Saturday, April 11, 2009

I don't mean to brag

I'm all about maximum results from minimal effort and I love it when I find a shortcut at work. Almost everything I know about Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access I learned by watching someone else or through trial and error. I never had training on any of those programs but I'm still expected to use them daily. When I get stuck I search the Help menu for a solution, which is harder than it sounds because you have to know the question in order to find the answer.

While I consider myself to be far from expert with any of these programs, I have learned enough to become a sort of go-to person in the department. Especially when it comes to Excel, for some reason. I spend a lot of time analyzing data - which is fitting, I suppose, since my title is "Business Analyst". Who knew 7 years ago when I was studying Human Development that "VLOOKUP" formulas would become such an important part of my life? Or that I would be irritated by people who don't know to hit "Ctrl", "Shift" and the downward arrow to highlight all of the value-containing cells in a column? By the way, this is vital information that I pass on at every opportunity - the shortcut, that is, not the irritation.

There is something very satisfying about finding a quick way around a problem. When I do, I always feel an urge to share/brag about my discovery. Two weeks ago I finally figured out how to change data stored as text back to numbers (apparently the format menu doesn't help in this scenario). I excitedly demonstrated the solution to 5 different people. Well, 8 people if you count the extra 3 who were sitting with my cube-neighbor when I burst in to show off. Yes, one of them was the hottie from downstairs. What a dork...

At least once a week someone asks for my help with a formula. I find this immensely flattering and of course drop everything to run over and save the day. I love this stuff! I just wish I could spend more time at it. I should post a reverse "Help Wanted" ad: Excel enthusiast seeks data analysis post to optimize mad pivot table and VLOOKUP skills.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Didn't Chandler say something similar in a Friends episode?

Those really are mad skills. Actually, I may have you show me around Excel sometime! It is a good skill to have.