Microsoft Excel is a commercial, interactive spreadsheet application that was developed by Microsoft in 1985. Excel operates by using a collection of cells that are arranged into columns and rows. Once data is entered, Excel organizes and manipulates the values. Data can also be depicted in visual formats, such as line graphs, histograms, and charts.

Excel can perform computations and calculations, and includes PivotTables, various graphing tools, and a macro programming language known as Visual Basic for Applications. This language allows Excel users to design an array of advanced numerical methods. In addition, programmers can code directly with the help of Visual Basic Editor.

Most Excel users consider the application to be intuitive and easy to learn, even for those from a non-technical background. Because those working with Excel enter information directly into cells, this application provides a sense of control over data. Data is immediately visible in Excel without the need to code. Instead, users can cut and paste data, as well as perform drag-and-drop functions. Mistakes can also be easily corrected or undone in Excel. Because of its versatility and ease of use, Excel is a hugely popular application around the globe, with more than half a billion users. 

This spreadsheet application is designed to work on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Subscriptions to Microsoft 365, which includes Excel and other applications, are available for home and business use. 

Professional Applications of Microsoft Excel

Training with Excel is one of the most in-demand skillsets across industries and professions. Many organizations look to hire those with Excel experience who can perform basic spreadsheet calculations. For this reason, Excel’s many uses transcend a single industry or professional focus. Here are just a few of the professions in which Excel is essential for performing daily tasks:

    • Project Managers use Excel as a core tool to help them keep various aspects of a project organized and on track. They rely on Excel to organize interactions with vendors, oversee employees, and allocate resources, among other tasks that are essential to a project’s successful completion.
    • Teachers and Educators work with Excel to help perform recurring tasks, such as keeping attendance records, lesson planning, and organizing class material.
    • Students in higher education can use Excel to organize research and keep track of articles and primary sources to help them with tedious research endeavors.
    • Market Analysts work with Excel to make investment decisions each day. With the help of this app’s spreadsheet, they can quickly gain knowledge of sales and costs, as well as yearly revenue and spending 
    • Statistical Analysts’ work involves interpreting numerical data and creating statistical models that can drive further business questions. In addition, they often search for relationships and patterns in datasets so that new insights can be drawn from existing data. Excel aids with these tasks and also helps with transforming the results from statistical analysis into charts and graphs so that others can experience them visually.
    • Data Scientists work with Excel for an array of tasks. They use it to acquire data, for data mining, data scrubbing, and data warehousing, as well as creating stunning data visualizations to communicate information in an accessible way. With the help of Excel’s built-in statistical functions, the data analysis process is streamlined, and repetitive tasks can be done in a fraction of the time.
    • Accountants are one of the leading professions that use Excel. It helps them with auditing tasks, formatting, and incorporating formulas designed to weed out specific sums or values to extract important information.
    • Administrative Assistants use Excel in a variety of ways for day-to-day tasks, such as reporting, bookkeeping, maintaining client databases, organizing computer records, and sorting through vast stores of documents.
    • Financial Analysts are tasked with drawing conclusions from large datasets and providing recommendations based on their findings. Excel helps them to consolidate and perform analysis on data so that they can use the insights to offer more informed decisions to stakeholders.
    • Retail Store Managers, as well as those who manage any kind of business, use Excel regularly to help with the tasks involved each day in running a store. Excel is useful for keeping track of inventory, scheduling, analyzing sales trends, and drafting annual budget documents to reflect profit margins.
    • Data Journalists must work with large datasets to ensure they are extracting the most up-to-date, credible facts for their news stories. In addition to relying on larger database tools, Data Journalists work with Excel regularly to study the data related to the topics they are researching. Because most journalists aren’t formally trained with high-level coding or database expertise, Excel provides a straightforward, helpful way to sort through information to get to the most pertinent facts. It also serves as a record of sources that can be consulted, as needed, at any time in the fact-checking and writing process.
    • Business Analysts work with organizations to monitor the overall health of a business, which entails performing assessments, documenting various processes, and proposing options that will help increase the company’s value. Spreadsheets help Business Analysts perform all these tasks and more.

Because Excel has such a wide range of formulas and functions, the majority of job postings currently listed require proficiency with Excel. In addition, higher-paying positions are often available for those who have a mastery of Excel’s more advanced data analytic capabilities. This is why learning to work with Excel is an important first step toward launching the career of your dreams in a variety of industries. 

Start Learning Excel with Hands-On Classes

Do you want to learn more about Microsoft Excel? If so, Noble Desktop currently offers several Excel courses in NYC and live online for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students. In addition, there are also in-person and live online Excel courses available through Noble Desktop or one of its affiliate schools. A variety of course options are offered, ranging in duration from three hours to two days and costing between $229 and $1,099. 

Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp provides a great option for those who want to master Excel’s business capabilities. Students who enroll in this rigorous, 21-hour course can elect to study in person in Manhattan or learn in the live online environment. This small class comes with the option of a free retake and covers beginner, intermediate, and advanced Excel concepts applicable to the business world. 

You can also browse over 400 in-person Microsoft Office classes in a city near you to find local Excel study options.