Improvement Insights Blog
Harness the Power of Excel Formulas
Few spreadsheets use the power of Excel formulas, which is like using a Ferrari as a push cart. Excel formulas are power tools for improvement. Here’s how to access them in QI Macros.
“A few years back, I went to an Excelapalooza conference (yes there is such a thing), and the keynote speaker was kind of the head developer for Excel, and she was talking about how Microsoft keeps track of what people do. I was stunned to recognize that only 5% (that’s five out of a hundred) Excel spreadsheets have any sort of formula in them, even division or multiplication or something simple like that.
“The other thing that stung me was that over half of them use Merge and Center for headings. What does that mean? That means you’re using Excel to create reports and spreadsheets that nobody wants to read. It’s not a chart, it can’t be interpreted easily, and the more columns and rows you get the more complex and unreadable it becomes. Guess what? This is like having a Ferrari and you push it around the neighborhood or pull it around the neighborhood rather than get in it, fire it up and take it for a ride.
“Excel can do some amazingly powerful things, so I would suggest that one of the things you might do is go out and learn something about Excel formulas. There’s some training resources on our website that will take you and teach you a little bit about formulas. In the QI Macros there’s actually a whole worksheet that’s designed to help you with formulas for turning time into numbers or turning text into something or splitting text, so there’s a whole bunch of formulas built in there that I use because I can’t always remember all these things, right? So I use my Excel formulas in the QI Macros and take those and then start to do analysis and calculations and compute things that that are a little bit more complicated.
“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Learn how to use Excel formulas. It’ll make your life so much easier. Let’s create a hassle-free America, hassle-free healthcare. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”