Business 17You have probably already heard of Microsoft Excel. It’s been around since the mid-1980s and it is used for everything from home budgets to Fortune 500 presentations. Whether you’ve created a few of your own spreadsheets or are terrified to even open it, now is the time to get serious about Excel. Excel is for more than just creating spreadsheets. It can do anything, from analyzing data to training pilots on how to fly a Boeing 747. In fact, Business Insider has called Excel one of the greatest pieces of software to have ever been developed. Whether you are ready to start searching the job market or are looking to advance in your current role, you need Excel.

The Basics

If you have data, you need Excel. It’s the industry standard for everyone and it’s second to none. In its most elementary form, it can function as data storage. You can create tidy lists of all of your information. Once it’s all inside of Excel, you can create graphs and charts to show trends, sort information, or find specific data. While it may look daunting to first time users, Excel is incredibly user-friendly. It has improved with each new edition and is now nearing perfection.

Create Gorgeous Presentations

Excel is perfect for creating charts. In fact, if you aren’t using Excel to make your charts, you are probably wasting time. While Excel is ideal for storing and analyzing data, during a brief presentation you don’t want to show off piles of data. You want simple charts that will represent your information and put it in clear terms that anyone can understand. Excel has a wide range of chart and graph styles and it’s important to familiarize yourself with all of them. They are simple and stunning. Best of all, once you know which charts are best for which types of data, you can be ready for a presentation in minutes.

Stop Searching for Data

Do you want to know who your ten best customers were last year? Do you need to see what percentage of your budget was spent on ink cartridges for your printer in 2004? It can all be accessible in Excel, and once you know how to sort and analyze data, you can pull information in seconds. Do you want to send a letter out to all of your biggest clients? Use Excel to create a mail merge with Microsoft Word and you’ll have automatically personalized letters and mailing labels ready to go in minutes.

Everything at Your Fingertips

In life, sometimes the tried-and-true method is the best. In business, you need to keep moving forward. If you are still writing down important information with a pen and paper, you are wasting your time. Keeping your information online is far and away the most efficient method. While it’s great to have Excel as a program on your computer, it’s even better to have it online. With the Excel Web App, you can have your data at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. As an added bonus, you can share that data with colleagues anywhere in the world. Forgot about email attachments and sorting through dozens of different versions of the latest data. With Excel Web App, all you need is an internet connection.

Ready to learn Excel? Get online! The best way to learn Excel is with simple, interactive online courses. If you’re serious about learning, companies like Training to You can take you from novice to pro in a few simple sessions.