Open Letter to My Friends at Microsoft: The Power of Excel’s Internal Network Effect

image  image

Excel on the Left.  Other Data Tools on the Right.

Today I’m going to “get my nerd on” in a big way.  Buckle up.

The genesis of this post is an email I’ve been meaning to send to my contacts at Microsoft – one I’ve been thinking about writing for at least a year.  But I also figure it’s the sort of thing you folks might find interesting, and I really don’t have time these days to write the same “opus” twice, so here goes – two birds with one stone.  And it’s a friendly stone.

Has there ever been a tool as flexible as Excel?

Let’s take a moment and just marvel at Excel’s “range.”  (VBA macro programmers – yes the joke is intentional).

You can do damn near anything in Excel.  Calendar chart visualizations.  Music videosBeautiful artMore music videosRespiration wavelengthsChess gamesWord clouds.

But those are just the outliers really – the novelties.  The truly valuable examples are much less dramatic and happen hundreds of thousands of times every day.  I’ll give some examples in the next section.

Feature A Was NEVER “Intended” to Be Used With Feature B!


“Hey You Got Your Slicer in My Conditional Formatting!”
(And then the whole jar fell into a bucket of DAX)

Read the Rest

Guest Post: GeoFlow using Panama’s Census Data

imageIntro from Rob

Very busy week for me.  Fortunately Miguel is at the ready with another guest post.

It occurs to me that we’ve now had guest posts from the US, the UK, Holland, Canada, and Panama.  That’s pretty cool. 

Miguel told me that I was going to LOVE the first picture in this post.  And I do.  But I must say that, once I saw the title, I expected something along the lines of the picture at the right.  The picture below is better.

OK, over to Miguel…


Figure shows the population distribution for Panama in 2010
Made Entirely in Excel!

If you read my latest guest post at Powerpivotpro’s blog, you’ll know that I’m working on a personal project trying to get a more visual aproach of the latest census Data for the country of Panama (where I’m from and I currently live in).

Read the Rest