What’s your level? Six levels of spreadsheet user sophistication

Hjalmar Gislason
Sep 14, 2018 · 2 min read

This article has also been published on the GRID Blog.

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In preparing everything from the product features and UI to the go-to-market plan and messaging for GRID, we have realized that it will be helpful to look at users’ spreadsheet knowledge by levels of sophistication.

Through conversations with spreadsheet users, expert consultants and through deep analysis of a corpus of more than 100 thousand spreadsheets (more on that later) we have come to the following conclusion.

We’d be interested to hear if these levels make sense to you and which level you believe you belong to:

  1. Spreadsheet consumer
    Has Excel installed (or has logged on to Google Sheets)
    Opens and views files provided by others
  2. Spreadsheet basic user
    Creates new Excel files (or Google Sheets documents)
    Enters data and basic formulas +, -, *, /, SUM(), AVERAGE(), ROUND()
  3. Spreadsheet intermediate user
    Uses more sophisticated functions such as IF(), FIND(), NOW(), SUBTOTAL(), …
    Uses - but does not create - pivot tables
    May name cells and ranges
  4. Spreadsheet pro
    Uses VLOOKUP() (and soon thereafter INDEX(MATCH()) )
    Creates pivot tables
    May use Data Tables
  5. Spreadsheet developer
    Has the Developer tab turned on
    Creates forms (Excel) or uses Google Forms
    Records macros
  6. Spreadsheet scripter
    Writes VBA code (Excel) or Apps Scripts (Google)
    Uses PowerQuery and PowerPivot

GRID — the new face of spreadsheets

Hjalmar Gislason

Written by

Adventures in data. Founder and CEO of GRID (@grid_hq). Proud data nerd. Curious about everything. Founder of 5 software companies.

GRID — the new face of spreadsheets

Thoughts about the nature, ubiquity and importance of spreadsheets — and how to improve them.

Hjalmar Gislason

Written by

Adventures in data. Founder and CEO of GRID (@grid_hq). Proud data nerd. Curious about everything. Founder of 5 software companies.

GRID — the new face of spreadsheets

Thoughts about the nature, ubiquity and importance of spreadsheets — and how to improve them.

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