Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Troubleshooting:Can some describe in layman terms what this excel formula is attempting: Error

Can some describe in layman terms what this excel formula is attempting:

Much appreciated!

Keys to the Problem Can some describe in layman terms what this excel formula is attempting:

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SUMPRODUCT multiplies the corresponding elements of each of its arguments and then sums the results.
For example SUMPRODUCT(1,2,3,4,5,6) is effectively SUM(1*3*5,2*4*6)=SUM(15,48)=63

SUMPRODUCT has 3 arguments in this case. 

The last one is a range of 8738 cells in column L of sheet Budget2011, which it treats like an array of 8738 values.

The second argument contains ('Budget2011'!$O$16:$O$8753=$B6) which is an array of 8738 values, TRUE when the cell in column O equals the value in B6 and FALSE when it does not.  When converted to a number, TRUE is treated as 1 and FALSE as 0. 

So -('Budget2011'!$O$16:$O$8753=$B6) is an array of 8738 values, -1 when the cell in column O equals the value in B6 and 0 when it does not.
And, by applying a second minus sign, --('Budget2011'!$O$16:$O$8753=$B6) is an array of 8738 values, 1 when the cell in column O equals the value in B6 and 0 when it does not.
So the result of multiplying together the last 2 arguments will be an array of 8738 values, the value from column L when the corresponding cell in column O equals the value in B6 and 0 when it does not.
If these were the only 2 arguments of SUMPRODUCT the result would be equivalent to
Now we come to the first argument of SUMPRODUCT which is a bit more tricky:
SUBTOTAL(3,XXX) gives a count of the non-blank entries in range XXX.
In this case the range XXX is defined by an OFFSET(...) function.
is a single cell, N rows below cell T16 on sheet Budget2011.
In your case N is not a single value but an array of 8738 values.
ROW('Budget2011'!$T$16:$T$8753) is an array of row numbers, from 16 to 8753.
MIN(ROW('Budget2011'!$T$16:$T$8753)) is the minimum of that array, so 16
So ROW('Budget2011'!$T$16:$T$8753)-MIN(ROW('Budget2011'!$T$16:$T$8753)) is an array running from 0 to 8737.
So, SUBTOTAL(3,range) is an array of 0s and 1s with 0 for cells in column T which have content and 1 for cells which are empty.
I am puzzled why the formula has been made so complicated.
If I have interpreted it correctly it could have been written more simply as
ie sum the cells from column L from rows in which the column O cell equals B6 and the column T cell is not empty, and then negate the result.

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