Print this out now and tape it near your analytics team’s desks.

One day, when I run an operations team, I will ban Excel. I have been clean and sober from the program for 15 months since starting at BuzzFeed, an ironic fate after teaching Excel through my course Page Down for What for so many years. My new course is called “How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Google Sheets.”

But because people are often set in their ways, I am starting smaller and focusing my attack on Vlookups, the inferior formula that drives the mainstream spreadsheet world. I’ll never forget when a corporate banking intern friend told me her “whole job was Vlookups.” The saltiness of knowing that the wealthiest analysts of our time aren’t particularly good with spreadsheets will always sting a little.

To be constructive and forward-looking, I use this printout to help remind my teammates to use Index Matching, which will likely become the most important or at least the most common formula you will use in your career. I won’t go into the why and how because this is an old topic, but I wanted to share this image so you can drive the point home (it takes a while to remember this bad boy).

For more on Index Matching, I love to share Ben Collins’ video course (possible paywall): https://courses.benlcollins.com/courses/advanced30/lectures/3583548. He has a lot of great content already prepared for the web, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll be like the Cardi B to his Bruno Mars.

Be bold. Tell your team this is the way to do it. Ban Excel. And so on.

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People Tech & Analytics leader @ Level, formerly Twitch, BuzzFeed, Google, Nielsen | Learn from Max @ bit.ly/learnpeopleanalytics

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Max Brawer

People Tech & Analytics leader @ Level, formerly Twitch, BuzzFeed, Google, Nielsen | Learn from Max @ bit.ly/learnpeopleanalytics