This is a work in progress …

The message here is this.

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In my Horse-Drawn Motor Car analogy, I ask what would motoring be like if motorists took the new invention as a continuation of the existing Horse-Drawn Carriage?

I describe the progress of the Horse-Drawn Motor Car over the century, where the old eco-system has ensured that the old methods and structures remained; including industries such as blacksmiths, vets, shovels, and red flags, as well as a profession known as Red Flag Bearer. In modern times we have the latest in technology. Today, we’ll have self-driving robotic horses that have AI and Machine Learning.

Of course, the point in this is, if we had ditched the horses a 120 years ago the Horse-Drawn Motor Cars will not have existed.

Complexity of process

Imagine the mess if motorists started up the engine, but still insisted on having the horses attached? What if the speed limit was increased to 70 mph on the motorway, and people drove at that speed – with horses attached?

This is something like what we have today. Excel has some powerful features, but most of us are still stuck in the old paper spreadsheet paradigm (even though most of us did not actually live in the paper spreadsheet age!).

So, most people encounter these new features with too much baggage; baggage that limits grasping the real point in Excel, since about the mid 1990s.

Any explanation or demonstration serves more to put audiences off. To confuse. Power features, it would seem to the casual audience, come at the cost of complexity.

It’s much simpler than you think!

It is.

Take a simple crosstab report. How would the average Excel user (or advanced Excel user) tackle this?

I’ve asked around. They vary from complex formulas, to Power Query, depending on who you ask.

Here’s a short video on an Excel model leveraging the Crosstab query in Access – from the given list on a spreadsheet with columns Company | Account | Month | Value, with 200,000 rows. See how easy it is?


I asked a number of people from a varied Excel-background to outline how they would do it.

These are the answers I got.


The results are worthy of a discussion on ‘why do we do what we do the way we do it’?

(I feel that should be the title of this blog!)

A comparison

When I get back to this blog … I’ll compare these various methods.


Hiran de Silva

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