An Excel a day keeps the doctor away.


Who knew, that there are so many Exel using people out there? Even if you don’t use Excel and have no connection to it, go read Anil Dash’s Excel Pile posting for the comments.

Be it tracking who you hooked up with and what you did, making pie charts of you and your lovers spending, or if there are more brown M&M’s in those bags or not.

Yes, often you can use a “real database” for such collections and export that to a spreadsheet, but i find, that especialy for those everday things to track, Excel is by far superior for “just making a short list and do stuff with it”. Access and others are just boring.

Yes, if I have real heave data for which I need SQL, I would go to a database, but I have yet to find data which can’t be used in Excel and make nice things out of it with auto filter, vlookup and pivot tables. Frankly, the only reason I would go to Access for most of the things is the limit of lines in Excel, but in the last 6 years working in controlling and being the local Excel goddess I can tell you: Nothing a little awk script can’t fix.

Just to give you an idea: the net sales figure reports i am working with today again have around 500 thousand lines. You just have to slice them correctly. :) Oh and I do still run Excel 97 – because I am highly annoyed by the way Pivot tables are handled in the newer versions.

But, I am looking forward to the new version what it will bring, especially regarding XML and other functions. Because one thing many people forget: If you know what you are doing, you can do a lot with Excel – and keep the flexibility to work with your data.

Because life (and data) today is never as easy as to “just” have a flat database. I will go back to that thread after christmas to get some more ideas what one could do with Excel! :))

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