Decision Making with Logic Functions in Excel

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Course Description

In this comprehensive course, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, briefly discusses the IF function and then, in detail, takes you beyond the basics. He explains what can go awry with the IF function and ways to improve the integrity of decision-making formulas. David shares alternatives to the IF function, including IFS, CHOOSE, VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and others. David’s assertion is that if you’re nesting more than a couple of IF functions, there’s probably a more refined and resilient approach you can take.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) version of Excel. David draws your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2021, 2019, 2016 and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the course.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that provides new feature updates as often as monthly. Conversely, the perpetual licensed versions of Excel have feature sets that don't change. Perpetual licensed versions have year numbers, such as Excel 2021, Excel 2019, and so on.

Who should attend:
Practitioners who would benefit by learning more about Excel error functions.

Level: Intermediate

Topics covered:

  • Avoiding the complexity of nested IF statements with Excel’s CHOOSE function
  • Discovering the range of IS functions that can be used within IF statements to test for various conditions within a worksheet
  • Employing the IFERROR function for situations where VLOOKUP returns #N/A
  • Employing the ISERROR function to determine if a formula returns a # sign error as the basis for triggering alternate calculations
  • Improving the integrity of spreadsheets by using SUMIF to look up values in a more flexible fashion than VLOOKUP
  • Incorporating decisions into calculations with Excel's IF function
  • Reconstructing spreadsheet data to use VLOOKUP as a better alternative to nesting IF functions
  • Searching for text within a cell by way of the FIND function
  • Stepping through formulas in slow motion with the Evaluate Formulas feature
  • Understanding the risks and complications of nesting too many levels of IF functions
  • Understanding when you might wish to use ISERROR or ISNA instead of IFERROR
  • Using the COUNTIF function to determine the number of times an item appears in a list

Learning objectives:

  • Recall how to avoid complex IF statements
  • Apply the COUNTIF function to determine the number of times an item appears on a list
  • Define when to use the ISERROR function or the ISNA function vs. the IFERROR function

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