Excel Bastards No More

Looking bleak, chaps.


The two stupidest people i’ve met have been qualified accountants.


They can’t be stupid, mate, they’ve spent years learning how to not laugh at the term “double entry bookkeeping”.

Gotta be right up there with lettings agents and train conductors for relentless misery work

For a long time I assumed BS Johnson’s famous avant-garde novel must be super fucking racy.

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The place I work is usually miles behind the curve when it comes to embracing new technology and even we’ve got some reasonably decent reporting software.

I’m currently working on a large automation project for one of the UK’s bigger companies - bye bye Excel :+1:

That said, the article is a bit misleading aside from this:

Proficiency in Excel is a given today.

^That’s why it’s not a key question anymore - you no longer really have a generation who can’t use it…

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Lochaber no more
Sutherland no more
Lewis no more

it’s weird when I got my first office job circa 2004 I soon realised I was quite good at excel, but I assumed it would be short-lived as younger people who would have learnt it more in school came into the workplace, yet 14 years later it still hasn’t really happened, intermediate excel skills are still considered some kind of witchcraft

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Expecting people to come out of school being proficient in Excel is like expecting them to be proficient in French. In all of my IT lessons I probably spent a few hours using Excel.

Unquestionably the biggest advance I have made in the last few years is doing Excel to intermediate level. It’s literally changed my life. I’m not even joking. I can’t believe how I used to do my job before Conditional Formatting and VLOOKUPs - they’ve saved me so much time.


I suppose, I still find the general lack of proficiency a bit weird, like stuff that seems to impress people really isn’t hard at all, most people would be able to grasp it very quickly if they tried, but I think some people have a psychological block and just assume its hard and refuse to even try

I mean, given that no school child can really needs lessons on setting up an email account or making a Power Point presentation anymore, maybe IT lessons should pivot to stuff like data analysis and focus on teaching the use of tools like Excel (or Google Sheets or whatever).


yeah, ‘data literacy’ or something, I work with statisticians and economists and am amazed how even these people have very basic data skills

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And while we’re at it, PSE lessons should include stuff on understanding finance (this is just my personal bugbear).


Yeah I don’t think people realise how useful Excel is as a tool outside of disciplines like data analysis/stats/accountancy etc. Like for instance I’m currently helping out with building a new website at work. One of the tasks is to update the filepaths from the old website to the new one. Problem is all the old filepaths have spaces on them and for them to be URLs they can’t have spaces (“excel-bastards-no-more” etc.). So they were getting people to delete the spaces and replace them with dashes MANUALLY one by one. I come over, bang the whole lot in Excel, do a Find and Replace " " with “-” and bang, all done. In 30 seconds. People were literally going to spend DAYS doing that…

Yeah I wish I knew how to do more with it. It’s not something I have to do often but when it crops up it’s frustrating that I have to google every little thing. Was trying to process a whole bunch of stats once and my colleague set up the sheet in literally two minutes, it would’ve taken me two days and been absolute crap.

Yeah this is it - a lot of people don’t realise just how useful Excel is for all manner of things. Since doing Excel training my brain kinda defaults to “can I use Excel to get this done quicker”? And usually the answer is yes. I think everyone should be learning it to a deeper level. Needs to be thought more of as an efficiency generator, not a numbers thing/dry accounting programme.

I think i’ve done well with it because it hooks right into the laziness in my brain, faced with a tedious laborious task and I’m like no i’m not doing it there must be a short cut and there always is


Haha yep! Whatever works dude!