How to become really awesome in Excel? [Reader Questions]
Yusuf , One of the blog readers, sent me an interesting email the other day. Here it is, reproduced in full.
I have been reading your blog for the last six months and have found it to be very enriching. You blog has inspired me a lot. I have decided to undertake the quest of becoming from an intermediate excel user to an excel ninja and ultimately CEO (Chief excel officer).
This is my plan of action:
1) Refer a excel book to revise and refresh excel fundas. Trying to create a strong foundation. Would be great if you can recommend One books to cover this part.
2) Refer 2 or 3 excel blogs. Got thru all the posts of last couple of years to bring me to the advance level. Thinking of using PHD and Mr Excel
3) Read a formula related ebooks
4) Final step would be learning VB macro to qualify as a Ninja
5) Am think of using Excel 2007
Any suggestions or feedback is welcome. Will update you periodically on my progress.
Wish me Luck !!
I am obviously flattered to be included in his list of “websites to deep dive”. But I think his plan for Excel Awesomeness can be improved. Here is my advice to him,
- Learning excel alone is probably useless. You must learn how to apply excel to your industry, area of work to improve existing processes or way of working. To that extent, any plan to improve your excel skills should begin with a plan to improve your understanding of the industry and area of work.
- For eg. if you are a business analyst, you could learn about requirement gathering, structuring your thoughts, estimation, project planning etc.
- You should invest in story telling, communication skills as well. Learning how to present, how to write and how to talk can be of great help. Conveying ideas in short but powerful ways is more important in todays world.
- You should develop strong design (UI) sense.
- You should develop your programming skills. understand basic programming structures and learn how to modularize your code (and structure your thoughts).
- Stay open to new tools (this has been one of my weak areas). Explore upcoming technologies like R, Tableau, Google Visualization API, Processing,js to expand your horizon and ideas.
But I think My advice can be improved too. So I turn to you.
What do you think a person should do to become really awesome in Excel?
Share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions using comments. Suggest blogs, websites or books or anything that can make Yusuf (and countless others) really good in using Excel so that they can be awesome in their work.
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