How many uses for a spreadsheet… let me count the ways. Have you ever been asked the question…how many spreadsheets does it take to build a city? I bet it takes a lot. Or does it? An Excel 2007 spreadsheet has 65,536 rows and 256 columns. That makes for 16,777,216 cells in an Excel 2007 Spreadsheet; and this is just one tab. It doesn't take many tabs to have as many cells as in the human body. Just think of the calculation power in just one of those roughly 17 million cells per tab. Imagine a formula so powerful that it takes an entire month to create. Then imagine the collective power in an entire tab of cells, then multiply that by the power of a chain of tabs linked together, then multiply that by the fact that you can pull in data from other spreadsheets or other databases. And then you have to consider the multiplying effect of Visual Basic logic on any given cell or group of cells. Its inconcievable to say the least.
Could it be possible for a person to build an entire business or production facility using one xls spreadsheet? This brings the concept of spreadsheet use efficiency and optimization to question. I mean, lets think about it; you can do your accounting, legal forms and contracts, human resources documents, quality assurance specs, training material, engineering drawings and calculators, performance measurement tools, process optimization models, capacity models, sales projections, marketing strategies, and just about anything else using spreadsheets. I would bet that all of these and more combined can be done easily using one tab of a spreadsheet. Lets stretch this concept even further and imagine using one tab per business. Then the question becomes…can a person build a city in one xls spreadsheet? Lets say you have 30 or so tabs and one business per tab, you would have an economic center the size of many small towns across the world.
This information and line of thinking begs the questions of rather you are tapping into even the smallest fraction of the capability that the xls spreadsheet offers. What are the implications on your life as you know it? The information that you use to make decisions? The processes you use to get things done, even simple things such as grocery shopping and planning a trip. Most people use the xls spreadsheet for the most basic functions and no more. Thats like having the entire beach but only having access to one grain of sand. Imagine holding a match up to the sun. Like walking barefoot when you can fly around the world in a G5 without breaking a sweat. Likes struggling to crawl when you can get up and travel at the speed of light. Only if you had the right tools can these things be possible.
I know what you're thinking; it would take forever to develop the skill needed to even begin to harness the power of an xls spreadsheet in your life. But why focus on developing the skill when so many people have developed those skills and are ready to do your bidding for free or an insignificant consideration. The corporate world has figured out that they can move at the speed of light by developing people to be skilled xls spreadsheet developers. You will be hard pressed to find a competitive company that isn't founded on a mountain of xls spreadsheets. Why not reinforce your career, or houshold, or love life, or parenting, or business on the same tool that thousands upon thousands of successful organizations are leveraged on? You too can move at the speed of light. That is the Power of the XLS.
By: Calvin Williams