Why Managers Love Excels?

At the outset, let me clarify that I do not have any personal grudges, neither against the managers across the world nor against the esteemed product from the Microsoft stable - Microsoft Excel. I have been a fan of MS Excel for the beautiful things it can do.

But don't fans of MS Dhoni gun for his blood if he plays poorly in a couple of matches? Here I am training my guns on the almighty Excel. Of course, in a lighter vein.

So why exactly do managers love Excel? 

There are quite a few reasons. Let us take a look at it one by one.

Eat Data, Live Data, Sleep Data
The love for data exceeds the admiration of logic. It's as if they strongly believe in this quote - "In God we trust, everybody else brings data to the table."  And what better way to capture data other than Excel.

Eat Data, Live Data, Sleep Data is their anthem. And yes, the anthem does have some hidden lines too. Read all the data - Maybe. Use the data - Rarely. 
Use the data cleverly - Once in a Blue Moon.

Eat Drink Sleep Excel

I am a Data Guzzler
Having an appetite for data is one thing. Being a data guzzler is another thing. They love to capture data. Half of the data, or even more if it, may be redundant. Yet, it needs to be captured.

It was this love for data which prompted Microsoft to increase the number of rows in a single Excel sheet from a humble 65536 rows to a mammoth 1 million rows.

Data Guzzler
Do you know the man in the cartoon? 

Excel is the Elixir of Life
Lord Voldemort (of Harry Potter fame) wanted to steal the Philosopher's stone because he considered it to be the Elixir of Life. The manager's have this elixir at their disposal - right on their desktop. They think - maintain an excel, and it will solve all your problems.

The last I heard, Gilani Miyan (Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan) has asked his secretary of in his office to prepare an excel with the list of Army Generals in his country. He is still clueless on how he plans to use this data.

Excel Is The Elixir of Life
And do you remember the time when Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the India, calculated that a common man needed Rs. 32 a day to survive in India? Well, he was working in an excel and used an incorrect formula to derive the amount.

Shamefully, he didn't cross check the results. Shamelessly, he defended his calculations. Lastly, he felt ashamed to accept that he didn't know how to use MS Excel. 

What would have his fellow managers said? They would have chided him for not knowing how to work in Excel.

Excel Is All Powerful

My Bread is Not Stale 
How long does a bread last? Commonly, a fresh bakery bread is expected to last for 2-3 days. And a packaged bread is expected to last for not more than 6 days. Read more here.

How much information do we create everyday? The amount of information created since the dawn of civilization till 2003. Read more here.

And importantly, the pace of creation of data is only increasing. And the circumstances under which the data continues to exist undergoes frequent change. 

Stale Data in Excel
If a bread can't stay fresh for more than 3 days, then the data in the excel can't stay fresh for more than one day. And stale data is a useless data.

Did you know that the Wholesale Price Index in India is calculated based on a list of commodities. The list was drawn in 1993-1994. Exciting isn't it? Well, you have some Excel manager to blame. Read a news article on this crucial point here.

I Am A Spin Doctor
Spinners are world famous across the world for bowling classical deliveries. Shane Warne used to bowl a great googly which would leave the best of the batsmen clueless. And Muttaih Muralitharan was an expert in The Doosra (or the Wrong One's).

Excel transform ordinary men like you and me into Spin Doctors. The next two charts says it all.

Excel Charts Leave You Flummoxed
Add a couple of jazzy pivots, and the reader may forget all about reading the excel. Forget about understanding, he would surrender to the almighty Excel and think that it is best to leave it untouched.

Reasons such as these are numerous. I may have to maintain an Excel with the complete list of reasons - something which I am not inclined to do on a Friday night.

If you want a few laughs, have a look at a few cartoons on Excel.

A Few Excel Cartoons
P.S. Love Live MS Excel.

Why Managers Love Excels? Why Managers Love Excels? Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Friday, January 13, 2012 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. i can say this is a best tool designed by microsoft.
    love the post
    and also excel.