With your can-do attitude and your bent for honesty, leadership comes very naturally to you. You’re a very practical person and an exceptional team player. That said, you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get the job done whenever it’s needed. You’re one of the most reliable members of any team you’re on!
You know when to optimize a slow spreadsheet and when to make for your IT department and submit a support ticket.
Odds are you’ve been heads-down in your spreadsheets for at least 5 years – and you’ve got the spreadsheet skills to show for it! For you, spreadsheets are easy, fun, and familiar.
But the idea of abandoning your sheets for a programming interface?? You’d rather do just about anything else than spend your time learning to code.
That’s what can sometime be annoying about Excel… At a certain point, you either need to learn to write Visual Basic or you need to pass off your spreadsheets to a developer. Spreadsheets should really be more flexible than that (I’m betting that you agree).
Your analytical skills have taken you a llloonnggg way in your career so far. Whether it’s a career in finance, market analysis, engineering, logistics or even the environment – your spreadsheeting abilities have made it easy for you to command a pretty penny. And you’re excited knowing that there’s still so much in store for you in your career!
O.K., you get it. Your spreadsheet skills have you sitting pretty…
My big challenge for you? Dream bigger. Maybe your spreadsheets only seem powerful because you’re not setting your sights high enough. Maybe your spreadsheets have the engine of a Jetta when you really need the power of a Jaguar.
Optimize your spreadsheets. Who convinced you that crazy fast spreadsheets — I’m talking 100x faster than Google Sheets and 4x more powerful than Excel — are out of the cards for you? O.K. maybe you just enjoy restructuring your spreadsheets and reconfiguring your Excel set-up just to try to get it to run without freezing?!? Nah! Who am I kidding? All those Excel optimization hacks out there are like switching rooms in the Titanic.
With dataset sizes (and your manager’s expectations) continually growing, hoping that formula optimizations will fix Excel’s implicit performance limitations is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If you want to give them a try though, here are some of the more popular performance optimizations. Or, if you’re ready to step up into a next-generation, high-performance spreadsheet solution, you can give SheetRocks a spin here.
Get acquainted with browser-based spreadsheets, STAT (because we both know that Excel can’t get it done). Odds are you’ve already tried out Google Sheets – who hasn’t right? And it’s nice and all if you’re working solo with a few 10s of thousands of rows of data.
But if you’ve ever tried to use Google Sheets to collaborate in real-time with 5+ teammates, or to analyze over a million rows of data – then you’ve seen how truly weak its performance engine is. I wish I could suggest an optimization to fix that for you, but there’s just no fixing Google Sheets’ limitations.
The good news! If you’re reading this then you’re light years ahead of the 99.9% of spreadsheet modelling professionals who still haven’t heard the news that the next-generation of spreadsheet has arrived (READ: a collaborative, low-latency, browser-based spreadsheet that’s both highly secure and over 100x more powerful than Google Sheets!).
I’m giving you permission (right here, right now) to capitalize on this competitive advantage and turn all your spreadsheeting collaboration dreams into reality by trying out SheetRocks spreadsheets for yourself.
You’ve got options! Some data sourcing methods have more return on investment than others though. If you’re using Excel on-the-daily, then you may have heard about its built-in datasets: Stocks and Geography. Stocks updates with the latest prices and changes on the NASDAQ and Geography will tell you about the population of each country on Earth, as well as the gasoline prices there (?!?).
If you want data on more than public stocks and geography though, your Excel options are limited. If you want to bring in a developer or learn to program, you can connect PowerBI – but IMHO, with these options Excel leaves spreadsheet pros like you pretty darn high-and-dry!
When it comes to integrating new, custom built-in datasets, there is literally no spreadsheet on the planet that offers you more than SheetRocks. Because you see, on the backend, our spreadsheet is programmable and integrates with all sorts of relational database systems. But with that, we’d never ask an oh-so-analytically-astute professional like yourself to deviate from your zone of genius by learning to program! Instead, inside of our Founding-Members program, Planet SheetRocks, we offer our customers up to 3 custom data integration services per month (meaning we do all the coding for you and just build your datasets directly into your spreadsheet portal). How’s that for cool?
Planet SheetRocks is slated for retirement when we hit 2,000 members though, so if built-in data integrations are up your alley, I encourage you to start your SheetRocks trial today.
In late 2016, I was in a private meeting with the Engineering Director at 18F. I clearly recall the feeling of shock that came over me when she described spending $350,000/year on a time-tracking system which had previously worked just fine... in a free Google Sheet!
You see, for years we’d been doing time-tracking in Google Sheets just fine. But when we hit Employee #50, our handy-dandy Google Sheet failed us. With the collaborative requirements involved in time-tracking, our only option was to build a custom application from scratch to do the exact same simple mathematical operation for us at a larger scale.
I sat coding on my porch like I do on warm summer nights. We were a few months into the pandemic lockdown then…
There I was, an overwhelmed dad taking care of two young boys full-time while also managing a 50-person development team. I was frustrated by how slow my spreadsheet was running, when suddenly, almost like a bolt of lightning ⚡ , the thought hits me. “Why does a spreadsheet do math a million times slower than my CPU does?”
I started thinking about it. “Why can’t spreadsheets do better than that?” As I dug into it, there didn’t seem to be any good answer to that simple question.
So, I started experimenting, at first without any data, just by writing simple performance benchmarks. I did some testing to see how fast it would be if I wrote a basic program that does the same exact calculation as my spreadsheet.
My “little program” was 1,000x more powerful than a traditional spreadsheet!
Spoiler alert: I applied for funding on Christmas day 2020 and by late January I was a full-time, VC-backed founder at SheetRocks, Inc.
… busy co-founding the United States Data Federation for the US Federal Government.
… busy leading data projects for 5 years at 18F, the US government’s digital services agency (as well as running the engineering team for Healthcare.gov).
… busy co-patenting 2 of my electrical engineering innovations, while co-authoring multiple research publications at Yale on the topic of atomic physics.
.. busy earning my bachelor’s degree in Physics from Yale University, where I co-founded the microgravity experimentation team.
… And oh yeah, there’s that master’s degree I earned in electrical engineering over at Columbia, while serving as CTO of a hurricane prediction company.