What do you Do with Excel and in What Context?

PA HS Teacher

Well-known Member
Jul 17, 2004
It's April 13th, 2 days till tax day, and I've just finished my taxes. Which gets me thinking:

1) Does the tax season keep some people from this board?
2) To what extent do tax/financial types use this board?
3) Who else uses Excel? (a wide range of people and professions it seems)
4) For what do people use excel.
5) How many people on this board use Excel professionally vs privately? (I'd be around 15% job related, 85% as a hobby)

I am curious about all of the above, but I'll try to focus on two questions.
A) In what context(s) do you use Excel, privately or professionally.
B) What do you do/have you done in Excel? We all know a spreadsheet is rarely if ever, "done". Are there any you are particularly proud of? It doesn't have to be a big deal.

Some videos you may like

Excel Facts

Who is Mr Spreadsheet?
Author John Walkenbach was Mr Spreadsheet until his retirement in June 2019.


New Member
Apr 11, 2005
Re: uses and context

Day Job = Full-Time Excel Jockey for the finance department in a multi-national company. We run a parallel of all of our financial software (oracle database) in Excel.

Some of my proudest accomplishments are the vlookup tables that have forever replaced my predecessor's pivots. He was always re-creating the wheel when his data changed, but now my data entry page simply has column "A" numbered, and I can vlookup anything that I need over and over... for different time periods, I use an hlookup system that reads different columns.

Also, I've quickly learned that spreadsheets for management use are always to be password protected (because people in our company have a tendancy to key data over my formulas, and then come crying to me when the bottom line dosen't total any more ) .

However, once I've been staring at my spreadsheets for 8-9 hours, there isn't much love for it when I get home. I'd say 90-95% work related.


Well-known Member
Dec 2, 2003
Human Resources Systems Analyst.

I use excel for work 99% of the time.

I've never ran into a problem I wasn't able to resolve yet, with formulas or advanced VBA programming. Programming to the vbe, to parse data into seperate templates with event macro's added on the fly to each of the new workbook created.


Feb 17, 2002

1) Probably. I'll be doing mine tonight. ;)
2) Probably not as much as they should be. I would be of the financial type variety.
3) Excel is widely distributed; I imagine a lot of people.
4) Varies
5) I'd be 95% professionally, 5% personally.

Personally, I primarily use Excel to analyze stocks and track my portfolio. I'll use it for some oddball stuff as well, e.g., I intend to crop some mp3 files with Excel later tonight.

I've built a lot of apps over the years that I like: An email distribution tool (Lotus Notes interface) (I wrote a hotmail interface, but Microsoft keeps changing their source code, so I scrapped it), automated reports that interface with Access and Essbase, an asset acquisition model (business-specific), forecasting models, to name a few. :)


Well-known Member
Feb 16, 2002
I would use Excel 99% at work. Financial Reporting and analysis are the main uses. Pulling raw, ugly, user unfriendly data from a G/L and presenting in a readable fashion to users. Best achievemnt was a report like this that generated 150 departmental budget reports, 5 Divisional Reports and Board report, all able to automatically emailed to their specific users, as well a monthly statutory return. All in one file from one set of source data. Couldn't have done it without the help of this Board.

Other less "professional" uses? I set up a football tipping spreadsheet, with drop downs and data validation etc, which once the results are in, automaticaly updates the ladder. I also just used it to set up a pool competition draw. At home, just keep track of my budget, and rainfall, but have also used it to draw up plans to my house, and proposed renovations. Nearly as good as Autocad :LOL:



Well-known Member
Dec 1, 2002
Probably 80-90% of my work is done using excel. The rest is either in-house systems or crystal reports (brilliant app but I still take everything I get from crystal and put it straight into excel).

I analyse the data for specific clients to make monthly reports telling them which areas they need to look at. There’s no way I could do this without knowing how to use excel which is why I started learning it. Got to say I wouldn’t have been able to do half of my work without the search function on this board and the help from the other members.

You’re right when you say that no spreadsheet is complete although some of my add-ins are complete and finished with nothing that could make them better. Mostly they’re ones which analyse the data and split it out by country/client/department etc then summarise the data. This saves hours of work. Mostly we have reports which we just update every month and I pleased to say I’ve massively decreased the amount of work that needs to be dome to these on a monthly basis so they’re largely automated now. Of course that just means that you end up with more work, or worse, you’re not needed anymore because everything works itself out for itself. Luckly for me I’m the only person who really understands how to re-create the automated reports.


Active Member
Jan 5, 2003
A) Hard to put a figure on it but uses include: Persoanl/Home budget, Asset Lists (music, video, tools etc), Share holding forecasts.

B) Extract data, massage/collate, export in format suitable for non-MS apps that accept text files only. Semi auto processes for those collegues who don't have the time to think it out for themselves. Administration tool for OSI PI (any more PI users out there?). Send messages to LED telecastor boards via dial-up modems (saves an hour everytime it is used). Say 20% of my working day.

I also use MS Access as front end to Oracle, Create reports to email internally & externally (via VBA), audit Access & Oracle systems db's.

If I have to do something more than 2 or 3 times I'l probable turn to VBA.

Can't thank this site and the users enough for its/their help. Ta.


New Member
Apr 30, 2005
What I do

1) I use excel for personal gain but for professional use
2) see below (yes there is another motive to this post)

See what excel has done for me!
Without Macros No less -


I am looking for personal feedback, tell me what you think. I know that there is one bug in the programing, and I am currently working on that (double day events), but other than that.

This is made by formulas only. (uses 10 pages of it)
Every once and a while I give myself a personal project, something that I haven't done, nor know how to do. A workable calendar was a project actually given to me by someone else, and I took it on. Upgraded her idea and created it. Again feedback is my goal. If it is right to let the code be viewable, let me know.



Alright official stuff - I'm new to this board, don't know if this is legal, or even in the right spot. There are no viruses (else my computer would be liquid by now), and I guess the developed product is copyright. If thats right. (I hope)

Felix Atagong

Active Member
Jun 27, 2003
PA HS Teacher said:
A) In what context(s) do you use Excel, privately or professionally. B) What do you do/have you done in Excel?
A) Privately: I used to play the Excel versions of Football Manager and Monopoly a lot.
Professionally: I use Excel a lot to import text, dbf and or EDI files from customers and changing those to an output file that our software can read.
B) I once wrote a macro to interprete a scanned and ocr-ed cd-cover and put the song details into the database of MediaMonkey. Only used it once but I was proud of it. :biggrin:


Board Regular
Nov 14, 2005
Office Version
I set up a football tipping spreadsheet, with drop downs and data validation etc, which once the results are in, automaticaly updates the ladder.
G'day Richard

Came across this old post of yours mentioning your Football Tipping spreadsheet?
Don't suppose you would still be able to locate it and be prepared to share it?
I have an old handicapped friend who is struggling with the running of a tipping comp for the local Cancer Council fund raiser.

Best regards

Mike McBain

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