Five ways Excel can improve your productivity while working from home

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Microsoft Excel isn’t going anywhere. The spreadsheet software is one of the most ubiquitous programs in offices around the world, used for everything from organization to data analysis. As such, it’s one of the most important tools for any professional to know.

What you may not realize, however, is that Excel can also be a productivity powerhouse. While you’re working from home during lockdown, you could probably use every advantage you can get and Excel is there for you in a number of ways.

Processing Large Amounts of Data

Whether you’re a data analyst or an account manager, there’s a good chance you’re working with large amounts of data. Big data is everywhere these days, and Excel is one of the best tools to work with it. With tools like pivot tables, Excel makes processing data a breeze. A pivot table lets you organize raw data and sort it into easy to understand tables by rearranging the categories in an instant. This way, you can save time and develop business insights faster.

Utilizing Fill Handles

When you’re adding formulas to tables, many people copy the formula from the first row of the table to the last. When you know the data-navigating keyboard shortcuts in Excel, you can use them to paste an entire column of formulas in just a few keystrokes. But fill handles are even faster because you don’t need to navigate to the bottom of the table. The fill handle is the rectangle that sits in the lower right corner of all selections of Excel. If a formula sits in a column next to another column with a full set of data, just double-click the fill handle to copy the formula all the way to the bottom of the table. This lets you create much larger spreadsheets in a fraction of the time.

Examining Formulas All At Once

Whenever you edit a cell that contains a formula, Excel will display the formula instead of the result. If you want to see all of the formulas on a worksheet at once, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Control + ~”. When you use this shortcut, you can rapidly change as many formulas as you want almost immediately. It’s a great way to ensure your sheet’s accuracy and fluidity.

Leverage The Goal Seek Formula

Goal Seek is a built-in Excel tool that lets you see how one data item in a formula impacts another. It’s a useful tool to answer “what if” questions because you can quickly adjust a single cell entry to see the result. It’s especially useful in finance, sales, and forecasting scenarios because you can see how projections might change if a single variable is adjusted. To use it, all you have to do is select “What If Analysis” and “Goal Seek” on a cell.

Automate Recurring Tasks with VBA

Virtual Basic of Applications (VBA) is one of Excel’s most useful tools. This simplified macro allows you to automate repetitive tasks so if you’re used to hours of manual data entry, VBA can iron it down to just a few minutes. This can be a huge time-saver and a benefit while you’re working from home or from the office.

Microsoft Excel saves time and can help you accomplish a lot more at your job. Want to learn how to get the most out of it? Check out eLearnExcel: The 2020 Excel Certification School Bundle. Used by companies like Microsoft and Facebook to ensure their employees understand Excel, eLearnExcel is a leader in Excel education. Right now, you can enroll in this program for just $48.99.

Prices subject to change.

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