Excel: The App I Want To Hate, But Have Have Come To Love

I’ve been trashing Microsoft’s Excel for many years and encouraging businesses to ditch Excel in favor of other applications, such as databases, business analytics/intelligence software, and other tools better suited for data management.
However, over the past two weeks, I’ve been volunteering in Ohio at my annual church convention and Excel was the application of choice for so many things. Right now I’m at Starbucks and a business professional in front of me is talking all about Excel macros, cells, rows and data manipulation.
What’s the point?
While I still think other tools are better than Excel, Excel is a powerful tool to use in a pinch or when you need to manage data and manage it real fast.
For example, at my church convention we were using bar code scanners to capture the attendance information and manage registration of several of our activities. Excel was one of the tools we used to quickly capture the bar code number. It was simple, quick and easy.
Sure we had a custom database that we used to power the entire convention, but for some activities, Excel was simply the easiest tool to use and on every computer.
Lesson learned.
Learn how to manipulate Excel data, such as creating powerful pivot tables and more. Maybe you don’t have the time or inclination to learn it, but invest in training your employees in using Excel. You’ll find that in a “pinch” it might be the best tool for the job.