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By Carolina Borda, Training Facilitator, TP3

You may have thought you’d never be good at Excel because you are not good at numbers. I remember thinking like this, using Excel in a very limited capacity, being afraid to try things out and thinking I might break it. All that changed when I became a training facilitator. In this article, I want to share with you some Excel tools that will help you with reports and charts among other common tasks in Excel.

Regardless of the work we do in Excel, it’s a good idea to have some understanding of how to use some of these tools, since Excel seems to find its way into almost every job. So, whether you work in Finance and need to work with budgets, or in Marketing organising events and campaigns, or in any other department within your organisation, no matter what industry you are in, knowing some basic tips and tricks in Excel will help you to work more effectively and efficiently in your day to day work.

And, as a bonus, once you master these tricks, you might even start to love Excel.

Creating Charts

Charts are a very powerful tool to present your information in a professional manner to your stakeholders.

Introduced in Excel 2013, the Recommended Charts tool offers basic visualisation, giving you the option to select the best type of chart from an array of suggestions. You can show the big picture of your data by placing different charts onto one sheet.

In an Excel worksheet. enter your data and column headers. Select the data then select
Insert > Charts > Recommended Charts

Excel Recommended Charts
 
Conditional Formatting

With this tool, you can easily highlight points of interest within your database. For example, you could be recording project efficiency and format cells below 80% to be highlighted in red. The options are endless and you can customise the rules and create your own criteria.

Select the cell or cell range you want to format and select
Home > Styles > Conditional Formatting > Select

Excel Conditional Formatting

Quick Analysis

This tool speeds up the process of working with small data sets, minimising the time spent on creating charts, summing data, applying formatting amongst other functionalities. After selecting your data, you can easily access tools like formatting, charts, tables, totals and sparklines.

Select your data then click on the Quick Analysis tab in the bottom right corner of your selected data to bring up the Quick Analysis menu.
 

Excel Quick Analysis

Power View

This feature was introduced in 2013. It is an interactive data exploration and visualisation tool. Power View can quickly collate and analyse large data sets and create interactive presentations and reports allowing you to make better business decisions. Power View is compatible with PowerPoint, it’s an unbeatable aid for delivering reports.

In Excel 2013 and 2016, select Insert > Reports > Power View.
Excel Power View

Pivot Tables

Some would say this is the most powerful of the Excel tools. PivotTables allow you to quickly summarise large amounts of data stored in databases and tables. Better still, it doesn’t require a single formula. In Excel 2013 the Recommended PivotTables command was introduced. This tool suggests a customised set of PivotTables that might best suit your data.

Select the data you want to use to create your PivotTable then select
Insert > Tables > Recommended PivotTables
Excel Recommnended Pivottables

Excel is one of the most used business software programs on the market, so if you want to take your career to the next level, it’s always a good idea to improve your Excel skills. If this article has sparked your interest or you want to know more about Excel, get in touch. We are here to help.

 

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