Today, we can use computers to manage large amounts of data. They are designed to help us transform various types of data into usable information. Some degree of processing or calculation is normally required for this to happen. One of the premier programs that is used for this purpose is Microsoft excel. You can enter both numeric and alphanumeric data into this program and process it into information. Paper-based spreadsheets were traditionally used in the field of accounting. This program is simply a digital version with many more processing functions built into it. Read on to discover its capabilities and some common uses for it.
How this spreadsheet program is used
Having been based on paper-based accounting spreadsheets, the primary function of this program is to perform calculations. A new instance of the program presents you with rows and columns of empty rectangular boxes. Also known as cells, they are placeholders for words and numbers. You can place related information in these cells so as to create tables. Each active instance of the program is known as a spreadsheet. Each spreadsheet can be given a descriptive name so as to indicate the sort of information that is held therein. This is especially important when you are dealing with multiple spreadsheets at a time. You can combine many of these to create a workbook. The workbook can then be saved in your computer as a regular file. Notably, it is possible to import the contents of a database into a spreadsheet program. This makes it easier to perform information processing across multiple applications in your computer system.
What can this spreadsheet program do?
● Cell population and addressing
One of the fundamental functions of Microsoft excel is that it can contain and organize data in cells. Every spreadsheet comprises a grid of rows and columns. These are made up of cells arranged vertically and horizontally. The latest versions of this program have upwards of 16,000 columns and more than 1 million rows. Due to these large numbers, it is important to have a method of addressing these data containers. The rows extend horizontally and are addressed according to numbers such as 1, 2 and 3 going forth. The columns extend vertically and are addressed according to alphabetic letter such as A, B and C going forth. Addressing a specific cell involves combining its column letter and row number. Basically, a cell is the intersection point between a column and a row. When addressing cells that are located in columns beyond “Z”, a double letter addressing style is adopted where cells are addressed as AA, AB and AC going forth.
● Execution of formulas, functions and data types
This spreadsheet program is quite versatile. It can accept various types of data into its cells. Microsoft excel can accept alphanumeric data, numbers, dates, times, formulas and Boolean values. Seeing as it is essentially a tool for calculation, the formulas can be entered in cells and executed so as to calculate information which is contained in the cells of the spreadsheet. Formulas have a specific format, they all begin with an equals sign. This symbol signifies to Microsoft Excel that you intend to write a formula. They also contain functions and cell addresses as well. These constituents are executed together so as to provide the desired result. There are some built-in formulas in Microsoft excel which are known as functions. They help to simplify the process of making multiple calculations at the same time. They can perform simple processes such as addition and subtraction or complex ones such as averages.
● Compilation and computation of financial information
Sticking with their original use, digital spreadsheets are often utilized for the purpose of storing financial data. The cells, formulas and functions can be used to sum up sales so as to calculate revenue. They can also be used to calculate elements such as net profit or loss. Spreadsheets are used by mortgage and loan managers so as to calculate repayment plans. In addition to that, they are also used to find elements such as minimum, maximum and average values when managing price points and estimating consumer spending. An important and common way in which Microsoft excel is used to calculate financial data is by performing “What If?” analysis. This is where financial variables are compiled and then altered one at a time so as to see if the adjustments have a net effect on the rest of the values. This function is often used when entering varied expenses to calculate possible profits.
● Statistical analysis
The spreadsheets in Microsoft excel can also be used to analyze statistical information. They can be utilized to organize data into charts and tables. This gives statistical information a visual appearance. By doing so, it becomes easier for statisticians to note and keep track of trends over time. Furthermore, by processing data in this way, specific types of formatting can be performed. The data can be colored or textured according to a customized key. This makes it easy to note in the graphs and tables. Moreover, alphanumeric values can be used to label various parts of these charts. Doing so makes it even easier to identify data patterns and make informed decisions or derive accurate conclusions. Part of this analysis involves sorting information. This spreadsheet program is also capable of arranging data according to specific formats and instructions. Furthermore, you can print out reports containing charts and graphs for further examination or presentation purposes.
One of the most important programs in every computer system is Microsoft excel. It is the main center of calculation. Designed to look like the traditional spreadsheets which were used in accounting, it provides us with built-in software tools and functions which help to enter, manipulate and record data. The program is easy to use, has a short learning curve and comes with every installation of Microsoft Office. It has set the standard for digital calculation. Therefore, a number of alternatives designed for different operating systems and platforms have emerged. While they may offer similar functions as Microsoft Excel, they do not have the depth of function that this originator possesses. It is the working standard of digital calculation in our world today.