Microsoft Excel is a key business tool that has been developed over the years and has many amazing capabilities. It has so many capabilities that it is simply not possible to list them all in one article. However, a few important pointers are mentioned below.
i) Industry standard software. So how actually useful is Excel? OK, well let’s say that you work in finance you will know that most finance professionals spend a lot of hours on Excel. They need to use Excel in order to formulate reports, charts, simulations etc. Now, lets take those working in sales, they will need to report totals, averages, margins, basic calculations, charts and will also maybe need to create dashboards. In addition engineers need to use calculations, projected figures etc.
ii) Productivity is boosted. Excel can boost productivity many times over in a business if you know how to create a decent spreadsheet, you will then be a key asset to the business as you will have very useful skills. Excel is pretty user friendly to learn and yes although some of the formulas are complex the logic is mostly quite straightforward. Productivity is increased if one knows and uses things like keyboard shortcuts, features such as copy/paste and if for example you drag formulas across columns and rows they will re-adjust themselves to their new cell reference. Large amounts of data can be sorted in Excel by filtering, sorting, doing calculations etc. You can also add ticks, crosses, data bars, thermal scales and even smiley faces.
iii) Increase in quality of work. Using Excel you can improve the quality of work produced in that you can create beautiful dashboards, reports, interfaces, charts and nicely formatted data.
iv) Lot’s of applications. If businesses didn’t have spreadsheets it would be a pretty sad state of affairs! Without spreadsheets lots of processes would require certain and more than likely expensive software however, with Excel you can pretty much do everything required.
v) One can collaborate. Excel has many capabilities nowadays and these can really help you get on with your business no matter where your staff are based. MS Office is a global set of tools and using Excel we can share spreadsheets, get team members to add data, make changes to existing cells, modify formulas, add charts etc. You can for example track the changes and add comments to the data cells as needed.
vi) You will be respected in the office. Once people realise how amazing you are at Excel they will ask you to help them with their own work and the boss will quickly realise!