I just quit my job at a big market research company. It was disturbing how much processes there depended on excel and obscure visual basic scripts.

They load data from a database, do typical database tasks with excel and upload it back into the database.

PhDs run complex statical computations through an excel interface that passes the request to R.

Instead of an hour Python they execute stupid tasks with excel by hand. Day after day, month after month.

WHY? My colleagues were not dumb but instead of learning SQL and some python they build insane excel tables.

Maybe it's time pressure. But this excel insanity costs much more time in the end.

  • 4
    Because they don't know
  • 3
    There are some parts of the company I work with that uses insane excel workbooks, exceptionally large amount of macros. CEO announced recently we're going to Google suite. Everyone is scared now!
  • 0
    Companies get paid by the hour, excel takes time.

  • 1
    I think it’s a familiarity thing. Wherever you go there’s Excel, people know how to use it, how to hack it, how to quickly get data in and data/charts out.

    At my company our entire business model is making Excel tooling for people. The devs/IT guys at our clients always roll their eyes initially, but it’s what users want. Personally I don’t think Excel is ever going away, so have chosen to embrace it rather than fight it.
  • 0
    Thank you for your replies.

    I guess the logic behind this is: everyone knows excel and it's to costly to train employees to learn something new.

    My point of view is, that it's very efficient to train your employees in basics of programming and databases, because communication with developers becomes smoother and users can execute simple tasks themselves
  • 1
    Where I work, excel is favored because it's readable, understandable, and can be modified by anybody. My python scripts, on the other hand, can only be debugged/modified by me because nobody else knows python.

    It is funny watching people do repetitive tasks over and over again once you learn some basic programming.
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