To the average person, Excel is a number-crunching program, used to track household expenses or calculate complex formulas for school homework. However, the use of excel is capable of so much more and can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses.
Here are a few of the ways that businesses utilize Excel in the workplace.
The 7 Most Popular Uses Of Excel For Your Business
1. Data Entry and Storage
At its most basic level, Excel is an excellent tool for both data entry and storage. In fact, an Excel file’s size is only limited by your device’s computing power and memory. Worksheets can contain at most 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns. So obviously Excel can store a lot of data.
Not only that, features such as Data Form make it easy for data to be inputted and viewed, where users can create customized data entry forms tailored for their specific business needs. This can be used to build and maintain customer mailing lists or employee work shift lists.
2. Collection and Verification of Business Data
Businesses often employ multiple systems (i.e CRM, inventory) each with its own database and logs. All of which can be exported into Excel for easy access.
The program can also be used to clean up data, by removing incomplete or duplicate entries; eliminating such data from the beginning is necessary as it can impact later analysis and reporting.
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3. Administrative and Managerial Duties
One aspect of managerial duties is creating and outlining business processes. This aids in process optimization and is an effective tool for organizing procedures and scenarios. The use of excel offers tools that allow users to create flow charts, which can include text, pictures, and animations.
4. Accounting and Budgeting
Excel even includes accounting and budgeting templates for easy use. From there the software’s built-in calculating and formula features are available to help you organize and synthesize results.
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5. Data Analysis
So you’ve been dumped with a giant pile of data and charged with drawing insights from it. Not to worry as Excel can also help you manage and synthesize clear communicable results from it.
One of the best features to do this is called Pivot Tables. They allow users to consolidate and focus on certain segments of data from a large data set, creating concise snapshots that can be used as an interactive summary report. By applying filters or swapping out data segments, the table can be effortlessly changed to display desired data fields.
6. Reporting + Visualizations
Data from both raw data sets and Pivot tables can even be used to create charts and graphs. Which can be used for formal reports, presentations, or aid in one’s data analysis. As they can provide another perspective on trends and performance.
Excel again offers a variety of ready-made chart templates but also allows users to fine-tune details such as colors, axis values, and text comments. Visual reporting can be used in all sectors of business. For instance, marketing teams can use a column chart to report the efficacy of an ad campaign over time and compare it to previous campaigns.
While reporting and reviewing results is an important aspect of any business, forecasting and being prepared for various scenarios and changes is just as vital.
The use of excel in conjunction with third-party software can be used when simulating financial projections by using past data. Excel can also use a chart’s data set to create a formula that can be used to calculate future values.