Student Success Story: Debbie

“A process that would normally take 15 minutes now takes us three minutes. Excel University has made my life so much easier.”


  • New tips and tricks to make everyday tasks faster
  • Large time savings on complex tasks
  • New methods that can be shared with colleagues
  • A leader in the use of Excel in her company

Optimize time-consuming processes

  • Group calls to discuss issues and techniques
  • Expert instructors
  • Easy to follow tutorials
  • A comprehensive database of Excel lessons

What challenges did you have before Excel University?

My name is Debbie Whims, and I work for HW & Company, a CPA and consulting firm based out of Cleveland, Ohio.

I have been with the firm for about 23 years, and we rely heavily on Excel. Over time we have fallen into some bad habits and keep doing things the same old way.

We have not been taking full advantage of the newest Excel features and functions. Only half an hour ago, I was looking at a file that had a macro from 1999!

Formulae like this have morphed over the years and need to be refreshed. Every time we needed to do something new we added a little bit of code to it.


What has changed since you joined Excel University?

All of the tips and tricks I have learned with Excel University have been very useful. The little keystrokes that I never knew existed before have been such a time-saver. 

One of the things I have been sharing with absolutely everybody is Flash Fill. I never knew that it existed, but now I use it on an almost daily basis. I have shared it with a number of people who have been blown away by it. 

One of the first sessions with Excel University is the Speed Loop process, where you take an existing workbook, spell out the steps you go through to update it, and then look for ways that you can automate that process.

When you multiply even a small time saving by 50 people using the same workbook, it really begins to add up.


What makes Excel University better than searching Google or YouTube?

One of the problems with searching Google or YouTube is that you do not know where your knowledge gaps are. This makes it hard to use the right search term, and many solutions get missed. 

I never would have known some of these simple methods without Excel University, and I never would have known how to search Google or YouTube for that same information. 

Having the training laid out in such a simple and intuitive way in Excel University is phenomenal.


What is one of your favorite time-saving techniques?

I had just received a database that I get every year. One of the text files is about 17 million lines of data. 

In the past, my workflow has been to open the file in Notepad and copy sections of it into Excel. This one file would take me days, if not weeks to go through. 

On a call with Excel University, I brought this up in the question and answer period. We were able to complete the task in less than half an hour right there on the call. That absolutely blew my mind!

Would you recommend Excel University?

I absolutely 100% would recommend Excel University to just about anybody. I have been using Excel for 20 years or more and consider myself knowledgeable, but I am still learning new things.

I think any level of user would benefit from the training provided by Excel University.

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