Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss
The dirty little secret of Excel is that in truth it's the world's most complicated table-maker. I can't recall the last time anyone sent me an Excel spreadsheet (and I get plenty of them) that actually included a formula. The vast majority of the time they are simple tables, which could have been made in any word processor (and probably much better).
Yes, for real spreadsheet jocks, Excel is still the gold standard. So what percentage of Excel users are real spreadsheet jocks? I'd be surprised if it was more than the low single digits.
low single digits.
I worked for 8 years as an analyst at a Fortune 100 company (at the time 50,000+ employees, of which 70+% had at least a Master’s degree). Of that 2,000 were analysts of one kind or another. The other 48k used Excel as you indicate, a glorified table maker.
Of the analysts, at least half knew enough about formulas to get most of their work done; but they had no checks and balances in place, could not trouble shoot spreadsheets that got out of hand, etc. Of the analysts about 50 knew how to construct workable, sustainable data documents.
A few of us used Excel in such a way that we developed powerful spreadsheets so they 1) worked as interfaces with the mainframe (updated with VBA accessing), 2) calculated huge amounts on data real time, 3) were easily maintainable, 4) had built in error checking, troubleshooting, and 5) provided a detailed process for how everything worked, including all VBA. My last two years were spent training other analysts to move in that direction. And these were top of the line people in a well educated company.