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Fun With Excel on TikTok2 min read

Two things I never expected to find entertaining when put together are Microsoft Excel and TikTok. Those are two diametrically opposed things. One is fun and has whimsy, while the other is a Chinese-owned social network that’s basically overtaken Facebook Meta. I kid, I kid. In actuality, Excel can be a wondrous tool in the hands of someone who knows even 25% of its power. I’ve seen colleagues work their magic on a spreadsheet in seconds simply because they knew a certain formula or function.

Enter Kat Norton, an Excel guru that Quartz has profiled. Norton found herself in similar circumstances as most of us in early 2020: stuck at home and pondering the next steps in life. Norton took her extensive Excel knowledge and put up some videos on TikTok. Now, she’s doing some amazing things.

After two days of conflicting feelings about whether or not to post, Norton did her hair and makeup, watched an hour’s worth of video-editing instructional clips on YouTube, and made her first post. She posted new videos for four days straight. The fourth one—it’s about Excel’s XLOOKUP feature and set to DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”—quickly accumulated 100,000 views.

By the sixth day, the CEO of a tech firm reached out and asked if she could create instructional videos for Google Workspace products. A few weeks later, one of Norton’s videos went truly viral, with more than 3 million views. “Now what do I do?” she asked herself. “I didn’t know how to do influencer-y things. I barely knew how to use TikTok!”

Quartz

Now, I don’t personally have a TikTok account. It’s a platform that doesn’t interest me in the slightest and I am quite skeptical about their data collection practices. I don’t trust them. However, I do appreciate that I can view a viral video on the web. I pair a visit with my PiHole and ad-blocker.

For Kat Norton, she’s found an amazing niche. Her skills make fantastic videos. Now I know all about XLOOKUP! You can see her videos directly on the web.

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