Excel-killer watch

I know people who made lengthy lists on what Excel could do that 123 could not, as I used to work at a place where actuaries used Excel and the Finance/Accounting area used 123, and the Finance area refused to convert, which meant a lot of work for actuaries who had to provide data to the Finance area in 123 files.
Now, it’s possible that 123 couldn’t do some things BECAUSE of the Windows environment, but I’d need some evidence before strongly believing it.

Oh, it’s worse than that. 123 was stable… Unless i opened Word. But if i opened Word, 123 would crash later that day. But right away, but within a couple of hours.

I am 100% certain that MS sabotaged 123.

I used both for a while. They each had some features the other didn’t have. I think the latest version of excel may finally allow you to label points on a graph from a range, not just with their value. That’s something i used all the time in 123.

Is this thing seasonal? Let’s graph the quarterly values, with all the first quarter ones labeled with a “1”, etc. Seasonality popped right out visually. And it took two decades for excel to reproduce that functionality. Drove me frigging nuts how crappy the graphs were. But oooh, your can make them look 3D.

Excel did introduce pivot tables, which are extremely powerful. That was added after they sabotaged 123, though.


Finance chiefs are still trying to get employees to move away from Microsoft Excel, the ubiquitous spreadsheet program loved and loathed by accounting professionals.

While many still see it as a helpful tool, some CFOs say finance teams rely on it too much, often for tasks that Excel isn’t well-suited to handle. That can lead to mistakes and wasted time.

Microsoft Corp. moved Excel and its other Office products to the cloud a decade ago and has offered a number of new features and updates since. But some finance chiefs still want to reduce their reliance on the application in favor of programs that more efficiently automate data collection and analysis. They say there are limitations to Excel’s effectiveness, with users having a tough time keeping track of changes and verifying financial information.

Last year’s abrupt shift to remote work during the pandemic, which forced finance chiefs to manage corporate finances and close the books remotely, highlighted shortfalls in using Excel, said Glenn Hafler, a principal at advisory firm Hackett Group Inc. “The pandemic really exposed the vulnerability that finance teams have as a result of their dependence on Excel,” Mr. Hafler said.

Levi’s runs its supply planning on Excel, which covers raw materials, interactions with suppliers and capacity planning, according to Harmit Singh, the company’s finance chief. But that is set to change, as the company is working to introduce a new artificial intelligence tool to handle those tasks. The transition will happen over the next two years and the first tasks will move off Excel in early 2022, according to the company. “The pandemic reinforced the business case for the change,” the company said.

Companies looking to replace Excel—at least partly—have a range of options, depending on the task at hand. SAP SE, OneStream Software LLC, Oracle Corp. , Anaplan Inc. and Workiva Inc. are among the firms offering cloud-based information technology for different parts of the finance function.

Consultants say it isn’t only the IT that needs to change, but also the way people organize finance tasks. Otherwise, companies run the risk of spending money on new systems while employees continue working in Excel and only copy and paste the data in the end, said Vanessa Keating, who leads Hackett’s digital finance advisory practice.

Data collection in Excel??

No, data collection AND summarization in queries, pasted in Excel for further summarization.
If your file is bigger than 25 megabytes, you’re gonna have a bad time (at least I do). Too much data or too many long formulas.

And I certainly would use it for anything requiring continuous updates, like supply planning at Levi’s.



Given the fantastic tools available for big data analysis, the latest survey by JetBrains has found that the favorite statistical tool for analysis among respondents was… the spreadsheet. Who’d have thought it!

The latest JetBrains Developer Ecosystem Survey report has been released and as usual has findings that are both interesting and amusing. This is the fifth annual survey by JetBrains of the overall developer ecosystem, and the questions relating to big data threw up some surprises, along with a recognition of the importance of AWS and Apache in this sector.

Imo Excel is a great napkin that should always be available for “what if” things.

Actual financial reporting should use a platform with better controls.

So there’s room for both. It’s not Excel’s fault you’re using it for things it’s not good at…

Now I’m curious if you can build a reserving system in Microsoft Word.

Word has VBA, so I’m pretty sure it’s possible to build in VBA with a word interface. If you locked the VBA that might actually be better controlled than most things done in excel…

why isn’t R on the list? So small that it is in the ‘other’ bucket?

I found the original source for that graph shared above:

Here they have python & R, though this is about just using the language, for whatever:

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Was my immediate thought too, a lot is possible in VBA if necessary. Good idea? Occasionally. Possible? Usually… Likely not always, but SendKeys is always a thing…

This is a very informative website, thanks. I clicked on the R link and apparently there are new up and coming IDEs to compete with RStudio, like Pycharm. Who knew?

Every time I see this thread I think it’s about a timepiece that is going to kill excel.

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Keep the dream alive.

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