Data Realism and the Missing Keystrokes


April is over, and so is Oz du Soleil’s daily video blog. I am still enjoying these.

Tonight I caught up on a look at Oz’s Excel work environment.

It’s fascinating to see others’ Excel work habits — especially those of an Excel master.

Data realism

I like that Oz focuses on real-life Excel challenges and habits. There’s a tendency for Excel content to push heavy data science and development. That’s great, but it might not make sense for a two-person department just trying to get commissions out on time and accurately.

I call my approach and Oz’s “data realism” — focus on small steps toward better data. You’re not going to get heavy VBA or SQL lessons here. Instead, I want to help you put your liberal arts degree to use and avoid wasted hours cleaning crummy data.

The missing keystrokes

To this end, I do cover quick, actionable tips like keyboard shortcuts. Not too sexy, but useful. 

Sometimes the built-in shortcuts for Excel are clunky — or they don’t exist. So in the name of data realism, I’d like to ask you readers — what are your missing keystrokes?

By this I mean: are there any keyboard shortcuts that you’d like to have or have added via a macro? Here are some of mine, for example:

  • Highlight cells red, yellow, and green
  • Wrap text
  • Format cells as a percentage with 0 decimal points

Little steps like setting up these shortcuts can make your reports look better and run faster — giving you more time to do things with your data rather than caring for it.

All right, data realists, your turn: What are your missing keystrokes?  

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