Excel helps professionals perform simple and complex calculations fast and accurately, but mastering it can be challenging, especially when you stumble upon jargon. This glossary of Excel terminology aims to help you learn more about Excel and why you need to understand each term as a professional. Read on to learn more about common and advanced Excel terms you need for a job in Excel.
What Is Excel?
Excel is a software program created by Microsoft. It has a macro programming language, computational capabilities, pivot tables, and graphing tools. This software program organizes, sorts, and visualizes large amounts of data.
Excel is essential in accounting and financial analysis. However, any professional who manages massive data can also benefit from Excel. Common Excel applications include balance sheets, editorial calenders, data calculators, and budgets.
Who Uses Excel Terminology?
Professionals who regularly use Excel terminology include accountants, data journalists, project managers, financial analysts, retail store managers, and administrative assistants. Since they deal with data and calculations, these professionals require an efficient solution and a clear user interface to help them perform these tasks. Excel offers the right capabilities for their needs.
List of Excel Terms: Things Every Financial Analyst Should Know
- Absolute reference
- Active cell
- Aggregate calculation
- Alpha-numeric cell address
- Array formula
- Black square
- Cell range
- Cell reference
- Column alphabet
- Database field
- Export button
- External database
- Formula bar
- Formula bar function
- Merged cell
- Pivot table
- Spreadsheet file
- Table filter
Glossary of Excel Terminology: 5 Common Excel Terms
If you’re taking an Excel course, don’t let the new terms in class discourage you. Below is a list of common terms with definitions to help you have a smooth learning process. This coding terminology cheat sheet will come in handy as you work to become an Excel expert.
Cells are rectangles or blocks found in a worksheet as soon as you open Excel. They display texts, numbers, and calculation results. So, when you hear your instructor refer to an active cell, it is the current cell selected or highlighted for editing.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About the Active Cell
Financial analysts work with data and statistics through calculations. Active cells are one of the most basic elements needed to perform such tasks. When you become a financial analyst, you will input data, edit details, and do calculations into the active worksheet cell or current cell.
The formula bar is usually above the spreadsheet’s column header. When a current cell is clicked, the formula bar displays the data in the cell. Cells with formulas will display the formula used to compute the displayed data. For instance, an active cell may display 90, but the formula bar will show that 90 is the result of combining data from cells A4 and A7 (where A4 = 40 and A7= 50). The formula bar will display “=A4+A7”.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About the Formula Bar
Financial analysts need to evaluate whether they have the correct formula on the worksheet cell when performing calculations. The formula bar helps you do this with much ease. In addition, the formula bar allows you to perform multiple commands in Excel by only inputting formula codes.
When you combine two or more cells, you get a merged cell. When you execute this arrangement of cells, the merged cell usually captures only the first cell’s data. The other cells’ content disappears. Thus, you must be careful and sure of how you’ll rearrange your data when you merge cells.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About Merged Cells
Financial analysts may need to group data results and cluster them under row or column labels when presenting data. Unfortunately, Excel does not have an easy fix for grouping data in matrices. Thanks to the merged cell function, we can combine cells to accurately represent how data results should be clustered.
A worksheet is a grid of rows and columns where you input information. Microsoft Excel usually has one workbook containing several worksheets. In every worksheet, you’ll find a sheet tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet window, which allows you to name that particular sheet.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About Worksheets
Financial analysts need to understand a worksheet since it’s their workspace. A worksheet allows them to input, calculate, and present data accordingly. In addition, some basic functions in a worksheet help navigate and pull related data from other worksheets in the same workbook.
Technically, a workbook counts as one Excel file. You can use it to collect and save worksheets with related data clusters. A workbook allows you to navigate from one worksheet to another by clicking the preferred sheet tab.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About Workbooks
A workbook allows financial analysts to organize data accordingly and navigate through different worksheets. For example, if you want to view sales or direct costs data, you can switch between spreadsheets in no time. When you need a new spreadsheet to input and calculate fresh data, you can simply create a new worksheet within a workbook.
Excel Terminology Cheat Sheet: 5 Advanced Excel Terms
Since becoming a financial analyst demands you to master Excel inside out, you’ll need to advance your vocabulary with more complex terms. Learn some important advanced Excel terms below.
An array formula is a code that performs multiple calculations simultaneously. It can also execute a single calculation multiple times within a certain cell range. The cell contents in these formulas could be from a row, a column, or a matrix (row and column).
Why Financial Analysts Should Know About Array Formulas
An array formula helps financial analysts perform calculations faster and with accuracy. For instance, financial analysts can apply the array formula to compute the total revenue based on data about fruit products, quantity, and prices. They’d be able to find the revenue per fruit simultaneously, rather than performing calculations for each fruit.
This refers to a collection of cells identified based on certain criteria. When you place a colon between the start and end cell reference, Excel can determine the range you’re referring to. For instance, B2:B6 commands the formula to consider all data between cell B2 and cell B6.
Why Financial Analysts Should Know About Cell Range
Cell range helps calculate the sum of cell contents in the selected area. Let’s say in a set of data, rows represent the sales for items A, B, C, D, and E. Then, the columns represent sales year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. If financial analysts want to get the total sales of item C for five years, they can select all cells in row 3 and run the sum function to that cell range.
An external database is a collection of chained terms that give you access to data that’s not in your Prolog program. It can be stored in three locations, including a file, memory, or EMS-type expanded memory.
Why Financial Analysts Should Know About External Database
An external database helps financial analysts retrieve or sort data quickly. It also allows multiple employees to access data inside transactions. Hence, a company can efficiently have multiple people working or viewing the same document.
A pivot table is a tool that summarizes data. It helps sort, average, and sum up cell values automatically. This tool can extract data from one table and shows the results in another.
Why Financial Analysts Should Know About Pivot Table
Financial analysts usually need summarized data when calculating sales, prices, or costs in bulk amounts. A pivot table is the most user-friendly and efficient function for this purpose. It can help financial analysts find accurate figures and summarize calculations.
A table filter helps you locate the information you’re looking for in a spreadsheet fast. When you use a filter, you determine the data you want to be displayed in the spreadsheet by setting criteria. Then, the data that meets your criteria is shown, while the one that doesn’t is temporarily hidden.
Why Financial Analysts Need to Know About Table Filter
When financial analysts are preparing their reports or presentations, they need to have the right information. So, if the charts and graphs in their presentations require filtered data, they can easily do it through the table filter. In addition, they can easily pinpoint the elements included in their data even if numerous information is included in a worksheet.
How Can I Learn Excel Terminology in 2022?
To learn Excel terminology, you can enroll in Excel coding bootcamp programs, offered by bootcamps like Thinkful, Simplilearn, and 4Geeks Academy. If you have a tight schedule, you may also consider online courses and training on platforms like Udemy that are self-paced. Through these learning pathways, you’ll be able to kickstart your career sooner rather than later if you dream of being a financial analyst.
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The five powerful Excel functions include SUM, TEXT, VLOOKUP, AVERAGE, and CONCATENATE. SUM is a type of calculation that is a computation between cells, TEXT allows you to format cells that contain numbers, and VLOOKUP is used to locate or lookup information in the worksheet. The AVERAGE function returns the average of the arguments in the formula, while CONCATENATE joins two or more text strings into one string.
The VLOOKUP function helps you locate specific data in a large table. You may also use it to find phone numbers or names. It helps save time and energy since you don’t have to keep scrolling to track specific names or data.
A macro is a single action or set of actions that you can run on Excel multiple times. When you have tasks that you regularly perform in Excel, you can record a macro. This will allow you to run all the actions many times through macro.
An Excel ribbon refers to a strip with icons and buttons positioned above the work area. It replaces the menus and toolbars in the earlier versions of Excel. It was originally introduced in Microsoft Excel 2007.
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