On 2APR14 I had the honor of Presenting at IgniteChicago and sharing the story about my first effort doing anything real with Excel. That 1 task lead to nearly daily use of Excel for the next 15 years.

When I heard about IgniteChicago, I immediately submitted a proposal and it was accepted.

speaking at IgniteChicagoThe IgniteChicago Format is based on PechaKucha where talks are designed to be fast and concise. For IgniteChicago each presenter submits 20 slides ahead of time, and during the presentation the slides change every 15 seconds AUTOMATICALLY!

If you get out of synch with your slides, that’s just how it goes.
When your 20th slide appears, the talk is done.

Topic Requirement ANYTHING that you are passionate about.

Summary of My Passion Excel & The Power of Data

Sitting in a miserable job in a call center 15 years ago, with supervisors insisting that I wasn’t producing acceptable results. I realized that complaining wasn’t going to help anything. So, I had 2 thoughts:

1.  If I had data about my activities, maybe we could set reasonable expectations.
2.  If I had data, maybe we’d all learn something and make some changes.

Oh! But there was a 3rd thought:

3.  What if my data ends up supporting concerns that I wasn’t carrying my own weight? Do I want to hand over incriminating evidence? Hmmm … maybe CONCEAL incriminating evidence?

Ah! But point #3 would have been a dishonest position to take. This couldn’t turn into a project to prove that someone is wrong or stupid. I genuinely wanted to provide insight into the data that my higher-ups were looking at. They download reports that are various summaries and comparisons, but that seemed to be too high-level. It’s like looking at the 10-7 final score of a football game and not knowing if it was a thrilling battle or a penalty-ridden borefest. We need more data!

So, I gathered data … and it’s detailed in the video.

The Presentations

The event got raucous, but that shouldn’t overshadow what people had to say. Nevertheless, I’m providing filtered and unfiltered version of my presentation.

Other Presentations from 2APR14 are listed below and can be seen at Vimeo

  • Law Professor Stephen Reed compared Entrepreneurs and Pirates.
  • Abril Vela explored the dearth of women in computer science.
  • Erika Napoletano, author, blogger and brand strategist offered advice on “How to do things.”
  • Ali Karbassi “Coding for All Ages”
  • Sharon Steed “Patience in a Fast World
  • Liz McArthur “How to Start a Business Without an F’ing Clue”
  • Nancy Goldstein “Solving Big Problems”
  • Martin Atkins “Trends of Change”
  • Allison Fabian “A New Look at Feminism”
  • Ziba Sidrys “The Power of Dance”

If you’re in Chicago and want to submit a proposal to speak, head over to IgniteChi.org