Are you South Africa’s Excel Champ? There is a competition to prove this.


You just have to complete 3 tasks to make it to the semi-finals. Find the challenge here.

Mark Dorfling writes:

Microsoft South Africa’s quest to find our local Excel Champion has been hugely successful. Entries have been received from a broad spectrum of Excel users. The way contestants tackled the individual challenges highlighted the fact that with Excel, there are often multiple ways to solve a problem. Adding the element of time to complete a task created additional pressure and in some cases perhaps limited the contestant from getting to the most creative result.

To complete the 100m Sprint task, contestants were asked to rearrange data in the fastest time possible, think the Usain Bolt of data rearrangement. Times varied from super-fast, a minute to well over 20+ minutes. Contestants would have either gone the Cut (Ctrl-C) and Paste (Ctrl-V) option or the faster Drag and Drop route. Had a mouse been used, this would have given contestants some “wind assistance”.

The Graph Hurdles were very interesting and provided the widest range of potential solutions. Graphs give a person a visual view of data, helping to make it easier to digest and analyze. With the Hurdles section, we threw in a little curve ball, the Total Column. This would have altered the scale of the graph created. Below is an ideal view, followed by a view including the Total data.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAeYAAAAJDYzZDdjZDRlLWI4MTgtNDBmOC1hZjkxLTYyOGU0YTExNTk1YQFormula Freestyle showed that 90% of the contestants were familiar with putting a formula together. Typically, when looking for the largest number in a data range =MAX is the route to go. =AVERAGEIF was the best way to establish the average based on a specific condition or criteria. The third formula where we were looking for =COUNTIFS, caused some confusion, with multiple people just entering a number (they guessed!). However, when the data was refreshed, the answer would have changed and had a formula been entered, their answers would have remained spot on.

Monday the 11th of April we get to the business end of the competition in our quest to find South Africa’s Excel Champion. The spreadsheet for the Quarter Finals will be released. All those that believe they can make it through to the semifinals should take this opportunity to put their Excel skills to the test.

A note of warning, if you take more than two clicks to perform a task, there is more than likely a shorter way to complete it.

Thanks to LGIT Smart Solutions for putting the spreadsheets together and Dell for sponsoring the prize for the overall winner.


Source: Mark Dorfling/ Microsoft

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