Weeknote 30

This week I was in the weeds.

§1 She’s a 10 but Excel thinks she’s October

On Monday I had two spreadsheets. I wanted to check each item in the first column of the first spreadsheet to see if it’s value appeared in a particular column in the second spreadsheet. How do I do this again?

Check if a value exists in a column using MATCH

Excel’s MATCH function searches for a value in a column or array and returns its relative position based on your chosen match type, whether exact or partial match. If the value is not found, then it returns a #NA error. Its syntax is:

MATCH (value, array, [match_type])

Suppose we have various invoice numbers in a column and their respective amounts. We want to check if a certain invoice exists in that column, and return “YES,” otherwise return #NA. We check this using MATCH and IF functions in Excel, such as


This formula uses the MATCH function as a logical condition and If the MATCH function returns relative position of a value, then the IF function returns “YES,” otherwise this formula returns #NA

How to Check If One Value Exists in a Column

§2 The DevOps origin story

Earlier this week I mentioned in conversation that I was still trying to wrap my mind around the ‘philosophy’ of IT tickets. I was advised to learn about ITIL:

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of detailed practices for IT activities such as IT service management (ITSM) and IT asset management (ITAM) that focus on aligning IT services with the needs of business.[1]

ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are neither organization-specific nor technology-specific, but can be applied by an organization toward strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement. There is no formal independent third party compliance assessment available for ITIL compliance in an organization. Certification in ITIL is only available to individuals. Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS, a joint venture between Capita and the UK Cabinet Office.

ITIL From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In reading up more about ITIL, I learned the (an?) origin story of DevOps:

Development and operations had always been at loggerheads and had been the IT industry’s favorite blame game. If too many incidents were reported, the development side of things was blamed. If resolution took too long, the developers pegged it on the operational inefficiencies. While the industry had accepted living with this arrangement, Patrick Debois had other plans. He proposed that all the inefficiencies could be put to rest and synergy amplified by asking development and operations to work as a single unit. No more blame games and no more passing the buck; only collaboration, he surmised.

Kaiser, A. K. (2021). ITIL’s Management of Practices. In A. K. Kaiser (Ed.), Become ITIL® 4 Foundation Certified in 7 Days: Understand and Prepare for the ITIL Foundation Exam with Real-life Examples (pp. 191–196). Apress. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-6361-7_7

Libraries generally have a “front of house” (public services) and “back of house” (technical services). What could be the DevOps of libraries?

§3 Entering the Are.na

I’m not going to give up my Pinboard anytime soon, but I am adding Are.na into my portfolio of tools for thought. Speaking of which, I found this presentation thanks to Are.na which is so very much in my wheelhouse:

From Tools For Thought: From the Memex to index cards

If I was starting a visual, design, or arts-based practice, I would absolutely get a subscription to use Are.na more fully and regularly.

Already, I am finding it a remarkable discovery tool for so much wonderful writings, artists, and designed digital objects.

Are.na / Librarians on Are.na / On Libraries & Archives Superchannel

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