And it’s not just the whiz kids down in finance and accounting who have to be conversant with Microsoft Excel, either. Doesn’t really matter which department it is, in fact, you have got to know your rows, columns and function to be able to, well, function. If writing is in Word and pitching is in PowerPoint, then number crunching is in Excel. Although you’d be barking up the wrong tree if you thought Excel was just about the numbers. Charts, spark lines, heat maps, SmartArt are all relatively non-numeric things that Excel is rather good at as well. And we haven’t even started with all the hidden goodies that Excel keeps in store. The Developer ribbon, for example – that relatively little known store of Excel goodness. All of these things are applicable in all departments, all over the company.
Take human resources, for example. Want a neat little database of who’s working in your company, and where they were previously, and what their phone number is, and who they report to, and on and on and on? You’re thinking, at the very least, a nice little pivot table in Excel, and knowing database functions wouldn’t hurt either. Plus, no matter which department you’re in, you will, sooner or later, raise an invoice. Use one of those nice pre-formatted ones that Excel makes available – and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, well, that’s what online courses are for! Computing offer sheets, calculating severance pay, figuring out how to divvy out bonus pools across departments – ask Excel, and it shall deliver.
What about marketing, you might think by way of response. Surely those guys don’t have to be familiar with Microsoft Excel? Au contraire, my friend. Keeping a list of prospective, current and past clients handy, and figuring out how your billing has changed over time, and linking customer tables with products purchased will require intimate familiarity with the magic spell that is VLOOKUP,