Post by Rob Collie
I Interviewed Bill Via Phone – Me in the Arctic of Ohio,
Bill in his Winter HQ Down in Florida
It’s not often that you’re asked to interview one of your friends, but that happened to me last week. The folks at PASS thought it would be interesting if I interviewed Bill Jelen, and then we published that interview on the PASS Business Analytics Conference site.
An excuse for me to call up Bill and jaw for awhile? “Sign me up!” And off we went. I was personally “hooked” by the conversation for a full 40 minutes. Most of Bill’s answers, I had never heard before, and they stimulated some serious “wow” thinking for me.
We found out, afterwards, that the PASS folks were expecting a 10-minute interview. Har har. Bill and I later chuckled, in email, at the futility of such expectations. “Let’s get two of the biggest chatterboxes we can find, put them on the phone together, and keep them to 10 minutes.” But the results were good, and PASS decided to publish the whole thing.
They were also gracious enough to share the audio file with us, so I’m posting it here today:
(Fancy Inline Audio Player Should Work on Most Browsers, Or Let You Download the MP3)
Highlight: Bill STARTED in Analytics!
I can’t believe I had never heard this before, but Bill first started using spreadsheets as a reporting tool. (Not as an accounting or financial tool).
Even more delicious: he was using spreadsheets as a replacement for an extremely expensive reporting solution that didn’t work!
That was in the 1980’s. How little has changed between now and then! Before the advent of what I call “Modern Excel” (aka Power BI), the world was in EXACTLY the same state 20+ years later. (And in places that have yet to grasp the potential of Power Pivot and its kin, things STILL have not changed. But at least now we have a way out of the decades-old mess).
Anyway, definitely listen to the interview. Lots of interesting nuggets in there, such as the observation that more than half of analytics pros are women.
See us both at PASS BA Conference Next Month!
It’s not too late to join us both, plus other Modern Excel experts, at the PASS Analytics conference next month in Santa Clara.
Next Month’s Speakers Include Quite a Few Proponents of Modern Excel / Power BI