Monthly Archives: March 2011

Spreadsheet Developer's Challenge: Facebook Insights

Hi Everyone,

Excelville was contacted by a person looking for a spreadsheet to help manage her business Facebook Page using Facebook Insights data. There is currently not a spreadsheet in the EXV database that performs this specific function. If you're up to the challenge, please create a spreadsheet the meets the minumum criteria specified below and upload it to Excelville.com for sale.

  • Graphically displays page performance by Key Metrics, Countries, Gender and Age, Cities, Language, Internal Referrers, External Referrers (all this data is provided in the users Facebook Insights spreadsheet download)
  • Displays this data in both bar or line charts and pie charts
  • Requires no data entry on the part of the user. Ideally the user could download the data from Facebook and your tool simply links to the data source and performs the calculations/graphing automatically

The winner of the challenge is the first person to make a sell from Excelville.com. The winning file must have Facebook Insights in the title and/or keywords and perform at least the minimum criteria. The winner not only walks away with the earnings from the sale, they will also be announced in Excelville's Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, blog, email and other communications.

There is no timeline specified for this challenge. If you would like to know if the challenge is still up for grabs, you can tune into to any of EXV's social network feeds to see if a winner has already been announced. If not, you can still win!

You can use the following link to find an example of a Facebook Insights data page. This will give you the data you need to build the facebook page management tool.

http://www.excelville.com/file/92/Facebook+Insights+Challenge+Data+Page

 

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Free Process Improvement Test Request Form

Do you have any idea what its like when you show up to work one day and learn that there is a huge test being done in your area and noone told you about it? And oh yeah, its going to require you to lead the whole process, document the results, and provide a presentation to the department heads on what you found. Sure, some of you just love these kinds of surprises, but for the rest of us, a little notice would be greatly appreciated. Something like a simple spreadsheet that details out the time, date, who all needs to be involved, the procedure, and resources needed would be a great tool to help communicate the information needed for a successful test. There was recently just such a spreadsheet uploaded to Excelville called the "Free Process Improvement Test Request" by Max Performance. This spreadsheet includes all the necessary information to help what could be complete chaos go smoothe and seamlessly. It would be a great tool to compliment your existing or developing Continuous Improvement program. Download it for yourself from Excelville.com and see what its all about.

 

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Triathlon Training Spreadsheet

How would you like to be in good enough shape to compete in a triathlon…by summertime?! Ok, its going to take way more than a spreadsheet to do that, for most of us anyway. However, a spreadsheet can be a great tool to help lay out your workout schedule and track your performance to target. This way you could lay out your goals and timeline, then visually see how you´re progressing over time and make sure you´re on schedule to hit your targets around competition time. Its a great tool for anyone who wishes to compete at a high level or has ambitious fitness goals. There was a spreadsheet added to Excelville called the "Triathlon Trainer" by Exercise Coach that has all the fuctionality built in and more so that you can plug in your numbers and go. And yes, it even helps you monitor your bodyweight as you progress toward your goals.

One other neat feature of this tool is the graphic display of your % to goal as you progress from week to week. It looks like a great tool with lots to offer. Check it out for yourself at Excelville.

(Note: We are in no way liable for anyone who attempts to compete in a triathlon as a result of a sudden feeling of inspiration from reading this blog post!).

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Personal Finance: Income and Expense Tracking Spreadsheet

Where is your money REALLY going? 

When my wife and I initially cranked up our household budget and started tracking the money, we had an eye opening experience that lead to some tough questions and very important discussions. We realized thats its impossible to really grasp how well we´re handling the money unless we sit down on a periodic basis (ideally weekly), and take a close look our spending and where its going (versus where it should be going, like savings for example). The practice of thinking about money with real data at hand automatically makes you more consious about managing your finances more effectively. With this process in place and having the discipline to stick with it, which only really took about 15 or 20 mins a week, we were able to increase our savings rate more than 3x what we had put aside in the past. I was also able to put about 2% more aside in my pre-tax 401k as a result. The tool we used took about 30 hrs or so to create and is still being fine-tuned. However, its still not nearly as advanced as the one that was recently added to Excelville called the Family Household Income/Expense Tracker by Excel Accountant. This thing is feature-loaded so that all you need to do is drop in your numbers from your online banking download and categorize each expense and the spreadsheet does all the hard work for you.  All the graphs, pivot tables, and other ways of displaying the data are updated automatically or by hitting a button. It certainly has some impressive specs and screenshots. Check it out for yourself on Excelville.com.

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Whats Area of You Life has the Greatest Opportunity for Improvement?

Excelville.com recently added this discussion forum on thier new facebook page where you can find the latest spreadsheet uploads and also free and featured spreadsheets. The question posed in the discussion forum asks what is your top area for improvement in your life?

So lets talk about that for a second. What are the areas of your life that you believe could use some focused improvement? And what ideas or systems have you put in place to improve in those areas? Here are some of the most common areas: finances, business, relationships, getting things done, management, health, spirituality, getting organized, parenting…and the list goes on and on. What does any of this have to do with spreadsheets, you ask? Well the answer is that if you combine the right spreadsheet skills with the right idea and a little bit of creativity, you could create resources that could help you improve in any area of life. Many successful businesses know and apply this approach very well. Why can´t you? This disucssion can help drive the development of the spreadsheet resources that you could use to Excel @ Life. So lets hear it..What area would you like to improve first?

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Free Household Organization Spreadsheet

One of these days, I´m going to do a time study on myself to see how much time I spend per week squandering through drawers, cabinets and closets looking for things. I would bet that a pretty significant portion of my life goes toward searching for stuff around the house. How convenient would it be to just open up a spreadsheet and see exactly where the item is before wasting time tearing the place apart (and then putting it back together). This same spreadsheet could be used to help me remember where to put things that have been left out of place. Or better yet, it could help guests or hired help to locate or know where things should be put when no longer in use. This could be a really useful spreadsheet. Actually, there was recently a spreadsheet uploaded to Excelville.com called the "Free Household Items Locator Spreadsheet" by Marian that will certainly help in this area. As Marian put it in the spreadsheet description, "This spreadsheet is one huge step toward a cleaner and more organized home." Go to Excelville and search "household items locator" and download this free spreadsheet to see for yourself.

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Great New Way to Establish Yourself as an Excel Expert

Excelville.com has set the grand stage for Spreadsheet Experts of all disciplines to showcase your abilities and position yourself as an expert in the arena; and perhaps make some cash in the process. The website allows Excel guru´s to set up personal profiles, upload spreadsheets (for free or for sale) and build upon your reputation as the master of your domain. This gives you a free web presence on a website with rapidly growing traffic. You can upload your picture, personal biography, and include links back to your website for people who want to get to know you better.

You can use your Excelville account to sell or share free spreadsheets. People can find and learn about you from the files that you upload to the site or by searching for you directly to find your profile page, which displays all of the spreadsheets that you have made available. They can also find you or your work directly from Google and other powerful search engines. You can even share you personal URL with your social networks to further establish yourself as an Excel Expert within your network. This type of thing can only open you up for more opportunities to leverage your expertise.

The site currenly allows you to sell spreadsheets but is evolving to add more ways to increase your range of service as an expert. If you´ve got the skills, why not use them to serve those who need the help; and get paid doing it if you choose to. Check the site out yourself to see what I´m talking about.

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What Exactly Are You Downloading?

How many personal computers have you gone through in the past 10 years? Why did they fail? You ever wonder in the back of your mind what you´re actually putting on your computer when you hit the download button? With all the crazy stuff out there that people are putting out there on the internet, how do you know for sure that you can trust any website that comes up in a Google search? Nowadays some websites can send you a virus just for clicking a link on their page, let alone one that requires you to download something. Are these one-off websites reputable and trustworthy? Can they give you any type of assurances that when they ask you to download their free spreadsheet, you´re actually going to get a free spreadsheet and no surprizes like trojans or spyware, which can expose you to identity theft. This is the advantage to using a site like Excelville.com to get your spreadsheet downloads because the site only allow certain filetypes to be uploaded in the first place (no executable files that can launch viruses). This protects the person downloading it and prevents the manipulative tactics that have been used to put destructive viruses and other malware on people´s computers. This makes Excelville.com a much safer alternative for downloading spreadsheets. Fortunately  the site´s selection is growing daily because it allows skilled spreadsheet developers from all disciplines to create profiles and provide spreadsheets; some for free, some for sale. Check it out for your self and you be the judge.

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Free Time Management Spreadsheet – 7 Habits

Several years ago, Steven Covey taught the world how to be more effective. One of the techniques that he teaches in his book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", is to categorize your activities into four quadrants that classify how urgent and/or important each task is. This could be done using a number of mediums but why not do it using a pre-formatted free spreadsheet! There was recently one such spreadsheet uploaded to Excelville called "Free 7 Habits Time Management Spreadsheet" by The Little Guy. Download and check it out for yourself as this is something that anyone who does anything can use.

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Engineer Your Golf Swing

Excatly how accurate is your golf swing? Please include the standard deviation, range of data points, and the margin of error in your response. How many people do you know can answer this question with any degree of accuracy, or honesty? Well, its an important question to know for anyone trying to improve thier game as they are the same questions required to improve almost anything that produces an outcome. How do you know beyond the benefit of a doubt that the changes you are making to your swing are actually yielding positive results? Are you relying on instinct or your mood for the day? Is there possibly a better way?

Why not use a spreadsheet to help you with this daunting task? Yup, a spreadsheet can do that too, easily. In fact, it can also plot your datapoints on charts to help you visualize the results of your strokes. There was recently a spreadsheet called Golf Swing Accuracy Calculator by GolfSwingDesign.com uploaded to Excelville that can help you with this and other important development challenges. This tool breaks the golf swing down to a science so that you know for a fact where your game is going.

Check it out for yourself at Excelville.com

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