Kasper Langmann, co-founder of spreadsheeto.com
Hi Kasper, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Kasper Langmann, co-founder of spreadsheeto.com. I create spreadsheet courses and content all day long, and I just love Microsoft Excel.
How did you come up with the idea to create spreadsheeto.com and how do you help your students?
It all started when Mikkel and I were in Business School. We found that no-one knew what they were doing in Excel – not even us. The training options were limited so we decided to do something about it. We built an online Office course company in Denmark that was highly successful. Our training was in Danish, and we knew there were millions of people all over the world that we could help too. So, we started Spreadsheeto.com a couple of years ago and are now teaching hundreds of thousands of students each month.
We found that no-one knew what they were doing in Excel – not even us.
We help our students with our high-quality guides and our free online Excel training. For people who want to learn as much as possible as fast as possible, we sell a premium online course called ‘Zero to Hero’. The reception of which has been amazing.
Data science and business intelligence became quite popular relatively recently. Tableau, Power BI, and Sisense are great tools supporting the BI industry. Some people think Excel cannot match them. What’s your take on that?
There are a lot of great tools for data science and business intelligence. R and Python users usually keep to what they already know instead of jumping into advanced data processing in Excel. Which is totally understandable.
Excel is widely used and many users in the same company will know how to use its interface. This is both an advantage and disadvantage that Excel has compared to other software.
My point is that when you create one of the most used pieces of software on the planet, you can’t expect it to be “the best” at any one single application. Excel is extremely flexible and one Excel expert can solve a wide range of problems. There are tools in Excel that are great for data science and BI. Take pivot tables and power pivot, for example. These tools enable non-programmers to develop highly advanced reports, scorecards, and calculations.
While on that topic, could you give some examples of BI applications of Excel that you’ve implemented?
Some time ago, I developed an Excel application for a cosmetics company. It gave them a complete overview of the revenue and profitability of every product in their huge product line. It also enabled forecasting and testing on future product lines. On the day I implemented the application, my client was able to make a data-driven decision that earned her the entire development cost. And that was just day one…
Surely they are still meriting from that solution! Now, not everyone knows you can also write code in Excel. How often do you turn to VBA and do you think it is a necessary skill to have if you are doing business intelligence?
I use VBA all the time. People generally overlook how much you can do with VBA. But for people who want to focus on data science, it’s a “nice to have” not “need to have”.
You’ve taught thousands of students. Can you think of a situation when you have worked with a given student and felt especially proud of what you helped them achieve?
It’s hard to mention just one.
A student of ours, Linda, got both a promotion and a pay raise after going through our premium training, ‘Zero to Hero’.
We have thousands of students from all over the world. Being more productive and resourceful is a great way to get ahead of the competition. So, the feedback we hear is often extraordinary results from doing just a few hours of our training.
A student of ours, Linda, got both a promotion and a pay raise after going through our premium training, ‘Zero to Hero’. She was one of our first customers and it was just astonishing to see how our training impacted her life so fast.
It's always inspiring to hear such stories! Is there a particular nifty tool that you discovered or were introduced to which you now can’t live without?
Within Excel, there are many tools and features I can’t live without. Too many to mention. But one of the most impactful “tools” I started using several years ago is to buy a 2nd monitor. Especially in Excel, 2 (or more) monitors will make you work so much faster. If you don’t have more than 1 monitor right now – go buy at least 1 more!
I can confirm that from my own experience! Every time we conduct these interviews, we finish with some nerdery. What is the one nerdy thing you would like to share with the world (it doesn’t have to be data science related)?
A study I read somewhere showed that 5% of formulas in spreadsheets in big corporations contained errors!
While this should be taken with a grain of salt it tells us this:
We, in general, spend too little time on securing and fool-proofing the applications we create.
Pun of the interview. Lastly, we leave our readers with a joke. What’s yours?
It’s not mine but I just love this one:
A physicist, a mathematician, and a statistician are hunting together in the woods. They spot a deer and take aim. The physicist shoots first but misses the deer by 10 feet to the right. The mathematician shoots next and misses by 10 feet to the left. The statistician then throws down his gun and shouts: "We got it!".