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Importance of MS-Excel in business world

MS Excel was born in 1985 and has grown to become one of the most important computer programs in workplaces around the world. Whether you are budgeting, organizing client sales lists, or need to plan an office social gathering, Excel is a powerful tool that has become entrenched in business processes worldwide. After more than three decades of its creation, it has become the standard application for calculating numbers and handling data.

Excel in our daily and business lives

The way that Excel is designed, not only in concept, but also in presentation, it serves many purposes that help us in our daily activities. No matter how small or big our business is, whether it be a solo owner business or a corporation with thousands of employees, all of us have to use MS Excel.

MS Excel offers a grid interface that allows the user to organize any type of information they require. It comes with more than a million of rows per sheet, (1,048,576 to be exact), and 16,384 columns. If we multiply those two numbers it gives several billions of single cells in each worksheet. And best of all, you can have many worksheets in a workbook. This enables the user to import and work with massive amounts of data and achieve faster calculation performance than ever before.

Outside the workplace, Excel is in broad use for everyday problem solving.

Let’s say you have a home office. You can use Excel to calculate sales tax on a purchase, calculate the cost of a trip by car, create a temperature converter, prepare forecasts, etc. You can track your debt, income and assets, determine your debt to income ratio, calculate your net worth, and use this information to prepare for the process of applying for a mortgage on a new house. The personal uses for Excel are almost as endless as the business uses for this software

From the viewpoint of the employer, particularly those in the field of information systems, the use of Excel as an end-user computing tool is essential. Not only are many business professionals using Excel to perform everyday functional tasks in the workplace, an increasing number of employers rely on Excel for support decision making. You have heard that numbers are the ones that speak in business. Well, Excel is the one that generates those numbers.

Let’s see here some important areas where Excel becomes an invaluable tool help.

Excel in office

Finance and Accounting

If you walk through the finance or accounting department at any major corporate office, you will see computer screens filled with Excel spreadsheets outlining financial results, budgets, forecasts, and plans used to make big business decisions.

This is the area of business with the biggest reliance and benefit from Excel spreadsheets. Advanced formulas in Excel can turn manual processes that took weeks to complete in the 1980s into something that takes only a few minutes today.

Most users know that Excel can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, but it can do much more with advanced IF functions when coupled with VLOOKUP, INDEX-MATCH-MATCH, and pivot tables.

Marketing and Product Management

While marketing and product professionals look to their finance teams to do the heavy lifting for financial analysis, using spreadsheets to list customer and sales targets can help you manage your sales force and plan future marketing plans based on past results.

Using a pivot table, users can quickly and easily summarize customer and sales data by category with a quick drag-and-drop. All parts of business can benefit from strong Excel knowledge, and marketing functions are not exempt.

Human Resources Planning

While database systems can be used to manage payroll and employee information, exporting that data into Excel allows users to discover trends, summarize expenses and hours by pay period, month, or year, and better understand how your workforce is spread out by function or pay level.

HR professionals can use Excel to take a giant spreadsheet full of employee data and understand exactly where the costs are coming from and how to best plan and control them for the future.

You Can Do almost Anything With a Spreadsheet

Using Excel for business has almost no limits for applications. Here are some examples:
• When planning a team outing to a baseball game, you can use Excel to track the RSVP list and costs.
• Excel creates revenue growth models for new products based on new customer forecasts.
• When planning an editorial calendar for a website, you can list out dates and topics in a spreadsheet.

• When you are checking the website of a major sport company such as MBL or NBA and you see the results almost instantly in the browser screen, behind that you have Excel connected to a database and a website that pulls out the information of that database.

• When creating a budget for a small product, you can list expense categories in a spreadsheet, update it monthly and create a chart to show how close the product is to budget across each category.
• You can calculate customer discounts based on monthly purchase volume by product.

• Users can summarize customer revenue by product to find areas where to build a stronger customer relationship.

This is a very short list to give you an idea of the diverse uses for Excel. On a typical day at the office, I have Excel open 4-8 hours. I could not do my job effectively without it.

Some final words

Businesses will continue to use Excel as a primary tool for diverse functions and applications ranging from IT projects to simple tasks.

A working knowledge of Excel is vital for most office-based professionals today, and stronger Excel skills can open the door to promotion and leadership opportunities. Excel is a powerful tool but cannot function alone. It takes a savvy computer user to take advantage of everything Excel has to offer to provide the best results for their company. One of the purposes of this website is to take you to that knowledge.

Luis Federico Peña

It's a Social Media and digital marketing consultant and owner and founder of LFStudio and LFTrainings. He is also author and entrepreneur. He helps small businesses to grow, get clients and generate income.

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