Are you considering learning how to use Excel more effectively? Many people use Excel in their day to day jobs, and they’re not necessarily accounting or finance professionals. Excel is a robust spreadsheet platform that allows you to track and store a variety of data effectively. This article will outline some of the traditional and non-traditional career paths that can make good use of skills with Excel. Once you have finished reading this piece you should have a much clearer view of how Excel might be useful in different areas of the business world.
As a spreadsheet application, Excel was originally intended to duplicate the large paper spreadsheets that have been used by accounting professionals for over one hundred years. Accountants are responsible for tracking and categorizing all of the individual transactions that make up the day to day operation of a business. Excel is a great tool for this because it allows them to track the details of the transaction, monitor the performance versus expectations and goals, and provide customized and useful reports on almost any aspect of the accounting of a business.
Closely related to accounting, finance professionals conduct a wide variety of modeling and analysis of a company’s performance. Finance might use complex statistical analysis to predict future performance of a firm or find correlations between certain events and the resulting impact on performance. Finance is also used to study the proper capital structure of a company. All of these functions are ideally suited for a spreadsheet tool like Excel.
Marketing is a discipline tasked with generating and meeting the demand for a company’s products. As such, one of their primary functions is directing company resources into appropriate channels to generate demand and create awareness of the company. These channels are generally known as “advertising” and there is usually a cost involved in utilizing them. This cost may be in terms of human labor or money, but in either case it is an investment that should be tracked and monitored to ensure it is generating a suitable return in terms of new revenue. Again, Excel comes to the rescue by providing an easy format for organizing all of these marketing expenses and matching them with the results they generate.
Although there are more robust project management tools available, Excel does a fantastic job for planning and managing the more straightforward projects that arise from day to day in business. Many project managers will use Excel to create Gantt charts which can provide a visual representation of the steps and milestones of a project and help keep things moving toward the ultimate goal.
As you can see, although Excel was initial conceived as a finance and accounting tool, there are a number of other uses for it. From marketing management to more obscure uses like project tracking, Microsoft excel is a tool that is used a wide variety of jobs. You might recognize how it may be a suitable tool to include in your career training arsenal.