It’s crunch time for that big business project at work. You need to input a massive amount of data and it seems like a Herculean task. What do you do? That’s where the excellent Microsoft Excel comes in to save the day.
If you have spent any amount of time on computers, you are likely familiar with Microsoft. Even if you use different operating systems and computers, Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service is extremely popular and widespread.
While programs like PowerPoint and Word have become synonymous with workplace productivity and business intelligence, one standout program in the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Excel, does a surprising amount of heavy lifting. Let’s see what Microsoft Excel is all about and what makes it unique. Furthermore, let’s explore if it’s worth taking Excel courses.
What Makes Microsoft Excel Unique?
Microsoft Excel is a fantastic data-entry spreadsheet program. Sure, you could use it to input numbers for something like tax records, but seasoned Excel users know how to harness the program for all its worth.
Businesses often extensively use various aspects of Microsoft Excel to organize their business. Whether it’s the fantastic financial modeling, the ability for data visualization, data modeling, or averaging out class test scores, there’s a reason that Microsoft Excel has thrived for over 30 years.
Excel Beginner Terms
There’s some key terminology to master if you want to learn Excel. We’ve created a small glossary for you to have working knowledge before taking some Excel courses.
This is basically the default screen you see when you boot up Microsoft Excel. It’s filled with numerous cells, columns, and rows.
Cells are the main things you see when you boot up Excel. These are the rectangular boxes appearing as the combination of rows and columns. This is where all of the data you wish to enter goes.
You can significantly customize all cells for better identification and preference.
Columns and Rows
These are what keep your cells organized. Columns are vertical and rows are horizontal.
That’s right, you can enter formulas to execute mathematics or display functions in different cells. For example, you can select a range of cells containing numbers and choose a formula to execute. This is especially helpful if you’re compiling statistical data or performing in-depth data visualization or data analysis.
Microsoft Excel has multiple pre-made formulas for you to choose, or you can create conditional ones tailored to your specific data. They aren’t all complicated either, as you can perform basic math like adding the values of two columns together or finding the average of a range of data.
Key Built-In Excel Functions to Explore
Not merely a program for entering numbers (although you could absolutely use it for just that), Microsoft Excel is a surprisingly powerful program. Let’s take a quick look at some special built-in functions in Microsoft Excel.
As you’d probably expect, conditional formatting is when you apply certain conditions to a cell or range of cells. This could be anything from changing the cell’s background color to making the cells adhere to a specific formula. This is where formulas and functions come in handy, especially with massive datasets.
Sorting is a pretty straightforward yet extremely effective method of parsing out data. If you look at a giant dataset, it can be intimidating looking at a bunch of seemingly mixed up numbers. However, if you choose to sort by a specific metric (like age or name), you can make something like data visualization extremely easy.
Pivot tables are crucial tools to quickly and effectively sum up large amounts of data. They allow you to pull out important information from your dataset to examine. This makes parsing out vast amounts of data a little more tolerable and helps paint a clearer picture in the data visualization process.
Learn More With These Online Excel Courses
It’s never been easier to learn Excel. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses for whichever level you’re at with your proficiency. There are even some free Excel courses you should definitely take. Let’s take a closer look at some of the must-take Excel courses.
This comprehensive Excel course promises to turn you from a beginner to an expert in Microsoft Excel. Instructor Kyle Pew has nearly 20 years of experience with the program and is the perfect tutor to help you learn Excel.
He will train you in the basics, give you an introduction to data analysis using Excel, and more complicated aspects like Excel VBA.
With nearly 18 hours of in-depth video instruction, tons of downloadable resources, and a certificate awarded at the end, this course covering everything you need to know about Microsoft Excel is an absolute must.
This is a bestselling Excel course focused primarily on the many useful functions of pivot tables in Microsoft Excel. Instructor Chris Dutton provides over six hours of in-depth video tutorials and first-hand experience with pivot tables so you can better perform extensive data analysis with your information.
He provides students with various example pivot tables to experiment on, using real-world data on the popularity of wines to the frequency of shark attacks.
Mastering pivot tables is a serious boon for your resume. Showing you have impressive data analysis skills separates you from the crowd when applying for any data job. The class is perfect for anyone who uses Excel, even those who haven’t ever used Excel Before.
This course aims to assist new graduates from business school, college, or any aspiring professional who wants to master data sets and harness the power of vital business intelligence.
This Excel course is packed with 13 hours of video tutorials, covering everything from Microsoft Excel basics to the nuances of completing formulas and functions to get the most accurate financial info from raw data. You’ll create multiple in-depth business models, and learn the ability to map out precise business valuations and more.
The course, offered by 365 Careers, boasts over 1 million successful students and attempts to gear you up for a long and fruitful career in data visualization and financial modeling. They also offer courses in data science, office productivity, and other various business courses.
Taught by Alan Jarvis, this Excel course gives you a tremendous upward progression through the beginnings of Microsoft Excel to the more complicated processes.
Jarvis maps out the excellent progress you’ll make through the different difficulty levels. By the end of level one, you’ll be able to create various spreadsheets with ease. By the end of section two, you’ll have a better chance of getting ahead of your competition. You’ll do this by building more advanced projects and learning more complicated terms.
By level three, Excel users will complete tasks more quickly and more efficiently. This Excel course also attempts to help Excel users integrate the entire Office 365 suite’s many functions into your extensive use of Microsoft Excel.
There are almost a whopping 30 hours worth of video tutorials, so you’ll have a great set of reference materials at all times. This may arguably be the best course to display on a resume or describe to a hiring manager.
Conclusion: Should You Take Excel Courses?
Absolutely. Taking any Excel training courses will benefit you greatly. Even if you consider yourself computer illiterate, learning valuable aspects of the iconic spreadsheet program can help you in business, school, and your free time. It’s an extremely versatile program in which you can simply enter numbers or take part in complicated and multifaceted data analysis.
Employers often look for proficiency with specific computer programs, like Microsoft Excel, when hiring potential employees. Showing any sort of certificate or classes taken can give you an edge in the interviewing process.
Whichever Excel courses you choose, learning any information about Microsoft Excel is well worth any price.
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