Join Chris Grover for an in-depth discussion in this video Why use Excel?, part of Learn Excel 2010: The Basics.
So the question is why use Excel? And the simple answer is that you use Excel to keep track of the details. Those details might be your household budget. Or maybe you need to determine whether your business is operating at a profit or a loss. One of the most important things that Excel does is that it helps you understand the story behind the numbers. So you can keep track of all sorts of details in Excel using the grid that Excel creates using rows and columns. And you can put words and numbers in the cells and then you can turn those cells into a chart where you visualize what the numbers really mean. You can keep track of all sorts of things.
Here's a worksheet that keeps track of household expenses and then here's the pie chart that explains where the money goes. Excel is great for creating forms and reports and things like that. This is a time sheet where someone keeps track of the time they spend working on certain projects. You can create entire business systems using Excel. For example, if you have salesmen in the field, they can email monthly reports as Excel files, and then back at the head office those reports can be combined into a single report for the entire company.
And again, there are all sorts of ways that you can visualize the information once you've collected it in an Excel worksheet. Here's a chart that keeps track of the car sales by employee. We've got the employee names down at the bottom, the type of cars they're selling, and the actual numbers of cars that they sell. Number crunchers love Excel, so people that work in the financial business or the stock market use charts like these to keep track of daily stock prices.
Now, Excel is well, excellent when it comes to crunching numbers, and many people think that's all it does, but that's not the case. You can actually use Excel as a database. You can keep over a million records on individual items where you have something like this movie database that keeps track of the people involved in making movies, and what type of movie it is. And once you have your information in a database, you can sort it, you can filter it, you can zero in on specific things. And the database doesn't have to have a single number in it, this one only has dates.
Now, if you have any question about the variety of things that Excel is capable of doing, head over to the File tab, and then click on the New button here. And you'll see templates down here of all the different things that Excel can do. Let's see there're agendas and budgets and calendars. Forms and inventories, invoices, planners, memos, schedules and statements. And then just take a look at some of these and you'll see how Excel can tackle problems, and all the different ways it can tackle the same kind of problem.
So, Excel helps you keep track of all sorts of details. And as you explore the lessons in this course, you'll see a variety of different applications. And you'll start thinking of ways that you can put Excel to work.
- Understanding Excel and its user interface
- Getting started with basic tasks
- Developing your spreadsheet
- Creating more complex formulas
- Making changes to your workbook
- Visualizing your data with color, charts, and graphics
- Analyzing data
- Printing and sharing your worksheet