Microsoft Excel is a commercial, interactive spreadsheet application that was developed by Microsoft in 1985. It 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.

Excel works on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It 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.

Subscriptions to Microsoft 365, which includes Excel and other applications, are available for home and business use. 

Excel Tools and Features

Excel has hundreds of features and tools that help users organize, manage, analyze, and visualize data. The following are just a few of the tools and features that make Excel the go-to for professionals around the globe:

  • In Excel, users can add or average numbers in cells, locate high, median, or low values, count cells that contain numbers, and find a product by multiplying cells. It’s also possible to delete extra white space and truncate numbers by removing fractions.
  • Excel is able to learn your patterns the more you use it so that it can organize your data and ultimately save time. 
  • Users can share workbooks with others in real-time to ensure that all collaborators have the most up-to-date version. 
  • It’s possible to work on Excel files from the web, as well as mobile and desktop devices.
  • Users can now add data right into Excel from a photo. The Excel app enables users to take a picture of printed data with their iPhone or Android, then convert this image into an Excel table that can be edited. This helpful trick helps users avoid having to manually enter hard copy data and is made possible through Excel’s image recognition capabilities. 
  • Financial transactions can be imported into Excel so that users can organize and review their monetary information, and receive helpful insights that can be applied to making more informed financial decisions.
  • Excel’s PivotTables help users perform analysis and summaries of datasets. Excel can regroup the data in a spreadsheet to help make more effective comparisons. By seeing data from different perspectives, it’s possible to get a more helpful understanding of revenue sources and other vital information.

Why is Excel so Popular?

It is estimated that more than half a billion people around the globe currently use Excel. Why does this spreadsheet software remain so popular? Those who work with Excel cite many benefits, such as:

  • Most Excel users consider the application to be intuitive and easy to learn, even for those from a non-technical background.
  • 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 Excel users enter information directly into cells, this application provides users with a sense of control over the data.
  • Its cost is relatively low compared to other spreadsheet apps.
  • It is versatile and can help with a variety of tasks across industries.
  • Because there are so many Excel users around the globe, a variety of helpful resources are available online to assist users with Excel questions.
  • Excel makes it easy to sort, adjust, and filter data.
  • Formatting changes in Excel can be performed easily, with one click of the mouse.
  • Excel is a powerful tool for creating dashboards and charts.
  • Simple regression models can be executed in Excel without specialized training.
  • Excel is committed to continuously improving this spreadsheet application. It has introduced tools such as Power Query to load and transform data without users having to do so manually.

What Jobs Require Excel Training?

Training with Excel is one of the most in-demand skill sets across industries and professions. Many organizations look to hire those with Excel experience who can perform basic spreadsheet calculations. For this reason, Excel is a popular tool for Administrative Assistants and Office Clerks, who use it to perform daily tasks such as scheduling appointments, organizing records, and customer support. 

In the financial sector, Auditors and Accountants rely on Excel to keep track of income statements, tax flows, tax returns, and balance sheets to ensure that a business remains profitable. In addition, Market Analysts and Business Analysts use Excel’s PowerPivot feature to extract crucial insights from copious amounts of data. Financial Analysts and Investment Bankers also regularly work with Excel to help clients make better investment decisions

In the academic sector, Excel training is a valuable asset for Teachers, Teaching Assistants, and other Educators. This spreadsheet software aids with recurring tasks like organizing class material, keeping track of attendance and student grades, and lesson planning. In higher education, Excel can be a valuable tool for organizing articles and primary sources in graduate and post-graduate research endeavors. 

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.