issue
California X170003 1-2-2017 No
California X160645 12-26-2016 Yes Packaging Error
California X160646 12-26-2016 No
California X160644 12-25-2016 Yes Labeling Error
California X160638 12-20-2016 Yes Quality Issue
California X160633 12-15-2016 No
California X160626 12-8-2016 No
California X160625 12-7-2016 Yes Packaging Error
California X160624 12-5-2016 Yes Labeling Error
California X160618 11-23-2016 Yes Quality Issue
California X160613 11-13-2016 No
California X160606 10-30-2016 No

The objective is to compute the error rate by vendor and Error category for the 10 most recent transaction dates with that specific vendor.  So, for vendor Name "California" and  Error category as "Packing Error", this ratio should be computed as = Number of packing Errors on 10 most recent dates/10.

Here is a simple snapshot of the Data for California.  I have filtered the dataset where Vendor Name is California and then sorted the Date received column in descending order.  Please note that when i filter the dataset on California, a lot more rows are returned.  I am only showing the Top 10 rows here because that is what is important for solving this question.

Vendor Name Item ID# Date Received Error with Item? Error Category
California X170016 1-16-2017 No
California X170014 1-13-2017 Yes Labeling Error
California X170015 1-13-2017 Yes Packaging Error
California X170008 1-9-2017 Yes Quality Issue
California X170003 1-2-2017 No
California X160645 12-26-2016 Yes Packaging Error
California X160646 12-26-2016 No
California X160644 12-25-2016 Yes Labeling Error
California X160638 12-20-2016 Yes Quality Issue
California X160633 12-15-2016 No

The expected result is:

Row Labels Labeling Error Packaging Error Quality Issue Factory Error
Boise 30.00%
California 20.00% 20.00% 20.00%
Detroit 70.00% 30.00%
Ekalaka 20.00% 20.00%

I have solved this problem using the PowerPivot. You may download my solution workbook from here.

Split total patient hospitalisation days into multiple months


Here's a dataset with 3 columns - Patient Name, Date of admission and Duration (days).

Patient Date of admission Duration (day)
A 10-10-2017 25
B 20-10-2017 6
C 23-10-2017 12
D 29-10-2017 9

The objective is to split the hospitalization per patient into different months to determine each month's revenue accrual.  The expected result is

Length of stay Month
Patient October November Grand Total
A 21 4 25
B 6 6
C 8 4 12
D 2 7 9
Grand Total 37 15 52

I have solved this problem with the help of Power Query and PowerPivot.  You may download my workbook here.

Determine the total number of projects by Status


Here's a simple 3 column table showing Date, Project name (Cat.) and Status of the project.  Each project can have multiple status entries on different dates.  So as you can observe, project "alpha_9383993" was In Progress on Oct 2, 2017, remained so on October 5, 2017 but was completed on October 6, 2017.

Date Cat. Status
02-Oct-17 alpha_9383993 In Progress
03-Oct-17 Pulse_9387388 In Progress
04-Oct-17 Pulse_9387388 Rework
05-Oct-17 alpha_9383993 In Progress
06-Oct-17 alpha_9383993 Completed
07-Oct-17 Pulse_9387388 Completed
08-Oct-17 Oppo_tes_9383 In Progress
09-Oct-17 Oppo_Max_8977 Rework

The objective is to determine the count of projects by Status as per the most recent status of every project.  So the expected result is:

Row Labels measure 2
Completed 2
In Progress 1
Rework 1

The result for In Progress should be one because there is only one such project - Oppo_tes_9383.  Project alpha_9383993 should not be counted because it was completed on October 6, 2017.  Likewise the result for Rework should be one because there is only one such project - Oppo_Max_8977.  Project Pulse_9387388 should not be counted because it was completed on October 7,2017.

I have solved this problem with the PowerPivot.  You may download my solution workbook from here.

Alter the behaviour of a filter/slicer from OR to AND


Here is a simple two column dataset which shows EmpID in column A and DateWorked in column B.  My objective is to filter the table to show those employees who worked ONLY on August 17 and August 18.  I'd like to exclude employees who:

  1. Did not work on both these days; and
  2. Worked on both these dates but also worked on other dates

A simple filter on the DatesWorked column with the criteria of August 17 and August 18, would return 7 employees.  This is clearly wrong because this will show employees who:

  1. Worked on any of the two chosen dates; and
  2. Worked on dates other than the two chosen dates

From Table 1, one can clearly observe that the correct result should be EmpID E.  Only EmpID E worked on August 17 and 18.  While others also worked on both these dates, they worked on other dates as well and should therefore be excluded.

The problem outlined above holds true for selections made via a slicer in a Pivot Table as well.  So this is a generic problem with a filter/slicer - conditions specified therein behave like OR conditions, not like AND conditions.

Base dataset

EmpID DateWorked
A 14-08-2017
A 15-08-2017
A 16-08-2017
A 17-08-2017
A 18-08-2017
B 15-08-2017
B 16-08-2017
B 18-08-2017
C 14-08-2017
C 15-08-2017
C 16-08-2017
C 17-08-2017
C 18-08-2017
D 14-08-2017
D 15-08-2017
D 16-08-2017
D 17-08-2017
D 18-08-2017
E 17-08-2017
E 18-08-2017
F 16-08-2017
F 17-08-2017
G 18-08-2017

Filtered dataset (after specifying the criteria as 17 Aug and 18 Aug)

EmpID DateWorked
A 17-08-2017
A 18-08-2017
B 18-08-2017
C 17-08-2017
C 18-08-2017
D 17-08-2017
D 18-08-2017
E 17-08-2017
E 18-08-2017
F 17-08-2017
G 18-08-2017

So the question is "How does one change the behavior of a filter/slicer from OR to AND?". To make things worse, the data is arranged as follows:

EmpID DateWorked
A 14/8/17;15/8/17;16/8/17;17/8/17;18/8/17
B 15/8/17;16/8/17;18/8/17
C 14/8/17;15/8/17;16/8/17;17/8/17;18/8/17
D 14/8/17;15/8/17;16/8/17;17/8/17;18/8/17
E 17/8/17;18/8/17
F 16/8/17;17/8/17
G 18-08-17

As you can see, there are multiple dates in a single cell separated by a ;.

You may refer to my Power Query and PowerPivot solution here.

Perform a Competitor, Feature and Customer Analysis with the PowerPivot


Assume there are four interrelated tables. One may want to create a pivot that allows one to filter data by using the slicers. Data should be filtered by the following interdependent slicers selections: Customer, Country and segment.  The logic behind the pivot when using the slicers shall be as follows:

1. Feature N is only shown if relevant to Customer X in Segment Y and Competitors do not possess Feature N
2. Competitor X is only shown if Competitor X exists and is active in Country Z and is relevant to Customer Y in Country Z

So after slicer selections are made, the idea is to display all features that one can offer and are relevant to the respective customer in the respective segment and country, regardless of whether the competitors can offer them or not.  So if one competes with competitor 1 in a specific project and offers features 1, 3, 7, offering the very same features to our shared customer does not make sense.  The customer won't see a benefit in choosing me over competitor 1.

Here's an elaborate example:

1. If one selects Customer 1/Segment A/Country 1 from the three slicers, then the Pivot Table should display as follows:

1. Row Labels - Display features in pivot if they are implemented or relevant.  The ones in Blue are implemented and the ones in green are relevant.  The pivot now shows that competitor 1 does not have features 2 and 9 which. Thus one's sales pitch will focus on offering features 2 and 9.  This section should also show data for Feature benefit calculation.

2. Column labels - Competitor 1 and 2 are displayed in the Pivot Table because they are both relevant in Country 1.

3. Competitor has/does not have feature (Value area section) - The following competitors have the same features I can offer my customer 1 in segment A:

  • Competitor 1 has features           1, 3, 7
  • Competitor 2 has features           3

Therefore they are marked with an “x” whenever they have the features.

The other competitors also have features that I offer to customer 1 in segment A, but since they are not active in Country 1, they are automatically not displayed when using the slicers.

You may refer to my solution in this workbook.

You may also view a video of my Power Query solution here:

Compute year on year growth in a Pivot Table


Assume a three column dataset which has Year, Company ID and Cash flows.  For each Company, there are cash flows for multiple years.  So for Company ID A001, there are 7 rows, one each for 2010 to 2004 and cash flows appearing in a third column.  Let's assume the number of rows are 750,000.

The task is to compute the year on year growth rate in a fourth column.  While this problem can easily be solved by writing a formula in a fourth column, copying that formula all the way down to 750,000 rows will be time consuming and processor intensive.

I have been able to solve this problem using PowerPivot.  You may download the workbook from here.

You may refer to related questions at this link

1. Computing growth % inside a pivot table
2. Compute Pro rata growth rate within a Pivot Table