08: Szilvia Juhasz Returns!

The Wild Episode

Jordan was on vacation and Excel TV gladly invited Excel High Priestess, Szilvia Juhasz to join us. She was Excel TV’s very first guest, way back in Episode 1 where we discussed modern Excel and having a passion for Excel.

You’ll have to trust me and check out the episode. It was a raucous, informative and fun conversation that included Szilvia blowing our minds with Excel’s intersection operator.

We also had discussion about what we’ve experienced as trainers who see a wide range of Excel uses in a wide array of businesses. Szilvia describes working in Hungary and how it’s one thing to have analytical tools, but it’s another thing when a language doesn’t have a word for ‘productivity.’

That was a very sober reminder that Excel is only a tool, and often the real data management challenges are in other areas like language, processes, and understanding “why?” We discuss an example where parents start a business out of necessity, and it’s a successful business. Then, as the parents want to transition out and turn the business over to the tech-savvy children, there’s resistance. “Why do we need to spend money to manage inventory. We know the inventory is low when we go look in the bin and it’s nearly empty.”

Sometimes we just have to respect that, and resist shoving new solutions onto a situation that’s not really broken.

It was great having Szilvia back and we’re sure we’ll see hear again on Excel TV.

Episode 8 Highlights

History of Excel: From 1800 BC to PowerPivot

Szilvia wowed us in this episode by leading off with a history of Excel. At 3:40 of the full episode the schooling lead with a chart on Chandoo’s website that starts in 1978 with VisiCalc. But we go far far back in history … back to Babylonian tablets that suggest row-&-column style organization of information.

Szilvia then reminiscences on Excel’s great grandparents: ledger paper. And then in 1979 VisiCalc was released to the public as an Apple II product. It was Invented by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston and was the first recognizable digital spreadsheet.

Comparing the Mac and PC versions of Excel, it’s hard to believe that Excel did indeed start of as an Apple product.

Thanks, Szilvia for making us aware of our history.

21:50 WHAT’S NEXT? Szilvia asks about the talent? She cites a report that warns of a shortage of talented people as we have more and more data and not enough people who are qualified to manage, clean and analyze it.

28:00 Szilvia agrees that people either “get data or they don’t” but she issues strong warning that people who “don’t get it” need to find a way to kinda get it or hire people who do get it.

42:15 Excel Hot Tips

  • Oz demonstrates the Show Filter Pages feature
  • Szilvia shows the intersection operator where we might otherwise use VLOOKUP or INDEX/MATCH/MATCH.

56:30 Rick shows the Exporter template by Chris Macro, TheSpreadsheetGuru. It helps control spreadsheet data that needs to be shared and even emails the appropriate data to the right people, straight form Excel.

59:30 A comparison of Excel Online and Google Sheets.

Oh! One more thing. Szilvia also mentions her winning Excel meme as determined by DataPig Technologies. Click the image to be taken to the page where you can see the other memes that were submitted.

Szilvia meme

Here’s where you can find Szilvia:

And The Most Important Question:

Joan Collins as Szilvia Juhasz
Didn’t we discuss not hiding Column A?

Who Would Play Szilvia Juhasz In An Excel Movie?

The response directly from Szilvia:

Duh. Joan Collins.

How about you?

It would be great to hear from you! Comment below if you liked the show, disagree with a comment, have suggestions or just want to say something that’s been on your mind. Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to get more Excel delivered straight to you through the power of the internet!


Bob Frankston, business culture, Dan Bricklin, Excel TV, Is VLOOKUP still useful, Lotus 1-2-3, pivot tables, show filter pages, Szylvia Juhasz, VisiCalc

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