These are your Excel Champs finalists

After days spent evaluating the ten semi-finalists’ entries, a team of judges from Microsoft has announced the finalists in its Excel Champs competition, who will go on to compete for the grand prize later this month.

Corné van Heerden, Philip Axt and Gabriel Wolmarans all solved the previous Excel challenge in a manner the judges considered to be the most inventive, efficient or just plain brilliant.

What spreadsheet wizardry did they weave? You may well ask. They had to solve three challenges based on data provided. The first was a test of their ability to arrange a set of data in the shortest possible time; the second challenged their ability to arrange data into a visual format, while the third was a test of their  knowledge of Excel formulae. 

With the final leg of the competition completed, they move on to the final stage of the contest.

Close behind, however, were the two runners-up, Shane Hutchinson and Jacques Wentzel. Lucky for this pair their Excel Champs run doesn’t end here.

Microsoft has decided to run a little head-to-head competition between the two over on the day of the finals, in which they will need to answer ten Excel-related questions. The first runner up with the correct answers will join the other three winners for the final clash.

In another twist, Microsoft also gave people who had previously been unaware of the competition a shot at the finals; the lucky recipient of a chance to compete turned out to be Richard Ball, who joins the other four as a “Wild Card” entry.

Next week, these five would-be Excel Champs will compete against one another for the glory of being South Africa’s Excel Champion, as well as the right to be the new owner of a pile of awesome prizes that include a Dell Latitude laptop, a copy of Office 2016, and of course, major bragging rights among geeky circles.

We’ll be there on the day, acting in our official capacity as one of the judges.



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