You don’t need (and shouldn’t) entirely run away from Excel yet

Have you heard that Python is the new Excel? I’ve already read this a couple of times, to be honest.

So, why do I see a lot of people still using Excel?

First of all, these two tools are intended for different purposes and, second of all, Excel is powerful by itself (if that wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t be so popular for so many years).

However, programming languages are becoming more popular every year and some people, like you and me, are interested in verifying how known activities could be handled differently and, of course, easily.

And there comes one key aspect of this article. There’s an MS Office native Programming Language called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Even though you might don’t know it, you possibly have already used it. How so? Using the so-called Macros.

Long story short, VBA is one Programming Language developed by Microsoft which is how Macros, a bunch of defined commands, could be configured. And this is the moment the story gets interesting. One of the most known use cases of Python is to automatize multiple types of tasks, which includes, but isn’t limited to, Excel cases. However, aren’t these kinds of problems already being solved by VBA? Remember, we are here to do things differently and for the better. Besides, a lot of Macros are used by people who don’t know how to change or adapt them. They’re just there for years…

The fact that Macros are already used indeed could be a big barrier for you and its main reason is convenience. Why? The reasons I’ve noticed are:

  1. People are used to clicking onto a Macro Button and this is enough for them. They just want the work done (and it’s fair, it makes sense);
  2. Some people simply are not willing to learn a (new) programming language.

As the above is a fact, it’d be hard to spread the sole use of a Python Script you managed to develop across your organization, for instance. You need to enable people to use Excel and Macros yet, period. This way, they feel comfortable and you may keep practicing it somehow.

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Combine the best of MS Excel and Python
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