This is paraphrasing something from John Oliver, on his HBO show. Excel is Microsoft’s spreadsheet/swiss army knife tool (i.e. you can do anything with it), but I agree with Mr. Oliver, I have never seen someone give good news using an Excel Spreadsheet.
During my career I have seen the following information sent to me in Excel format:
- Ranking of employees, used to figure out who gets laid off
- How much over-budget project is.
In defense of Excel, it is a magnificent tool in terms of accounting and complex arithmetic and such, and usually any good news that might come from an Excel S/S usually ends up being encapsulated into a Powerpoint presentation. If I receive only the data in an Excel S/S it is saying,
“… this is bad news, we don’t feel like “flowering it up” by putting it into a Word Document or a Powerpoint Presentation…”
I have seen this when folks discuss their finances, as soon as an Excel Spreadsheet is opened the level of tension goes up. Rarely does anyone bring up an Excel Spreadsheet up, with your budget on it, to show “… how well you are doing…”, it is to show where (precisely) you are failing.
Can you send good news in an Excel Spreadsheet?