Many business owners use excel to process their business-related data and gain some insights from it. The features in excel make it easier for people to work with their data within its spreadsheets.
As there are a lot of excel features we can use, some escape our attention and thus, we never use them. However, if utilized, then they can be surprisingly useful in making our work more productive in the software. As a result, the business-related data that we process can produce better and faster outcomes.
We might even call them “excel tricks” as using them can make you look rather skillful in front of other people. Who knows, they may also bring significant improvement to your usual business work too!
The Excel Tricks Business Owners Should Know
So, what are these tricks that can help us to work better in excel as business owners? Well, these are the three of them with a brief explanation on how to use them to your advantage.
1. Go to your last cell with data by pressing Ctrl + a directional button
In the excel file that you have, you most probably have your data in the form of tables. Often, the data can spread itself into many columns and rows, making it hard to navigate from one edge to another.
That is when the shortcut of Ctrl + a directional button comes to the rescue. Just hold your Ctrl button when pushing a directional button according to the edge you want to go in your table. Your cell cursor will move immediately to that edge (as long as there isn’t a blank cell along the way)!
If you need to highlight the cells in between while you move, then just add the Shift button to the mix. You will be able to do that in a flash!
2. Use INDEX MATCH rather than VLOOKUP to lookup for your data
As a business owner, you sometimes need to get your data from some reference tables you have in your excel file. You may have a product information table or a production data table where you get your data when needed. For this, most people use VLOOKUP to get their data to the cells where they need them.
However, VLOOKUP isn’t too flexible as it can only get its lookup reference from the first column of its cell range. Moreover, it can only look for its data to the right from that column.
INDEX MATCH is much better to use in this regard as you have more control in the cell range inputs. You can also look for your data horizontally if you need to. The key is to put MATCH in the row/column input of INDEX where you need to look for your lookup reference.
Practice INDEX MATCH to lookup your data when you get the chance so you can know more about its usefulness!
3. Sum a number sequence fast with AutoSum
Have a number sequence you need to sum? You probably need to sum your revenue data or product inventories so you can do a proper analysis in excel.
Whether it is in a column or a row, it might be troublesome to write the SUM formula for that. Especially if there are many cells in that cell range you want to sum. To do it much faster and easier, you can use the AutoSum feature provided by excel.
Just highlight your number sequence and press the AutoSum button in the Home or Formulas tab (or use its shortcut, Alt and =). Excel will automatically produce a SUM formula that sums that number sequence for you!
Excel has many great features that can help us analyze our business-related data. Knowing these features and use them optimally might make a positive difference to the results we get.
Applied in the appropriate circumstances in your work, the three tricks introduced here should also be able to help you. Practice them and see it for yourself. Maybe all of them will stick in your habits when you use excel to support your business work!
Daniel Yudhistyra Agustinus is an excel enthusiast and the founder of Compute Expert, an excel educational website. The website offers free excel tutorials from which you can learn many things about how to use excel. You can connect with Compute Expert through its twitter, @computeexpert1