Knowledge of spreadsheet software such as Excel seems to be used in a multitude of jobs and sectors. A variety of jobs, ranging from clerical to managerial and research functions mention knowledge of excel as imperative or preferable.
Some positions that routinely call for spreadsheeting skills are positions for sales representatives, office assistants and maintenance contractors. Managerial positions such as project managers and program directors also require proficiency in using software such as Excel. Knowledge of Excel is also used in research and analytics jobs in finance, engineering and business by analysts. Verticals ranging from health-care to education make extensive use of spreadsheet software for various purposes.
Although use of spreadsheets in maintaining records and organizing meetings was expected, I was surprised to find about its extensive use in making financial and business models. Using tools such as Macro and direct coding using Visual Basic in Excel it is used to make Graphic User Interfaces such as forms which are then used to enter information and derive output for a specific application. Such uses surprised me since the simple and easy interface of Excel does not give the idea that it could be used for such complicated and advanced purposes.
I had never thought knowledge of working with spreadsheets would be so important for almost every kind of managerial job. However, on second thought, it seems almost obvious that a person who needs to manage should need to deal with a lot of information arranged in a systematic manner.
Overall, I conclude that an unexpectedly large variety and number of jobs require at least basic knowledge of spreadsheet software. This seemingly simple software is quite an important tool for managing any industry and its knowledge will look good on the Curriculum Vitae of any ambitious professional today.
Formulas and functions are used in Excel to carry out calculations on values contained in the cells of an excel worksheet. An excel formula is an expression according to which a calculation must be performed. The expression contains cell references or numbers connected by mathematical operators, and must always begin with ‘=’, which is a syntactic rule. Using cell references instead of values or numbers enables copying formulae and automatic updating of results when values in the referenced cell change.
A function is basically a built-in formula in Excel. It enables one to use the function name along with the required parameters in a predefined syntax instead of writing down the complete formula to perform certain calculations.
Calculating average expenditure per day on groceries can be easily done using the inbuilt ‘average’ function by typing in cell B9 ‘=average(B2:B8)’. If this were to be done by a formula, one would have to type in ‘=(B2+B3+B4+B5+B6+B7+B8)/7’ which is inconvenient, error-prone, time-consuming and not versatile. Another function that might be very useful in making the budget is the function ‘MAX’, which will give the maximum among the range of cells selected as an argument to the function.
Formulas can be used for purposes such as multiplying numbers in 1 row with another. For example, if a budget prediction is to be made by calculating the total cost of goods needed, one would enter price of each object in 1 column(say C1 to C8), and no. of each object in the adjacent column(say D1 to D8). The total money spent on each object can be easily calculated in the next adjacent column by writing the formula ‘=C1*D1’ in the cell E1 and dragging it until E8. Similarly, addition, subtraction and division operations can be easily carried out using formulas in excel. Formulas could also be used for doing direct calculations with numbers.
Careerbuilder, LLC. (2012). Retrieved July 11, 2012, from Careerbuilder.com: http://www.careerbuilder.com/
Microsoft Corporation. (2012). Excel 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2012, from Microsoft Excel: http://office.microsoft.com/en-in/excel/