What areas of Excel scare you most? [survey]
Yesterday was Halloween. To our readers who are not familiar with it, ‘Halloween is a colorful festival with lots of costumes, scary stories, theme parties and trick-or-treating, celebrated on 31st October, every year.” I have never celebrated Halloween as it is an unknown tradition in India where I live. But that is no excuse. Especially when the celebration calls for colorful clothes, scary themed houses and shrieking kids.
Of course, we are not going to have a traditional Halloween. Because,
- At our house, we use pumpkins to make sambar, not lights
- The only ones with costumes in our house are my kids.
- If I send my kids for trick or treat, they will get neither.
So that brings us to the only part of Halloween that I can celebrate. Telling scary stories.
So lets talk about the stuff that scares us. But bear in mind that I am not interested in that time when you & your cousin went camping and stumbled in to an abandoned log cabin to discover the …Save it for real Halloween.
We want to talk stuff that scares you in Excel of course.
I will go first, Things in Excel that scare me most
- Solver. Although I have used it several times, every time I set up a solver model, I feel uncomfortable. I am not sure if it will give the results I am looking for or something else altogether.
- Broken connections. More than scare, I just feel annoyed when I see these. This is also why I am very skeptical to copy entire worksheets or big ranges between files.
- Array formula usage of FREQUENCY(), N(), MMULT() and TRANSPOSE(): In most of our formula challenge & formula forensic posts, I see a lot of people using these formulas. Most of the times when I try to decode what is happening I feel lost. They are really scary!
- Statistical analysis: This is something I have been fearing since college days. I know good deal about basic probability and statistics. But when it comes to advanced stuff, I always fumble. Good thing I don’t have to use these techniques very often.
Hopefully, I will grow my skills in next year to fear less.
What about you? What areas of Excel scare you most?
Go ahead and tell us your Excel scary stories. What are you afraid of? What makes you snicker? Which Excel features make you feel vulnerable? Go ahead and tell us. Post your stories in comments.
PS: You can also tell us the scary thing that happened to your Excel workbooks or analysis.
PPS: Or about the time you were alone at home and you heard a rustling noise in the closet, only to realize it was a nasty, long and confusing SUMPRODUCT.
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