More and more in our professional lives we need to reimagine and redesign the process and tools that we use day to day to get our work done more efficiently and to a better standard. This usually requires keeping up to date with the latest and greatest equipment, applications and software that is relevant to our industry and particular responsibilities and requirements. So much so that many companies spend a great deal of time, money and effort in keeping as up to date as possible and constantly investing in new pieces of software that are supposedly designed to improve quality and lighten workloads while increasing efficiency, but sometimes you need to start from the foundation up.

With this great surge for every company to become innovators and thought leaders this can sometimes leave the workers in the dust when it comes to foundation skills, such as Microsoft Excel. If you were to ask most sales staff whether they were confident in their excel skills for producing client worthy materials they would say something along the lines of “I just use It internally to track my pipeline and clients”. Therein lies the problem that programs like Excel hold so much potential for streamlining work and making it more efficient , but most people who make these decisions don’t even know half of them, so let’s take a look at some of the more obscure uses that people have come up with for Microsoft Excel.

Calculating complex formulas

Now as you are probably aware, excel is a very powerful spreadsheet creator and data processing program which can automatically perform a wide range of mathematical functions which are used in many different departments, from calculating expenditure, income and overall profits in accounts and for bookkeepers, to creating real time ROI calculators for sales reps to use to accurately display to your potential customers and clients that your services are worth the investment during the sales and consultation process. However, these calculations can be even more complex and are capable of doing things like working out taxable income and percentages that you need to pay out automatically and allows workers to log their hours into a spread sheet and it automatically work out whether they are on target for specific projects or not.

The problem is that unless somebody is particularly handy with both mathematics and computers or they have a genuine need for it within their job they are very unlikely to be able to work out what to enter and how to apply that effect to a specific range of cells unless they receive some kind of formal training. So it could be a good idea to research what kind of Excel training and workshops can be found in your local area and sign up some of the more relevant staff to get a refresher in the best uses of the program.

Making a video game

Okay so maybe this is less of an essential work use of the program, it is never the less a good example of what decent knowledge of the program and a little imagination can do when given free reign and is also a testament to the complexity and calculating power of Excel. People have actually taken the time out to create a number of games for basic quizzes to more complicate multiple choice role playing games. All using the vanilla processing power that come with every copy of excel.

While this might not be entirely relevant to what your staff do with it, surely it goes to show that Excel has the power and is flexible enough to assist businesses in any industry.

Reports

Do you want your basic, word processed report to dazzle your customers with some visual representations of what you could do for them? Well after you have finished inputting the data into the spreadsheet, Excel actually has the capability to take that data and turn it into a number of different style of chart, graph and graphic to help you easily display the important points of the data you are trying to portray to both potential and current clients and also co-workers and superiors.

The data that can be displayed can also be segmented into various different groups, like region, or highest revenue value, and highlight the most important points and pieces of data.

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