How Excel Can Boost Your Productivity at Work

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A staple in offices and businesses all over the world, Microsoft Excel has been around since way back in 1993. Since then, the program has undergone several changes and alterations, and although there are other spreadsheet programs available, Excel is still considered one of the most popular and effective.

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An incredibly versatile and useful program, Excel allows you to organize large amounts of data and carry out quick calculations. You can add a number of sheets to a single document, include charts, graphs, diagrams, and exchange data with other programs in the Office family. It’s easy to master, and used expertly, it can boost your productivity by a significant margin. If you want to improve your Excel skills, these free Excel resources in the form of video tutorials and helpful articles should prove useful. Here are four reasons why your career – and manager – will thank you:

1. Keeping Your Data Organized

One of the biggest advantages of Excel is that it allows you to keep your data in one place and organize it according to your requirements. This way, you don’t have to keep track of dozens of different documents and pages. You can simply enter all the information related to one data set into one document and update it when you need to.

Excel sheets will save you the trouble of going through dozens of files to find the information you need. This level of organization can help you save a lot of time and become more productive. You can also share this information with your team members and allow them to make any changes and edits required.

2. Saving Time on Calculations

Excel became popular because it simplified complex calculations. You don’t have to enter the data manually and use a calculator to compute the information. It can be tedious and time-consuming to enter all of the data and carry out the required calculations manually; that can affect your overall productivity and efficiency. Excel allows you to use fairly complex functions and formulae to calculate the data-set. Here are some of the formulas you must know if you want to use Excel productively:

Count – This formula will add the numbers mentioned in the cells added to the formula. In this example, Count will calculate the sum of cells A1 to A5. You can replace these cell names with others from your document.

IF Statements – IF doesn’t calculate numbers but performs logical functions. You can create a formula to return different data based on whether the statement is true or false.

VLOOKUP – As the name suggests, this formula can help you find a particular piece of information or value in a large document.

Other formulas include Concatenate, SUMIF, COUNTIF, AVERAGEIF, etc. This ability to store data and carry out different calculations led to MS Excel’s rise in popularity, when it was first introduced. It is also one of the reasons why most companies continue using Excel. For more advice, check out these useful Excel cheat sheets for creating calculations and common task.

3. Speeding Up Repetitive Tasks

Do you find yourself performing a number of repetitive tasks in Excel? Most people don’t understand the full features of Excel and fail to utilize its potential. If you need to enter large amounts of data repeatedly, you should try Macros. This option can help you automate almost anything in Excel and simplify your processes by a considerable margin. Through Macros, you can create one command to perform a set of actions in succession.

All you need to do is set the Macros to record what you need to get done and perform all those functions and calculations on your Excel sheet. These will record everything and turn your actions into a VBA code that you can attach to a tool bar. After that, it’s all a question of clicking that button and initiating the code to trigger the actions. This will help you increase your productivity and save a lot of time.

4. Analyzing Reports

Excel provides an option called PivotTables that can help you make sense of long streams of data. These tables will summarize the information on every column present in the sheet. You won’t need to scroll through different rows and columns or manually summarize the data. You can simply add PivotTables to your sheets through the Insert – Table – Recommend PivotTable option.

Your columns should have headings and there should be no blank rows in the column for your table to work. You should also make sure that all of the information in the column is in the same format. The table won’t be able to summarize information if it is in different formats.

Excel can make processes and calculations easier. If you understand how to use all the tools and functions provided by this platform, you will be able to organize and store date efficiently. On the surface Excel seems very easy to use, but many struggle to understand this tool. If you can’t use Excel comfortably, you should consider taking a course; it would help you in the future. You’ll find more information on using PivotTables here.

[Image via Google Images]

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