What happens when 9 Excel power users come to Microsoft campus?

Excel is a tool that means different things to many different people. And with the app available for the PC, Mac, web and even your phones and tablets, the ways in which Excel is being used is expanding like crazy. So it is important for our team to continuously learn from our diverse customers. In November, we decided to try a new way of engaging with some of our most dedicated power users, modelers and analysts in the financial industry.

Through a year-long partnership with the ModelOff Financial Services World Championship, we reached out to nine financial professionals who use Excel creatively to solve complex financial problems and invited them to travel from across the world for a few days in our house … Redmond, WA. By the end of the trip, the participants had walked the halls where we design, develop and test the product, brainstormed new ideas for us to consider in next product versions and gave first hand demonstrations of the diverse ways that Excel is used in the financial industry. As one participate mentioned, “To be invited to the Microsoft campus, it’s like going back to the mothership.”

The Redmond experience was a major eye opener for our team as well. We learned a great deal about how important Excel is within the industry and how our decisions impact the very nature of how financial modeling is done. The feedback from these participants will be key to how we innovate on the next versions of Excel.

The Excel product team is committed to continuing to grow a strong relationship with users in the financial industry and to empower each professional—through Excel’s powerful calculation, analytics and visualization features—to achieve mission critical work in the most efficient and effective ways possible. As part of this commitment, we sponsored this year’s ModelOff World Championship finals at our new Times Square offices in New York City.

Check out a few clips from our time with our Redmond visitors.