One of the most widely used tools for professionals who work with numbers or analyze data is Microsoft Excel. With the ability to calculate formulas, sort and filter data, build charts and graphs, and provide on-demand reports, MS Excel can easily be the most beneficial desktop application in a professional's tool set. For those who are just entering the work force, or transitioning to a more analytical role within an organization, MS Excel training can make the difference between work performance that's acceptable and work performance that's levels beyond expectations.
Take number crunching to new levels
MS Excel training is available for a variety of levels of proficiency. Beginning MS Excel concepts include:
- Creating a new workbook
- Entering and editing text and numerical data into cells
- Inserting and deleting data rows and columns
- Using simple math formulas to perform calculations that update results when values change
- Building charts or graphs that depict business trends
For intermediate to advanced level MS Excel users, concepts are extended to include:
- Using a PivotTable to "slice and dice" data, helping to analyze and summarize it more effectively
- Exporting Excel data to a Microsoft SharePoint site so others in an organization can consume it
- Allowing others to edit the data via Excel Services
Which job roles see training benefits?
Although MS Excel can be beneficial for just about any professional who uses numbers in any way, it is an imperative skill for some job roles and many employers will require these skills before considering a candidate for hire. The following job titles are examples of roles within an organization that may require proficiency or even advanced use of MS Excel:
- Business Intelligence or Data Analyst - these professionals summarize and analyze organizational data
- Financial Analyst - this role looks for performance trends in financial markets
- Marketing Analyst - this role analyzes past and future success rates for particular marketing campaigns
Preparing for Microsoft certification
In a competitive business environment, professionals must do everything they can to set themselves apart from their peers. Completing MS Excel training may not be enough - some employers may require candidates to obtain certification demonstrating proficiency in Microsoft or other tools. A Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, awarded for passing a standard- or expert-level Excel exam offered by Microsoft, can be a major differentiator between one professional's skill set and another. MS Excel training can cover the concepts and skills that are required to pass the certification exams. By certifying proficiency in MS Excel, a professional has an automatic leg up against competing candidates for many positions in the workplace.