This article first appeared in InfoTech.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a little tribute to the business application we’ve all been devoted to for so long.
How much do we love thee, Excel? In this case, it might be impossible to count the ways.
You probably weren’t expecting a Valentine in the first place. You’ve been taken for granted for so long. Some – and we won’t name them here – have even suggested getting rid of you in favor of someone newer and supposedly more sophisticated.
Those of us who love you know better. And there are a lot of us.
If you want proof, here is something better than flowers or chocolate: the results of a recent survey of CFOs and other financial professionals by consulting firm EY. You may be the only one to see this as romantic, but here goes:
Although 81 percent of CFOs feel that investing in data can help them replace spreadsheets, many believe the cost and complexity required for customization are too high, and they opt instead to continue using spreadsheets rather than investing in new systems. In fact, 79 percent of CFOs have not yet replaced spreadsheets because they are less costly and complex, and 58 percent have not done so because they feel that spreadsheets offer better flexibility.
“If data scientists have work they want to share with Excel jockeys, it’ll be easier to do so through Excel than to have them come to the Python side.”
Are you blushing yet? There’s more.
The UK’s department for tax collection, known as HRMC, inadvertently showed just how loyal we are to you when businesses there reacted negatively to the idea of excluding spreadsheets from its reporting system’s revamp.
“In a softening of the authority’s initial stance, HMRC director of business customer and strategy Theresa Middleton told CCH (News – Alert) Daily: ‘Businesses will be able to continue to use spreadsheets for record keeping but must keep to HMRC requirements . . . they might need to combine the spreadsheets with some other software.”
Even those outside of finance understand just how special you are. Did you see the story where InfoWorld reported on how you’re soon going to be the queen of data science as well?
“Spreadsheets are familiar territory for those in business analytics – environments like Python and R, less so,” the story said, referring to some popular programming language for statistical applications. “If data scientists have work they want to share with Excel jockeys, it’ll be easier to do so through Excel than to have them come to the Python side.”
That’s wonderful news, but don’t call us “Excel jockeys.” Call us the Excel Faithful. Because we’re everywhere, we’re not going away, and we’re looking forward to many more years with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day,