I would not be "The Expert" here, but since no one responded, I can provide a few ideas and links.
First, you need to decide if you are just going to lean on Excel/VBA forever, or if you are prepared and/or will need to go a bit further. If you are thinking about writing code yourself, whether C, C++/ C#, or Java, or Python, this will help to guide your choices.
I have been looking at Linux machines myself lately (again), but I am comfortable with Macs and willing to pay for what they can offer.
For education on hardware, you can query www.stackexchange.com
. It is a vast repository of threads and may take a while to focus in, but you will learn good stuff along the way.
I would also say look at the following in terms of learning about tools for handling large data sets in various computing environments:
https://www.ibm.com/cloud/architecture/ ... vate-azure
for examples of cloud computing resources.
Being agnostic about vendor here, but it
might be useful to learn
about these offerings.
If you are ready to dive in (or when you become ready!), many offer a free trial for a decent length of time, so you can test drive them before committing.
This is just a small sample of ideas - there would be others for sure, but I think you will benefit from defining your current needs and near future goals more clearly and then taking the path that makes the most sense. If you are a student on a budget, that means one thing, If you are an entrepreneur in the space, that means another. If your company will pay for your resources, there are probably corporate standards, company discounts, and IT folks right around you who can help.
I used to have Dell machines through and beyond graduate school, and worked on Linux boxes I built myself in the early 2000s, but then I switched to Macs over ten years ago. The next step for me, if I were to leave MacWorld now, would not necessarily be back to Dell, but that is not a prejudice, just an evolution.
Hopefully others will weigh in - it is fun to learn about hardware and capabilities, so enjoy, immerse yourself in RAM, DRAM, SSD, and GHz, and good luck!