The Modeller’s Miscellany #92

Top 5 articles of 2021


1. Article

The best article about Excel ever written

“If you want to see the future of B2B software, look at what Excel users are hacking together in spreadsheets today”. This article is an in-depth look at why Excel is here to stay, and why at the same time the unbundling of what users do in Excel has already created companies with market caps of half a trillion dollars.

Excel is the bonsai tree of software: the more non-core use cases pruned off by unitasker products, the healthier it gets.” Read more.

2. Resource

How to review a spreadsheet

In November, the ICAEW launched a new guide setting out common sources of spreadsheet error, how to review them with confidence, and steps you can take to give the next user a helping hand. A useful resource for all modellers. Get the guide here.

3. Survey

Global Financial Modelling Survey 2021

The results are in on the biggest ever survey of the financial modelling profession. We heard from 951 financial modellers across 94 countries.

We learned more about the processes and tools modellers use, how much modellers earn, and what their biggest frustrations are. We are grateful to everybody who took part. Download the report.

Preview of the Global Financial Modelling Survey 2021 Results

4. Article

The optimal amount of hassle

If you recognise that BS is ubiquitous, then the question is not “How can I avoid all of it?” but, “What is the optimal amount to put up with so I can still function in a messy and imperfect world?”

If your tolerance is zero – if you are allergic to differences in opinion, personal incentives, emotions, inefficiencies, miscommunication, and such – your odds of succeeding in anything that requires other people rounds to zero. The other end of the spectrum – fully accepting every incidence of nonsense and hassle – is just as bad. The world will eat you alive. Continue reading.

5. Skills

How to be a superforecaster

As modellers and analysts, we are involved in forecasting every day. This article from the Farnam Street blog summarises 10 commandments for superforecasters. It’s based on an interview with Philip Tetlock, one of the authors of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction which is also a highly recommended read.

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