Excel (and VBA) Competency

Recently I was asked to rate my Excel Competency on a scale of 1 to 10.
Immediately I thought, well I can’t possibly answer 10, because I don’t know everything. However I also can’t say too much less than 10 without explaining, otherwise people won’t understand too well what I do.

So here is a long story that ends in a 7…

When I was 10-12 I did an exercise of going through the entire Q Basic manual and in alphabetical order worked to understand each part of it. This was the precursor to VBA. My motivation was largely gaming related.

During High School we learnt a little bit about spreadsheets.

I learnt about object oriented languages like, C, C+, Java and VBA at uni, where I studied Accounting and IT.

Whilst at uni I was a senior tutor teaching practical Excel, Word, Access and Outlook at a university level to those study various degrees in Business, Teaching and Science.

When climbing the ladder from Management Accountant to Business & Commercial Manager I discovered Excel & VBA went together like a car and wheels. With wheels a car goes a lot faster. With VBA your spreadsheets go a lot faster also.

Later when working as a Production Manager I used Excel and VBA to help me better understand my departments, staff, non-financial KPIs and all sorts of metrics from direct data feeds.

For the last four years I’ve been helping others, from all industries, but especially in the mining and manufacturing environments. I help them to better use these tools to get the most out of their businesses. Unlocking for them ‘Better Decisions through Better Data’.

I see my role as making the complex simple.

If I had to rate myself based on where I’d like to be… I guess I would say I am a 7. There are always new things to learn. I write VBA code that helps to manage interactions between Excel, Access, Outlook, Word, various SQL based databases and the web. Things are changing all the time. Life is never boring.

Excel without VBA? For me that would be like saying ‘how well can you drive a car without wheels?’ I’d rate myself a 0 there as I just wouldn’t want to do it, too much hard work.

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