MS Excel is a spreadsheet program used to analyse and present data in rows and columns. It offers robust calculation, analysis, and presentation tools for business professionals and students. Excel is one of the most important software packages for businesses. People use it to organise data in tables, explore relationships between variables, perform numbers calculations, and create high-quality graphs.
It is a desktop application that enables users to create, calculate, analyse and share information through dynamic spreadsheets. With MS Excel, users can organise data in cells, placed in rows and columns. The cells are arranged to resemble the layout of an accountant’s ledger sheet. MS Excel also provides charts to visualise this data in graphical form.
The many features of MS Excel make it one of the most popular programs used in the workplace. For example, the program makes it easy to take raw data and turn them into informative graphs or charts. Even templates can be found online to help you create graphs and charts within Excel. In addition, if you want to learn Excel, you can find many Excel courses online.
Excel tutorials are readily available. And the application is relatively easy for newcomers. However, one needs to master the basic features and functions before moving to advanced features.
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- Importance and Use of MS Excel
Excel is one of the most common tools for data analysis because it can perform many different tasks. It is also one of the best software programs to use when creating graphs for data representation.
Some analysts will even use Excel to create entire presentation presentations for company executives, investors, potential customers, etcetera, all on MS Excel’s desktop publishing capabilities without ever releasing them on Powerpoint or Keynote.
It is an essential tool for business people to quickly analyse data, create charts and graphs to visualise their findings and provide calculations for salaries or loan payments. It’s also essential for engineers looking at large datasets, scientists working with complex simulations or models, and teachers teaching math skills to students in the classroom.
People often use Excel to track their finances or when doing complicated calculations. It is also common to use it when preparing budgets for work projects or to start up a small business.
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- Top 7 Excel Features to Improve Your Work Efficiency
MS Excel can sort and filter data quickly with just a few clicks of your mouse. It can also do complex calculations with formulas, graphs and charts. And you can type up to 1 million cells in a single workbook, unlike other spreadsheet applications with a limit of 256 columns or 1728 rows per workbook.
In addition, Excel is the only spreadsheet application that can create macros for automating tasks. This makes it easier for users who don’t want to spend time on tedious manual tasks like copying and pasting data from one location to another.
Here are seven features of MS Excel that will improve your work efficiency –
- Conditional formatting
- Pivot Tables
- Paste Special
- Print Optimisation
- Flash Fill
- Index Match
- Conditional Formatting
Conditional formatting is a way of highlighting cells in a spreadsheet based on some condition.
It is typically used in Excel to highlight cells that meet specific criteria and make them stand out from the rest of the data. For example, the most popular use case for conditional formatting in Excel shows when an invoice has been paid or not paid.
This type of formatting can be applied to any column, not just the column with dates. So, for example, you could use it with a column that contains numbers or text values. You can also apply different formats to different cells, such as making the cell bold when the number is above 10 and italicising it when it’s less than 50.
- Pivot Tables
A pivot table is a powerful data analysis tool in Microsoft Excel. It is an essential tool for working with large data sets in Excel.
A pivot table begins with a main summary or aggregate of data, called the “pivot field”. It then displays the details for this aggregated data, called “rows” and “columns”. Using this structure, it’s easy to see total sales by region or average sales by product.
The Pivot Table is designed to help you summarise and analyse large data sets that are difficult to manipulate because they are too cumbersome to access on the Excel spreadsheet.
- Paste Special
Paste Special is an advanced function in Excel that allows users to paste data from another sheet or workbook. It can be used for various purposes, but it is most commonly used when the user wants to reference some data from an outside source, but not all of it.
This menu item can be found in the Data menu on the Home tab in Excel 2010, 2013 and 2016 versions and is located at the bottom of the list of other formatting commands such as Copy or Paste. For example, the Paste Special command has three main options: Transpose, Consolidate, and Other options.
- Print Optimisation
Print optimisation in MS Excel helps you arrange the content in your spreadsheet to print well when you use the print preview feature. So, for example, if you want your text column to be on the left side of the page instead of on the right side, print optimisation lets you do this quickly and easily.
Print Optimisation in MS Excel is an indispensable tool for printing large data sets. The process involves preparing the data before printing it out. Then, there are various ways to optimise the printout depending on the use case.
Print optimisation is done by formatting the spreadsheet and setting up page breaks, margins, headers and footers.
- Flash Fill
Flash Fill is a feature in MS Excel that can quickly fill blanks with values. It can be used to populate columns of data when you are using the File > Import command. For example, if you have a list of names and phone numbers in an Excel spreadsheet, then Flash Fill can quickly fill in all the phone numbers for you.
The Flash Fill feature is accessed by clicking on the Data tab at the top of your spreadsheet and selecting More Functions > Flash Fill. The dialogue box will open to choose to fill in values or formulas. You also have the option to select an entire column or rows by clicking on the checkboxes next to them.
- Index Match
Index Match is a function in MS Excel that finds an item in a list and returns the position of the item. Index Match can be used to match up strings, such as words, words with spaces, or numbers. Index Match allows users to use existing indexes without inputting them manually.
It is possible to use the Index Match function for many operations, such as replacing values or formatting cells.
Filters in MS Excel are a helpful feature that allows users to see desired data or information based on specific criteria. A filter can be created using statistical functions like MIN, MAX, AVERAGE, SUM and COUNT. This article will develop filters in MS Excel using the AVERAGE process.
When using this function, users need to input two arguments- the range of cells they want to filter and the function cell where they want to find out the average of all these cells. After typing these two arguments into the respective fields of the dialogue box, users need to click the OK button for it to take effect.
This feature can be used for many purposes, like excluding specific data points from analysis or showing aspects.
With Excel features, it is easier to analyse data and present it visually appealingly. Moreover, the analysis can be done quickly, and with this, most people can create graphs and diagrams with ease. People can also use the data to see how they might change their business plan or even their work productivity.
A user can quickly select the rows or columns they want to work with by holding down the Ctrl key on their keyboard. A user could also select multiple rows or columns by holding down the Shift key while clicking on different rows or columns headers.
It is easy for anyone to do these tasks as they only require basic computer skills. This makes Excel features useful for students and professionals alike.