My Excel Experience

I have been working with Microsoft Excel since as early as 1996 when I began using the spreadsheet application to track employee performance at a telephone company where I was the Training Supervisor. Like most people, at first I simply had a spreadsheet with names, numbers and comments but as the data grew, analyzing the data was more important than storing it. With over 1000 employees among 3 call centers, this was going to require more than a simple knowledge of =sum(). I created detailed pivot tables and eventually VBA macros to analyze all the data. This was all self-taught due to the expense of the training at that time.

Since those early days, I've been employed at several businesses where these Excel skills have been needed. This includes years spent at various transportation/logistics companies developing ratesheet calculators, transit time studies, and general reports. I've also spent a fair amount of time doing side jobs for people involved in banking, publishing, appliance manufacturing, and general assembly. All of these things have challenged and grown my skills with Excel.


Sometimes I'm asked why I prefer to develop these tools in Excel rather than Microsoft Access or something more robust like SQL. Well, first most business people are familiar with basic Excel use on a daily basis. Spreadsheets dominate the data and information dissemination process at most companies. Bottom line; it is easy for people to use. There is typically no need to train them on the basic operation. I can create a more functional, behind the scenes macro that will simply interact with tasks the person is already doing with their spreadsheets.

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