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Excel 2007 - finding mid date in a distribution

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I have a spreadsheet of product sales.
This has months as column headers and products as the first row.
The body of data is the sales of each product per month.

I could do with sorting these products by the date when half the sales to-date was reached.

How can this be achieved?
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Question by:Beamson
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Expert Comment

by:Arno Koster
ID: 35189639
How do you define the sales-to-date limit ?
is it placed somewhere in a cell (thus dynamic) or is it a static value ?
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Author Comment

by:Beamson
ID: 35189789
Sales to date are the total number of sales across all dates for which there are columns.

See attached file for a basic example.

(In my true data there are thousands of products sold with a distribution of sales over a period of 20 years.)
Example.xlsx
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Expert Comment

by:Arno Koster
ID: 35191766
if you select the data rows (row 2 and below),
on the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort.
select "Month in which midpoint occurs" in Sort By
select "Values" in Sort On
Select "old to new" or "New to Old" in order
click OK

as described in

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/sort-data-in-a-range-or-table-HP010073947.aspx#BMsort_by_a_custom_list
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Author Comment

by:Beamson
ID: 35191881
Finding how to calculate "month in which midpoint occurs" is the key point of my question.  Once there, sorting that column in order is relatively easy.

I can find mean sales, median sales, percentiles and so on for each row but finding the date of the halfway point for each products sales is beyond me.
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Accepted Solution

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Arno Koster earned 1000 total points
ID: 35192172
you could use matrix functions :

select cell T2
fill in formula, do not use [Enter] but instead [Ctrl]-[Shift]-[Enter]
=SUM(B$1:P$1*B2:P2) / Q2

Open in new window


format the result as a date and it will give you these dates :

September 16, 2010
July 6, 2010
April 16, 2010
March 14, 2010

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Expert Comment

by:Arno Koster
ID: 35192189
please note that this way, you calculate the mathematical average of the sales data. Eg. in the first column this average states that the half-sales point is mid september, while no products have been sold during september.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Beamson
ID: 35193290
I thought this was going to take forever but you solved it quickly with such an elegantly simple formula.  Thanks.
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