Is Your Business Using Excel to Its Full Potential?
There’s an old joke in the business world – “the whole world runs on Excel”. And while it might sound a bit exaggerated, those who’ve had to deal with the internal systems of large organisations can probably attest to the validity of the statement. There’s a surprising amount of work that Microsoft Excel can do if you use it right, and it’s much more than a program for creating simple tables. However, taking full advantage of its potential can take some time and effort.
More Than Spreadsheets
Excel is highly flexible and customisable. You can program macros that automate large portions of your workflow and streamline your data processing. You can even add buttons and other interactive elements to your spreadsheets, making them closer to full-fledged applications! Users can edit those macros and contribute to them as well, making Excel perfect for organisations that want to promote cooperation and a strong internal culture. On the other hand, you can securely lock down any scripts containing sensitive information to prevent others from accessing them.
The way Excel treats the relationships between its cells and columns is actually not too different from a traditional relational database. You can build relationships between different elements and then query them in complex ways. You can cross-reference different columns and even data from multiple sheets at the same time. This can make Excel great for things like tracking assets and inventories, working with large volumes of information, and general tasks that involve storing and retrieving information. When you want to study the relationships of different data points, there are few better tools on the market right now.
Integration with Other Applications
It’s also very easy to integrate your Excel spreadsheets with other popular applications. This includes more than Microsoft’s own Office suite. Just take a look online and you should find plugins and programmable interfaces for all sorts of different popular applications and suites. Many people rely on Excel heavily in their daily work, and they keep contributing to various plugins and add-ons that expand its functionality in different ways. Even if you don’t find what you need straight away, it should be possible to take an existing plugin and modify it in some way to fit your needs. As we mentioned above, Excel is quite powerful and easily extendable once you’ve learned the basics.
If you think that Excel is on its way out and there’s no point in learning it nowadays, you couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, we expect to see it in an even more central position in the near future. Businesses now have access to significantly better capabilities for processing data and analysing large volumes of it, and this goes hand in hand with what Excel does. It makes sense to expect it to have an even more important role in business operations across the board in the future. And those who’ve taken the time to learn it properly are the ones who will benefit the most at those stages.