Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 22. April 2008 11:34

I am just wrapping up a project which involved adding some new functionality to an existing Excel financial model. The model was fairly typical: in a nutshell, it contains financial forecasts for every product of a company, and aggregates the results into the overall value of the portfolio of products.

One aspect which ended up being pretty tedious was the creation of summaries. The spreadsheet was very nicely structured; it made good use of named ranges to describe input variables – but it also used them heavily in output summaries. As it turns out, this is error-prone and makes the maintenance and reorganization of sheets quite a hassle.

So I struggled for a while with this issue, and came up with a way to build summaries in Excel using a different technique; it relies on the INDIRECT function, and offers a few interesting benefits.

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by Mathias 15. April 2008 13:19

If you have experienced any weirdness with this blog over the past few days, I apologize - and will have to ask you to please bear with me for a little more: I have just spent part of the week-end switching from DasBlog to BlogEngine.Net. The brunt of it is done now (I reached the mythical "it's 80% finished" point), but I still have to complete porting my old posts and review their formatting.

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by Mathias 2. April 2008 11:35

Discovery.com has an interesting piece on a recent study of the risk attitude of chimpanzees and bonobos. The experiment was conducted the following way:

The apes had to choose between two upside-down bowls. One was the "safe" bowl, which always covered four grape halves.The other was the "risky" bowl, which covered anything between one and seven grape halves. More...

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