Friday, August 4, 2023

WIRTW #681: the “excel-lent” edition

To be the man (or woman), you've gotta beat the man (or woman).

And to beat the man (or woman), you've gotta be really, really good at pivot tables and the xlookup function.

Earlier this morning, ESPN2 aired the Microsoft Excel World Championship.

You read that correctly — the world championship of spreadsheeting.

How in the world does one convert Microsoft Excel into a competitive sport? The answer is by tasking competitors to use Excel to solve complex puzzles. The eight contestants are provided "cases" to solve. Past examples include computing all of the possible outcomes and rewards for a slot machine or all of the possible combinations of license plate numbers. Contestants are then provided 30 minutes to answer a series of questions related to each case worth up to 1,000 points; the most points wins.

It's fascinating and compelling to watch, and I made sure to tune in before I left for work this morning. No spoilers on who won. I know you can find a replay and I want you to discover the joy of this event all on your own.

So here's my fun Friday question for everyone — If given the opportunity, what aspect of your job would you turn into a competitive sport? Mine would probably have something to do with Lexis searches … or maybe a race to make a filing deadline?

No wrong answers. Please share in the comments below.

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.

Lizzo Responds to "Outrageous" Allegations from Former Dancers — via Consequence

The Hard Road: Summary Judgment Upheld for Employer in Discrimination Case — via Dan Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog

AI In Employment Decisions — via LE Blog