Thursday, January 10, 2013

If There Has To Be a Better Way, Ask a Techie

This morning in the course of an errand I happened by the cubicle of a young woman I've worked with now and then. In what was to be a moment of small talk, she mentioned a 5000 line spreadsheet she needed to work with: her task was to sum column n for every repeating set of columns 1, 2, ... n - 1. I asked whether I might sit down. I imported the worksheet into Access and wrote a three-line query with a GROUP BY clause. She had what she needed, exportable back to Excel.. Had I more experience with Excel, probably I would have created a pivot table and saved a minute or two.

I told her what now and then I've told others dealing with technology: if it seems that there has to be a better way, probably there is. Ask a techie.

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