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- How To Calculate The Most Improved Sales Area With An Array Formula In Excel
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## How To Calculate The Most Improved Sales Area With An Array Formula In Excel

This article will show you how to find the most advanced sales in four areas very quickly using an array formula in Excel.

Array formulas are a really powerful tool in your Excel toolbox. An array formula works with a series of data values, or an array of values, rather than individual values like a regular formula. Let’s see how it makes life easier with an example.

I have a set of sales data for four regions and their respective sales people (North, South, East and West) as sales data for two months from November 2014 and December 2014. The data should be set up as follows.

**Column B- Salesperson**

James the Great

Susan Breen

Max Jones

Stephen Parkin

**Column C – Sales Area**

North

South

East

in the west

**Column D- November 2014 Sales**

€13,415.00

€14,914.00

€10,338.00

€10,224.00

**Column E – December 2014 Sales**

€14,915.00

€14,414.00

€12,838.00

€13,624.00

**Column F is the sales difference** where we will save our first formula

Let’s see which region’s sales revenue improved the most from November to December 2014.

Your data setup would be.

If we decide to use a standard formula to find the most advanced sales area, we should follow these steps:

1. Calculate the improvement (if any) for each sales area in the auxiliary column to the right of the December 2014 sales figures in column F. Then we subtract the December 2014 sales from the November 2014 sales numbers.

2. Then we need to use the MAX function to find the maximum value and therefore the best sale. The formula syntax is

=MAX(F8:F11)

We see that Stephen Parkin has seen the biggest improvement in sales in the western region. But it took us two formulas, using an array formula is a faster way.

If we used an array formula, we could use Excel to perform multiple calculations in just one cell. We don’t need to store the range of values in column E because Excel can store it in its own memory. This is called an array constant.

So let’s repeat the process

1. Starting with the MAX function

=MAX(

Then we want to replace E3 with E3:E6 and then replace D3 with D3:D6 which will look like this

=MAX(E8:E11-D8:D11)

2. To tell Excel that this is an array formula, we need to surround it with curly braces .

We do this so that after typing the formula, the back key is not pressed, hold down CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.

I usually make sure my cursor is in the formula, then hold down CTRL+SHIRT and hit ENTER until you get the hang of it!.

So the MAX function uses an array constant as an argument and the result is still €3400.00.

**An added bonus Excel tip. **

When working with array formulas, you can look up array constants yourself. Using the same example.

1. Select the cell references associated with your array in the formula.

2. Press F9, now you see what Excel sees. That is, all the values that make up the array

3. The elements of the vertical array constant are separated by semicolons and the horizontal ones are separated by commas, in our example it is of course a vertical array constant, so they are separated by semicolons.

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