Microsoft Excel is one of the most important programmes used in many sectors which can manage your documents, products, workforce and partnerships. Many business professionals use Excel to perform everyday functional tasks in the workplace, in which it has increased the number of employers who rely on Excel for decision support. That’s why so many workers and prospective employees are required to learn Excel to enter or remain in the workplace[1].

Excel has been the king of the spreadsheet mountain for 30 years[2]. Spreadsheets are commonly used across business to display financial information and other data relevant to the running of the business. Many businesses are now reliant on IT and the internet, Excel continues to be seen as a vital tool for administration and the effective running of a business.

Here are five of the top features and benefits of Microsoft Excel[3]:

  • Build great charts[4]: Excel allows business users to unlock the potential of their data, by using formulas across a grid of cells. Data is inserted into individual cells in rows or columns, allowing it to be sorted and filtered, and then displayed in a visual presentation. Using pie charts, graphs and clustered columns adds meaning to data, which otherwise may just exist as row after row of numbers.
  • Use conditional formatting: Excel users can format their spreadsheets using different colour shades, bolds and italics, to differentiate between columns and bring the most important data to the fore. This function could be useful when presenting accounting information, such as the pre-tax profit and the balance being carried forward by the company.
  • Help identify trends: When presenting data in the form of charts or graphs, it can be helpful to include average lines, which explicitly detail the key trends emerging from the information. This may help demonstrate the key points to other users in a straightforward manner – for instance, an executive from a different department during a board meeting.
  • Bring data together[5]: Excel can be used to bring information from various files and documents together so that it exists in a single location. As well as raw data and information from other spreadsheets, it is possible to import text and images.
  • Online access[6]: Excel is available as part of Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium. This means, business leaders and employees have access to the program from a range of devices, from almost any location. Providing they have a web-enabled PC, laptop, Smartphone or tablet it should be possible to access Excel, making remote and mobile working viable.

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