What is Excel?
Excel is one of the most popular data analysis and spreadsheet programs. It was created by Microsoft to provide a way for people to work with numbers and data in an easy fashion. Excel can do just about anything from simple math calculations to complex probability modeling.
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Reasons why we use Excel?
The following are reasons why you should embrace using excel to do your day-to-day tasks
1. Excel is easy to learn and use
It is a program that does not require you to know how to use it in order to use it. It will teach you the basic functions in no time.
2. Excel is more customizable than other programs such as word processors
In a word processor, you are confined from what the program can do because of its design. But in excel, you can change its default settings anytime without disrupting other people’s work.
3. Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and statistics
Excel can perform some complex mathematical operations that are hard to do in other programs. Excel has its own formula language and is capable of performing complex functions and mathematical operations that no other program can do. You just need to learn about Excel formulas.
4. Excel has a wide range of built-in functions
A function is simply a programming command that performs a simple calculation, arithmetic operation, logical operation, computerized process, etc. without requiring you a programmer to write down any code (programming language).
What are the most important functions?
The following are the most important functions in Excel:
1. The SUM Function
When it comes to calculating data in Excel, the sum function is the one that is most frequently employed. A number range in a certain set of cells can be added with this function. It is performed by selecting the cells, going to the formula bar, and typing =SUM (and then listing off the cells that contain your numbers.
2. The AVERAGE Function
The average function is used to calculate an average of a set of numbers. This can be done by selecting the cells and typing =AVERAGE (and then listing off the cells that contain your numbers.
3. The CONCATENATE Function
The concatenate function is used to join 2 or more strings of text. This is done by selecting the cells, going to the formula bar and typing =CONCATENATE (and then listing off the cells that contain your strings of text.
4. The VLOOKUP Function
The VLOOKUP function is used to find a specified value based on an input value, which can be filled in in your spreadsheet. It kind of acts like a filter function if you want to think of it that way. You can check out the uses of vlookup for better understanding.
This function is useful for looking up specific data that may have been missing from the query or to look up data based on information provided by someone else. To find a specific value in your spreadsheet, type =VLOOKUP (and then you will see all the values that correlate with what you are searching for.
5. The TEXT Function
The TEXT function is used to format text so that it can be placed in a specific cell. This is the easiest way to add text to your spreadsheet without using the available formatting tools, although this may not be the best way to do so.
Types of jobs that require excel spreadsheets
There are mostly 4 types of jobs that require excel spreadsheets
1. Accounting and Finance
In accounting jobs, players will use a spreadsheet to do the following:
They create charts to help managers make decisions and they also create financial reports to project company profits and losses.
2. Business Operations and Marketing
Business Operations employees must use spreadsheets in their daily tasks such as generating statistical reports, analyzing data from different sources and using the information for forecasting sales and margins across different regions or products.
They must also use spreadsheets for analyzing the effectiveness of a sales promotion or considering different pricing strategies for new products.
The consultant has to use the excel spreadsheets in their daily tasks such as engagement notes, client reports, customer development plans, etc. by entering relevant data.
4 Construction and Home Maintenance
In construction and home maintenance jobs, the spreadsheet is used to get customer information and track project timelines.
Most construction companies have entered into supply chain management, where they must take into account all projects that are under construction or in progress. They have to track all material on a spreadsheet and use the information to keep track of costs, schedules, and commissions.
For home maintenance, they also have to use excel spreadsheets for their tasks like billing and invoicing, estimations, and budgets.
Excel Formulas Cheat Sheet
1. Dates and time Excel cheat sheet formulas
=EOMONTH – converts a specific date to the last day of the month (for example 5/10/2021 to 5/31/2021)
=TODAY – inserts and displays today’s date in a cell
=YEAR – extracts and displays the year from a date (for example 5/10/2021 to 2021)
=NETWORKDAYS – Returns the number of whole workdays between two specified dates.
=YEARFRAC – expresses the fraction of the year represented by the number of whole days between two dates (for example 1/1/2012 and 7/30/12 = 0.58055556)
=Convert time to seconds – converts an amount of time to seconds (for example 20 minutes to 1200 seconds)
=DATE – Returns a number that represents the date (yyyy/mm/dd). The formula is useful when working with Excel functions that have a date as an argument.
=EDATE – add a specified number of months to a date.
2. Math functions Excel Formulas Cheat Sheet
=AVERAGE – the function calculates the average of numbers provided.
=SUMPRODUCT – the function calculates the weighted average
=ROUNDDOWN – the function returns a number rounded down to the specified number of digits
=ABS – returns the absolute value of a number
=SUMIF – sum values in a range that are specified by a condition
=PI – Returns the value of pi, accurate to 15 digits
=SUMQ – Returns the sum of the squares of the arguments
=ROUNDUP – the function returns a number rounded up to the specified number of digits
=AutoSum – this is a function that sums a series of numbers together and displays the totals in the cell below the selected range
=SUM – add the total of a series of numbers
=MEDIAN – returns the middle number (median) in a series of data
=OFFSET – moves the reference of a cell by the number of rows and/or columns specified
3. Lookup Formulas
=MATCH – returns the position of a value in a series
=INDEX – a lookup function that searches vertically and horizontally in a table
=HLOOKUP – a lookup function that searches horizontally in a table
=VLOOKUP – a lookup function that searches vertically in a table
=INDEX MATCH – a combination of lookup functions that are more powerful than VLOOKUP
4. Financial Formulas
=PRICE – calculates the price per $100 face value of a periodic coupon bond
=DB – calculates depreciation based on the fixed-declining balance method
=SLN – calculates depreciation based on the straight-line method
=DDB – calculates depreciation based on the double-declining balance method
=PMT – this function returns the total payment (debt and interest) on a debt security
=IPMT – it returns the interest payments on a debt security
=INTRATE – the interest rate on a fully invested security
=PV – calculates the present value of an investment
=FV – calculates the future value of an investment with constant periodic payments and a constant interest rate
=YIELD – this function determines the yield of a security that pays periodic interest
=NPV – calculates the net present value of an investment’s cash flows based on a discount rate and a series of future payments
=XNPV – calculates the net present value (NPV) of an investment’s cash flows based on a discount rate and a series of future payments at irregular intervals.
=IRR – this formula returns the internal rate of return for a series of cash flows that occur at regular intervals
=XIRR – this formula returns the internal rate of return for a series of cash flows that occur at irregular intervals
5. Conditional Functions
=NOT – changes “TRUE” to “FALSE”, and “FALSE” to “TRUE”
=IF AND – combine IF with AND to have multiple conditions
=OR – it returns TRUE if any of its arguments evaluated are TRUE, and returns FALSE if all of its arguments evaluated are FALSE
=XOR – the “exclusive or” looks at the number of true and false results in a data set and returns true if the number of TRUE statements is odd
=AND – checks if all conditions and returns “TRUE” or “FALSE” if the conditions are met or not
=IF – checks if a condition is met and returns a value if yes and if no
=IFERROR – this function returns an alternative result when a formula results in an error.
How to Get Better in Excel
The most important thing in excel is learning and understanding the concept behind the functions. The functions will not be very useful to you if you don’t know how to use them in your daily tasks.
So you have to spend some time learning about excel formulas and cells. There are tons of resources on the internet where you can find different tutorials that teach you how to do everything in excel. The following are tips on how you can get better on excel:
1. Master the shortcuts
Learning about shortcuts will help you perform your daily tasks faster. If you have not used the shortcut keys regularly, then learn them so that you can get the best out of them.
2. Excel 2016 intermediate training
Taking up a course in Excel will help you solve some of the problems you encounter when using the program. You will also be able to use them in your daily tasks and become more efficient. You also get video tutorials that you can review whenever you want to understand every detail and concept behind excel formulas. These courses also teach advanced functions, which can be used in your daily tasks as well.
Excel is a very useful tool that can help you get more things done in a day. You just have to spend some time learning about excel spreadsheets and how they can be used in your daily tasks. Following the tips discussed above, will help you get better at using the functions and formulas of excel. You may also want to consider taking some courses in excel, so that you may learn even more about the program.