Monthly Archive for June, 2022

A Beginners Guide to Excel: Friend or Foe

What is Excel?

It’s a good question. Excel is another multipurpose tool that has made its way into both our personal and professional lives due to its wide variety of applications and powerful functions. With over 750 million users, it is one of the most popular software applications globally.

Excel is a spreadsheet program created by Microsoft and is available as part of the Microsoft Office Package. The spreadsheet is compiled of boxes called cells, which hold data organised into columns (cells going down the way) and rows (cells going across the way), creating a sheet (hence spreadsheet). It allows us to not only store data but also display and organise this data in a clear and understandable format.

Is Excel worth learning?

As a prominent workplace tool and with many employers expecting Excel as a base skill, you will likely come face to face with Excel in your career, whether this is data entry and storage for the future, or perhaps creating a dashboard from scratch. Learning the basics will allow you to confidently approach this eventuality and avoid feeling like a deer caught in the headlights.

Additionally, it is a transferable skill applicable to many industries and even your personal life! (Anyone sheepishly reading this and thinking of the 100’s of excel sheets you have dedicated to comparing products?… You’re not alone.)

What can Excel actually do?

So now that we’ve established that excel is worth learning, what can it actually do?

  1. Make tables and databases

This might be the most apparent function and, therefore, the best place to start. Data is inserted and stored in cells where it can be visually grouped and analysed. Tables allow us to distinguish and organise data into meaningful categories. Otherwise, we have a chaotic jumble of information with no discernable relationship.

Once the data is inserted into a table, we can format the table’s design, create filters to hide or search for specific information, and rows and columns can be easily added or removed.

  1. Convert data into graphs and charts

Now that the data is arranged into tables, excel has graphical features that allow us to represent this data in graphs and charts. Graphs and charts enable us to better understand the data quickly due to their more simplistic display of the information. They are especially useful for extensive data where relationships and patterns are harder to see.

  1. Functional features

Not only can we represent data in graphs and charts, but we can also perform complex calculations with the data. This is especially useful for totalling 100+ columns and manipulating large sums of data. The alternative is the painstaking process of doing everything by hand…Excel will do this for you quickly and correctly.

And that’s why Excel is your friend!

Microsoft Excel is an incredible tool that specialises in improving efficiency and saving time. It may seem like a steep learning curve but with 750 million-plus users, we can safely assume that the benefits outweigh the trepidation of getting started. It is a lot simpler to use, and with an easy goal in mind, you’ll quickly get to know the layout and the promise of a more organised existence.

Feel like you need a bit more support getting started? Check out our comprehensive Excel Introduction Course, led by a Live Trainer who will support you at every step of the way!