There Is More To Excel Than Tables & Charts

The use of Microsoft Excel is most prevalent for businesses worldwide and its extensive use has made it essential for people to learn to confidently operate this software as it is sought after as the most critical and fundamental digital skills today.

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If you have explored Excel at a superficial level, which most of us do, then you may make the error of judging it as software for Charts & Tables. But be informed that it is much more than that, and if you learn to use it to its optimum, you will be amazed at the hundreds of functionalities you can explore to your benefit.

7 Mandatory Excel Skills For Business

There are few Excel skill-sets, apart from the basics, that are considered quintessential for business, and learning how to use these Excel features and techniques is indispensable for people seeking employment, positive growth or even entrepreneurial venture in almost any sector. Let’s explore some of these essential skills:

#1. Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables logo

A Pivot Table is used to summarize, sort, reorganize, group, count, total or average data stored in a table and also allows transforming columns into rows and rows into columns. Additionally, it can be used for grouping by any field (column), and using advanced calculations on them without any hitch.

This gives you the advantage to sort, count, total, or average data stored in one large spreadsheet and display them in a new table, and moreover, cut however you want. Pivot Tables may be one of the more time consuming Excel skills to master, but it’s surely worth it as its benefits are manifold.

#2. COUNTIF 

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COUNTIF is an excellent function, which counts cells with certain properties; it’s very simple to learn, but one that you’ll use over and over again when analyzing data.

#3. Conditional Formatting

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Conditional Formatting is another must-know feature of Excel. This application allows you to apply specific formatting to cells that meet certain criteria and is frequently used as color-based formatting to differentiate, highlight or emphasize among data and information in a spreadsheet.

#4. Charts 

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There are more than 20 chart types that can be mastered in Excel and most people get by with Bar, Column, Pie, Line, and Scatter charts. It also has a recommended charts tab, and clicking on any chart you can preview how your data will look. After learning all the intricacies of Charts, your data analysis will have the most striking effect when you present your charts appropriately.

#5. VLOOKUP 

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VLOOKUP stands for ‘Vertical Lookup’ and is a very useful function when you need to find things in a table or a range by row. It makes Excel search for a certain value in a column i.e. ‘table array’, in order to return a value from a different column in the same row.

#6. SUMIF 

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Similar to COUNTIF, SUMIF is incredibly handy when one wants to pull out summary information from large datasets. You learn to use the SUMIF function in Excel that shall aid to sum the values in a range that meet criteria specified by you. 

#7. IFERROR 

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One of the error-checking functions of Excel, IFERROR is best-suited to handle situations where the formulas return an error. You can learn to use it effectively to trap and handle errors in a formula as it returns a value you specify if a formula evaluates to an error; otherwise, it returns the result of the formula.

There are certainly many more Excel skills that assist in ironing the hiccups in processes and save time and energy by streamlining everything; all one needs to do is learn the practical application of these. 

#8. Excel Shortcut Keys

Excel supports plenty of keyboard shortcut keys to help you work efficiently and increase your productivity. Significant functions can be performed with the two or three keystrokes rather than using a mouse each time.

There are so many shortcut keys like – Workbook Shortcut keys, Cell formatting Shortcut keys, Row and column formatting Shortcut keys, and Pivot Table Shortcut Keys. Below is the image of some of the shortcut keys.

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#9. Data Filters

Data filters are used to display only the rows that meet the specific criteria mentioned and hide the remaining rows. Even though the data is filtered, you can still find, copy, edit, chart, format, and also can print the subset of the filtered data without moving it or rearranging the data.

More than one column can be filtered which means that each new filter can be based on the current filter further reducing the subset of data.

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#10. Data Sorting

Just like Data filters, data sorting is an integral part where you can arrange a list of names in alphabetical order, numerical order from highest to lowest or from lowest to highest. Data sorting can help you quickly see and understand the data better and organize the data better as you need, to make effective decisions.

 Data Sorting logo Data Sorting 1 logo

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