Review of leading (mostly) free Web Marketing Certifications.

Web Marketing Certifications

          I spent the last few areas of my working life practicing the fine art of Web Analytics while supporting Digital Marketing efforts of my employers. As a typical analyst I try to think critically, and the most common feedback I get is that I need to think like a marketer , not an analyst (e.g. impressions are great for building a brand, even though they don’t directly result in any meaningful eCommerce activity). Sure, I’ve taken my share of Marketing courses in school and am familiar with all 4 P’s of Marketing , yet I felt that I still needed some concrete proof of my digital marketing acumen to establish a level of trust needed to implement my ideas. Hence I found myself researching top Digital Marketing certifications that hopefully wouldn’t break the bank. After careful consideration I set my eye on the following: Google Analytics (I suspect there is no need to introduce GAIQ ), Google AdWords (Between Paid Search, Display, Video, and Mobile, Google has the bases of most paid channels covered, while also introducing some SEO concepts in the process), HubSpot (HubSpot should be familiar to any Marketing professional, since they pioneered the idea of Inbound Marketing; among other certifications they offer Inbound, and Email Marketing certifications). Finally, the most crowded digital marketing channel is arguably Social Media; as a top player in the Social field, I was hoping that HootSuite certification is one of the most reputable of the bunch. With the only channel missing from this mix being Affiliates Marketing, I embarked on the journey of earning these certifications earlier this month. Okay, I must admit I should have probably sat for these certifications sooner, but better late than never, right?!

Continue reading

Top 15 Excel shortcuts for 2015.

Using Excel keyboard shortcuts - Shift+F2 - Create/edit a cell comment

          To celebrate the end of this year, let’s look at some of the best Excel shortcuts that I have been sharing on Twitter almost every Tuesday in 2015 – #TuesdayShortcuts. Adding them to your Excel repertoire shall increase your productivity. It might be hard to remember these shortcuts, but the more shortcuts you know, the more time you will save. If you use a multiple screen set up, your time savings will even be greater, since you will save a lot of unnecessary hand movement. Still not convinced? What about health benefits? No, using shortcuts will not help you shed those unwanted pounds, but they might spare you the pain (literal pain, not an imaginary one) of this unpleasant thing called tendinitis – inflammation of your wrist’s tendon. And that mental effort of exercising your memory, shall probably help you stay mentally fit as you grow older and want to keep up with the newest features of Excel v50… You are welcome!

Continue reading

Summarizing Excel PivotTables with GETPIVOTDATA Function.

Using Excel's GETPIVOTDATA Function

          Have you ever tried to select a cell within Excel’s PivotTable to create a regular link, only to realize that such formula cannot be easily copied over? You might be generating GetPivotData function without realizing it. As this Microsoft’s help page tells us: GETPIVOTDATA function “returns data stored in a PivotTable report. You can use GETPIVOTDATA to retrieve summary data from a PivotTable report, provided the summary data is visible in the report.” Main takeaways are the following: 1) GETPIVOTDATA is a summary function, and 2) it only works with visible PivotTable data. It’s syntax includes: Data_field – required field referencing data field of interest; Pivot_table – reference to any cell or range of cells withing a PivotTable report; and optional Field/Item combination, with text values enclosed in quotations. While, GetPivotData feature is activated by default, you can easily turn it off by selecting the Options menu on the ANALYZE Ribbon, and checking off “Generate GetPivotData” selection:

Continue reading

Creating user-defined Excel functions (UDFs) – Part 1. VBA code to spell a number in a text form.

Excel UDF, custom function to spell a number.

         One of the main reasons we use spreadsheets is to perform various computations on records present. As the most popular spreadsheet application, Excel now includes over 400 built-in functions. In fact, Excel 2013 alone brought us 53 new functions. These functions cover a wide range of various commonly used calculations as simple as SUM to add all values within your range, to much more involved PMT to calculate your monthly car loan payment.

         However, quite often, we still have a need for a custom function to perform our task at hand, that’s not covered by the program. Kind folks at Microsoft let us do just that, using their programming language of choice – Visual Basic for Applications (VBA.) With VBA, we can create a custom function to perform a special calculation, this custom function is officially called a user-defined functions (UDF.) You will find that UDFs are better-suited to meeting your data needs, than using a combination of multiple built-in Excel functions. They are also much easier to adopt for users, who are not particularly Excel-savvy.

         The most common misconception about Excel UDFs is that you have to learn to program in order to use them. This is not entirely true, since the Web is full of fully-functioning VBA macros that you are free to “borrow.” As an example, let’s say that we would like for Excel to spell out a number we specify. For some reason you decided that you don’t want to use your precious brain-power to perform this task. Perhaps, you need to write out a very important check to prepay your remaining mortgage principal amount. You simply cannot make any mistakes on that check, and want to rely on Excel to represent the amount of your payment in text form. A simple example would be to “translate” $ 1,357.09 into One Thousand Three Hundred Fifty Seven Dollars and Nine Cents.
Continue reading