Exercise: Use IF and SWITCH functions to categorise shopping centres

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Category ==> Power BI - Excel 2016  (23 exercises)
Topic ==> Calculated columns  (2 exercises)
Level ==> Average difficulty
Course ==> PowerPivot / Excel Power BI
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help). Once you've done this:
  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio;
  2. Open the SQL file you've just unzipped (you can press CTRL + O to do this); then
  3. Execute this script.

This will generate the database that you'll need to use in order to do this exercise (note that the database and script are only to be used for exercises published on this website, and may not be reused or distributed in any form without the prior written permission of Wise Owl).

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Create a new workbook, and import the tblCentre and tblPurchase tables to get a model like this:

Two tables in data model

Give your tables friendly names, and delete all of the other columns to get a simple model like this.

Use the IF function to create a new calculated column in the Centre table, based on these rules:

Square metres Category name
More than 100,000 Violence
Otherwise Limbo

The categories are named after the inner and outer circles of hell in Dante's Inferno (shopping being a hellish activity).

Create a pivot table showing that the bulk of sales took place in limbo:

Shopping centre sales

Most sales took place in smaller shopping centres.


Create another calculated column called Circle in the Centre table using the SWITCH function (you can try a nested IF if you like, but it won't be much fun!).  The rules are:

Number of units Circle
Less than 50 Limbo
Less than 100 Lust
Less than 150 Gluttony
Less than 200 Greed
Less than 250 Wrath
Less than 300 Heresy
Otherwise Violence

This should give the following pivot table:

Seven circles of hell

The seven circles of hell, in sales order. Not sure why Dante had two separate categories for greed!


Save this workbook as Lust wins, then close it down.

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