It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. There’s a lot going on, and it’s all about Excel y’all!
2014: Excel is on the come-up
Many of us in the Excel community are taking different approaches to get the word out about Excel’s newest features and elbowing our way into the Big Data conversations.
Microsoft isn’t the best at letting users know what’s what, and they realize that. So, here are a few items that you should be aware of to keep up on Excel and keep your data useful.
THE LAUNCH OF EXCEL TV
The idea for Excel TV is to share knowledge, get to know Excel users, share news, and have some fun.
Tune in to Excel TV Tuesday nights 8:05PM CST.
GETTING THE WORD OUT & MICROSOFT MVP PROGRAM
Our guest on Excel TV Episode 2 was Kari Finn, Online Community Manager at Microsoft. We discussed Microsoft’s MVP (Most Valuable Professional) program. This status is awarded to people who:
- Have expertise with a Microsoft product
- Share their knowledge with communities (online and local)
The community aspect is significant because MVPs are counted on to share knowledge. Given the number of users and the unique ways that they use Excel, Microsoft can’t support everyone. MVPs act as micro-support and in exchange, the MVPs get access to Excel developers and can make suggests for product improvement.
Kari explains it much better than I do.
NOTE Potential MVPs can be nominated by anyone, and a person can nominate oneself at the MVP Award Homepage.
Keep in mind that SHARING is key. If your workplace resident Excel wiz is stingy, they probably aren’t a good candidate. BOOOOO!
CHANDOO IS PODCASTING!
MODERN EXCEL USERS’ GROUPS (MEUG) ARE SWEEPING THE GLOBE
Rob Collie started this movement with the launch of the Cleveland, OH group. Rob explains his thoughts in this article, What Is Modern Excel?
The dividing line that Rob has set is Excel 2007/2010. If something can be done in Excel 2007, it’s not modern. My take on the movement is:
- We don’t need any more VLOOKUP tutorials. We have to get more information out about Excel’s newest features like PowerPivot, Power Query, Relationships, Tables and Slicers.
- Excel is a viable tool in this world of Big Data, but Excel professionals are going to have to unite in educating each other and those who think Excel is a toy BI tool.
- Excel professionals getting together to network and find out how we use Excel to get our work done.
At our first meeting in Chicago it was inspiring to be around people who live Excel and data, and are committed to sharing knowledge. We covered a lot of ground in that meeting:
- What is PowerPivot and for whom is it useful?
- What are the roles of Excel users and developers where there’s an IT Department?
- How have Modern Excel features helped or limited the ways we work with data?
- What other tools are useful in conjunction with Excel?
- Is there really such a thing as Big Data?
MEUGs aren’t limited to Excel experts. Anyone who lives inside Excel is welcome to join. We won’t spend group time on how to write IF statements but if that’s the help you need, there will be plenty of people to ask; and we’re making time available for that.
Snapshot of MEUG Activity
Perth Australia’s MEUG at MeetUp.com
Seattle’s MEUG was launched 10FEB14
The Madison, WI MEUG has its first meeting Wednesday 26 March 2014
Cleveland’s next meeting is 14APR14
Modern Excel Users’ Group, Chicago at MeetUp.com
For information on Modern Excel Users Groups in your area:
Modern Excel Users’ Group at LinkedIn
As you see, there’s a lot a lot a lot going on in the Excel world … including FUN!