Who Is MrExcel?
Online, he's known as MrExcel, but offline, he's better known as Bill Jelen, a real-life Excel expert. Bill has over 29 years of spreadsheet experience. He has been doing Excel consulting since 1998, Excel speaking since 2002, and has written over 40 books about Excel.
Better known online as MrExcel, Bill Jelen is the host of MrExcel.com.
Bill travels the world, delivering his entertaining and informative Power Excel seminar to people who use Excel. He makes sure that everyone goes home with new tricks and one of his best-selling books to reinforce the techniques taught in the seminar. However, Bill's seminars are interactive and he encourages his audience to “show him up” by providing faster ways to solve Excel problems. The seminar that Bill delivers today is better thanks to many tricks offered from “Row 2” over the years.
Bill wrote his first book, Guerilla Data Analysis in 2002. Since then, he has authored 43 books, including Pivot Table Data Crunching, Excel Gurus Gone Wild, Don't Fear the Spreadsheet, and Power Pivot Alchemy. He started a small press, publishing works by other Excel MVPs such as Bob Umlas, Mike Girvin, Rob Collie, Chris Smith, and Zack Barresse.
The MrExcel Team includes Excel trainers and consultants who can design custom Excel applications, solve Excel emergencies and prove tips and hints that help Excel users get the most out of their spreadsheet applications.
He first became interested in spreadsheets while attending the University of Notre Dame.
During his junior and senior years, Bill was a teaching assistant. He administered a research project that tested whether people learned Lotus 1-2-3 better by video instruction or by interactive laser discs. As part of this project, Bill gave the participating students the world's hardest test and graded the results.
While grading the tests, he realized that not one student scored higher than 60%. From that point on, Bill set out to go through the test and learn the answer to every question, becoming the smartest spreadsheet guy around. So that's what he did and a spreadsheet expert was born.
It would still be a few years before MrExcel.com was developed, but during that time, Bill worked as a programmer writing Cobol programs for a company called Telxon. When the company purchased a query tool for the finance department, he jumped from the MIS department to the Finance department in order to use this fourth generation query tool.
Bill worked with this tool, running queries. However, the tool didn't work the way it was supposed to, so he set out to find a way to run the query in the 4th generation language tool, take the data he needed into Lotus 1-2-3 and find a way to summarize and format it. After doing this for eight hours a day, year after year, he learned the ins and outs of spreadsheets and became Telxon's “go-to guy” for spreadsheet help.
- Didn't know the answers to the first two questions that were posted to the site
- Once won $1,000 for stopping an electric fan with his tongue at a local Stupid Human Tricks competition
- Designed a method in Lotus 1-2-3 to arrange rock and roll tunes for the player piano
- Helped a client in Australia cut a 40-hour-a-month task into a 4-minute process
- Spent 14 minutes with a seminar attendee in Trinidad to reduce a 3-day task to a 2-minute process
- Worked with a woman in Kentucky who used Excel to draw weaving patterns
- Has over 29 years of Lotus/Excel experience
- 10 years of real life experience as a financial analyst, including budgeting and forecasting
- Expert in Excel VBA, although he is as frustrated with the Excel Macro Recorder as much as you are
- Early adopter of Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map, and Power Query
- Degree from the University of Notre Dame