We’ve made it, the end of 2016. A most surprising year. 12 months ago I had no idea this site would exist. I didn’t even have plans or dreams to start an Excel site. But here it is. As we start a new year I thought it would be good to undertake a ‘state of the nation’ – to review 2016 and to look ahead to 2017.
Over the last 12 months, my job has changed significantly. As a result, I started to get back into the nitty-gritty of Excel. I think my Excel skills had started to dissipate, due to working in more managerial roles for a number of years. I had to solve new problems, some of which I had never realized could even be problems. But solving Excel problems really is one of life’s little pleasures, so getting back to really ‘using’ Excel has been fun.
At various points throughout the year, I threw together some “quick and dirty” Macros to solve a few issues. It amazes me that some of those “quick and dirty” Macros are still being used by other employees and in some cases even form part of their standard workflow. This is great from an “adding benefit” point of view, but also worrying as “quick and dirty” are rarely the most robust or scalable solutions. At some point they will fall over, hopefully I’ll be around to deal with them!!
During the last 12 months I also created my first Add-in – 4 actually. Some of these were created for my employer, so I can’t really share those. But some were just because I thought I had a good idea. I’m hoping to release these in 2017, making them ready for wider distribution is just taking a little bit longer than I expected.
My biggest learning of the last 12 months has been mastering (even if just a little bit) the Excel Ribbon. The XML code required to change the Ribbon doesn’t give away too many clues when things don’t work. A number of times I was left floundering with very little idea what the issue was. But I got through the frustrations and now have a number of templates and tools to help me use it better in the future.
Plans for 2017
What will 2017 hold for Excel Off The Grid?
More of the same (but better) – I know, I know, not a great promise. I’ve enjoyed writing the posts and sharing these tips. So I’d like to continue. If you’ve got any feedback – too long, too short, etc. then just let me know through the contact form. I love hearing from readers, and if I can tweak things to make the site more usable for you, then I will do my best.
Release some Add-ins – having now created a few add-ins I’ve got some ideas of other tools which would be useful. So, I’d like to release a few of those this year.
Courses & series – I would like to complete the Beginning VBA course. I’m also planning some Dashboarding courses, this has been a bit lacking on the site so far.
Videos – I received a request from a friend to include videos on the site. He likes to see what somebody is doing and then follow along, rather than reading. Different people have different learning styles, so I can appreciate his point of view. I did experiment with this towards the end of 2016 and I would like to see where it can lead.
What do you want from the site? – Excel Off The Grid is actually very different from what I had expected when I started. As this site is still evolving, let me know what would be useful, I would love to hear from you.
My learning goals – I’ve not had much exposure to Excel’s BI tools, Power Query, Power Pivot etc, so I’m hoping to get a bit deeper into these over the next 12 months.
Let’s get going!
My plan for 2017 is to post every Monday & Thursday. The next post will be on 5th January. Until then, why now sign up for my mailing list? You will receive tips and updates straight to your inbox.