Do you use Excel at work?

posted 3 years ago in Career
  • poll: Do you use Excel at work?
    Yes - I couldn't do my job without it : (94 votes)
    69 %
    Yes - But it's not mandatory : (36 votes)
    26 %
    No - I don't like it : (7 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    238 posts
    Helper bee

    I use excel all day, every day!

    Sociology major – lots of research. I’m a web marketing assistant for an online furniture retailer, so pretty much every concept of our store is managed through excel. 

    It can be intimidating at first, but after mastering equations everything else just falls into place. Good luck 🙂

    Post # 4
    Member
    10748 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    All the time. I love it, macros and all. My master wedding planning tool is also excel. I don’t know how I could live without excel haha.

    Post # 5
    Member
    4072 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    Oh my goodness, I feel you OP. I am quite good on the computer and can learn programs fast, and I already know how to use a plethora. But Excel? Nope. I’ve never had much need, so I’ve never learned it, and it does not come naturally for me when I do try! I hesitated to apply for office jobs when I was a student because they all needed Excel experience.

    As a teacher it isn’t required, thank goodness.

    Post # 7
    Member
    3633 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I think it really depends on your line of work. Obviously, if you work in finance or accounting, you would need to know it inside and out. On the other hand, I work in marketing and I rarely use Excel in any kind of sophisticated manner. I can track basic data and do simply one-click graphs, but I never do much more than that. I would definitely take a basic class in Excel so you know how to use the formula function and create basic charts/graphs, but many jobs do not require you to manipulate data to do all sorts of crazy things.

    Post # 8
    Member
    2441 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    I’m in HR (but on the comp side) and I absolutely could not do my job without it! I think needing it would depend on your line of work though 

    Post # 9
    Member
    5192 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @AquaGrey8962:  I have two things to say:

    1) Learn to use Excel

    2) Don’t be intimidated, it’s not that hard

    If you are really lost when it comes to excel, work through an online course.  It’s such a useful tool and there are so many older people who are really crappy with it, you’ll impress them with your skills if you get half good at it.

    Post # 10
    Member
    11300 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I took a class in college (required) about using Microsoft Office applications–honestly, it has been largely useless so far. I do like Excel, use it at work (by my own choosing), and used it to plan the wedding, but I don’t use it in any sort of complicated manner. The most I’ve ever used it, honestly, was taking tests for the staffing agencies that I applied to, and I had never learned any of the harder-than-basic things that I was asked to demonstrate. 

    But, like @lilbluebird: said, it depends on your line of work.

    Post # 11
    Member
    5192 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Ok, one more thing to say…

    Excel is such a useful and powerful tool that I’ll be that those who don’t use it as part of their job WOULD if they knew how to use it better.  (Obviously I’m talking about desk jockeys in professional jobs.)  It’s also extremely useful in your every day life.  For example, I use spreadsheets for wedding planning, my personal budgeting, etc.  

    Excel can make you a whole lot more efficient.

    Post # 12
    Member
    2057 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

    I use Excel on a daily basis. I work in Finance/Accounting. The functions I use are quite extensive: NPV, IRR, and FV for lease accounting. For my professional accounting studies, I like to use Excel Solver to get it to solve my multiple constraints and targets for me.

    There are many helpful Excel blogs and YouTube tutorials out there, but you will need to know which functions to use.

    It is also important to know how to build a model in Excel. A file that does not have a good database structure is very prone to errors and manual work. A good Excel model should not require much manual work nor unnecessary formatting.
    Two biggest pet peeves in Excel:
    1. External links to files on a shared drive
    I’ve seen many bad models where they link references to external files. So, when files get moved, the data becomes essentially garbage. (It becomes an Excel user’s worst nightmare)
    2. Too many IF statements
    Whoever built a model before me flaunts his/her Excel skills by building an IF statement within an IF statement within exponential times of IF statements that I need a bottle of rum to forget how many IF statements I just had to trace.
    Therefore, use IF statements sparingly, please.

    The basis for using Excel is to automate a lot of the boring data entry. So, if you have got a table set up, which could be imported from MS Access; etc. You could reference data (within the same file) to different tabs by using:
    V-Lookup (Vertical Look-up, which is the most user-friendly thing to use)
    My basic V-lookup formula looks like this:
    =Vlookup(value you’re looking for, array where the data is contained, column number, false)
    However, if the data you look for doesn’t exist; for example, you’ve got a new customer or new cost centre that isn’t on your existing table, it will return a nasty error #N/A. This will affect your overall sum totals.
    So, I always have mine modified to using only one IF statement which looks like:
    =IF(ISNA(Vlookup formula)<>FALSE,0,Vlookup formula)

    What does that mean?!?! It means if the Vlookup returns an #N/A, it will return a value of zero. You can change it to a text string instead of a zero by using ” “. ISNA is essentially returning whether the function is true or false. <> is the opposite of the = sign.

    H-Lookup (Horizontal Look-up; I’m not a fan of H-Lookups as it’s not as straight-forward as Vlookup. It’s a very useful one to learn)

    Then, there’s Match function.
    Dread having to go Ctrl-F or print the whole darn thing and draw lines? No problem. Use the Match function and it will tell you the row number where it is located, depending on the size of your array. If you have different data sources and try to centralize everything in one file, Match() is your friend.

    The ones that I’m still trying to figure out and learn is Offset. Apparently, Offset and Match functions when used together becomes a really powerful seeking Excel function.

    My other favourites when Vlookup is not practical is the SUMIF function.

    I’m looking forward to taking advanced Excel classes!

    Post # 13
    Member
    2057 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

    @cbgg:  Oh, totally agree with using spreadsheets for wedding planning! It totally helps me keep track of how much goes to GST and gratuity!

    I actually have a forecast tab and an actual tab. Another tab for guest lists; the total number of guests gets calculated & it’s easy to update. (The guest list thing will come in handy too for mail merge later on, with address labels)

    Post # 14
    Member
    5192 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @Cynderbug:  Totally agree!  I have no idea how people who don’t know how to mail merge address their envelopes.  By hand or something?  Awful.

     

    Post # 15
    Member
    2537 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    Many community colleges offer online classes and excel/spreadsheets is one of their introductory courses.  You should look into it.

    Post # 16
    Member
    4076 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @AquaGrey8962:  I do, but  I never had any training on it. I just started there and was given excel and taught myself everything. Now I am not good at IF statements or Vlookups but I know enough to get around. I could do alot more if I had  the chance to take a class  (but my company is too cheap for that LOL).

     

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