Microsoft Excel has become the software of choice for businesses for analysing and storing data. It’s been around since 1985 and is a second home to Finance and Accounts professionals.
We’ve got an opportunity as Technology Professionals to extol the virtues of such a flexible and powerful application.
Simply put Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool that is the industry standard application for all businesses regardless of their size or industry.
Its huge catalogue of formulas (480+) allows users however new to the product to gain valuable insights from data held within the cells.
In our opinion, it sits as part of Microsoft 365, a subscription service that has revolutionised the software industry and is market–leading from a value for money perspective.
Anyway, back to Excel…
Why do Businesses use Excel?
Primarily, we’re taking data out of static form–driven programs such as your Finance ERP package, E-Commerce downloads or even Payroll applications and giving ourselves the flexibility to interrogate the data clearly and concisely.
Historically, Software Applications have been designed around data storage and ease of processing. The ability to analyse data is often somewhat complicated or cumbersome. This is where excel comes in.
With a bank of formulas and ease of use, the ability to extract swathes of data from your Software Application or database to Excel is all too easy.
A few clicks here and a few swipes of a mouse there and we have taken what looks like an assortment of numbers and figures into something we can rely on to aid our next big decision.
Educational institutions will talk about Data, Information and Knowledge. This is the backbone of such analysis that we as Professionals strive for.
- Data – is predominantly numbers and unique references in bulk storage. Such as a list of Sales transactions with references and values.
- Information – Data with relevance, relevance to a period or with context. Such as sales analysis over some time for a subset of product categories.
- Knowledge – Knowledge is cognition, taking relevance and adding understanding. To which we can build solid decisions on.
Excel is the tool that many businesses use to move from Data to knowledge in a few steps.
Over the next few months, we will aim to answer the age–old question “Why?”. Normally, the answer to that question is in your data.
Let us help you get more knowledge from your data in Excel, follow us for more content on Excel and data analysis in the coming months.