You can monitor your stock movement whether by day, month or year easily with Excel
Pivot Table. The key is setting up the fields correctly to monitor stock movements. You can
find out more details in our inventory management system page.
Pivot Table gives me the basics of creating our shipment planning forecast. A very benefiting
tool for segregating data you require.
Before, I had to manually merge data. Now with Vlookup, merging data and manipulating
them is a breeze!
Excel is a powerful tool for designing my questionaire for manpower survey as I can save
money on temp staff to do data entry! It helps me greatly in my analysis of data too as I can
customise what information to retrieve and how to present my results.
Conditional formating and creation of a survey form using the functions in excel are very
useful for me to do my work more quickly. Conditional formating because it is very useful in
The functionality of Excel that can assist to track business performance and achieve growth.
Find Breakeven point
Using the Goal Seek function, we can find the breakeven point quickly.
Identify Blank Rows
The conditional formatting. I want to auto-highlight those rows that are urgent/blank. Time
saving was beneficial.
I used to sieve duplicate records manually but now I can use advanced filter to do that.
Extract data from ACCPAC/SAP
The Excel Pivot Table combined with MS Query are fantastic tools! My client managed to
use them to extract the required data from Accpac and submit it to my Organisation's HQ in
The ranking formula can help to rank scores quickly.
Tracking Updates in Forecasted Sales
There are 2 ways you could track the updates in forecasted sales. One is to use the advanced
version of conditional formatting and the other is to use the readily available highlight
changes function is Excel. Both methods are present in this tracking updates page.
Answer #1 to what is Excel: Analytical Tool
Excel is a great analytical tool for business. The pivot table contained within Excel has gone
through many revision. In each revision, we see its power being enhanced. It has becomes a
strong competitor of business intelligence tools available in the market. The advantage over
its competitors is that it is readily available to almost all the business computers. It cost
business nothing to use it because MS Excel is bundled in MS Office, a must have office
productivity tool. In the new version of Excel 2007, we see the power of Pivot Table being
enhanced again with the capability to work directly with database servers. With the increased
in memory, a million rows and over a thousand columns, it becomes a formidable foe to
business intelligence tool in the market.
Answer #2 to what is Excel: Corporate Budgeting
A major business application of Excel is in corporate budgeting. Many companies, from big
corporations to small companies use Excel for their budgeting. Despite numerous calls by
suppliers of Business Performance Management Systems (BPM) to move away from Excel as
a budgeting tool, 70% to 80% of all corporations still use Excel as their primary budgeting
tool. Find out why in this corporate budgeting article.
Answer #3 to what is Excel: Inventory Management
Excel provide many functions and formulas that will not only help you manage your data
records efficiently but will also make sure that you could analyse your data based on your
constantly changing business environment. Through the use of Microsoft® Excel formulas,
you can create comprehensive drop down boxes to facilitate data inputs and reduce erroneous
entries. And through the use of pivot tables, you could get a good detailed analysis of your
stock movement and also your inventory level at any point in time. For more details, read up
this inventory management write-up.
Answer #4 to What is Excel: Create forms and
Excel can also be used to create forms. We are not talking about simple form that contains
just boxes for you to type in your answers. We are referring to professional forms which
contain option buttons such that user can only select only one answer (Yes, No), check boxes
that allow them to select multiple answers, dropdown list to select a particular answer from
list of items. Here is an example of such a form:
Here are a few simple tips that will wow your colleagues:
Autofill: Instead of wasting time scrolling and dragging a formula all the way down the page,
your colleagues will be amazed that double clicking on the AutoFill icon will automatically do
it for them.
o One co-worker affectionately calls this the “double click trick“
Transpose: Need to change how your data is oriented? Not sure exactly how to phrase what
you’re trying to do? Just Paste Special and check the Transpose box and your data will
magically be transformed from horizontal to vertical.
Keyboard Shortcuts: Scrolling is the enemy. Nobody wants to waste their whole day
scrolling to the bottom of a spreadsheet. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that will save
o CTRL + down arrow:To get to the bottom row of your data set
o CTRL +up arrow: To get the top row of your data set
o CTRL + right arrow: To get to the last column of your data set
o CTRL + left arrow: To get to the first column of your data set
o CTRL + Home: To get to the first cell (top left) in your data set
o CTRL + End: To get to the last cell (bottom right) in your data set
o Bonus: Holding SHIFT down while using any of the above shortcuts will select that
Charts: Charts are confusing. They never do what you want them to do. Most people have
used charts before, but are in no way experts. You’ll win points if you can explain how to:
o Add a secondary axis
o Create a combination chart with both bar and line graphs
Pivot Tables: Pivot Tables are daunting to most people who don’t use them regularly. If you
can help your colleagues navigate the treacherous waters of Pivot Tables, they will definitely
appreciate it. Keep it simple though, as the flexibility can get overwhelming to new users
o Start by creating a Pivot Table to answer 1 question. Then explain how to filter and
sort the data. By doing this, your colleagues will slowly warm to Pivot Tables, making
them less overwhelming.
Now that you’ve got some simple tips in your repertoire, here are the formulas and tools
I use the most:
Lookup and Text Formulas:
SUMIFS, AVERAGEIFS, and COUNTIFS: Like SUMIF on steroids. Useful for looking up any
non-text values with multiple criteria
o Great for recreating the functionality of a Pivot, but allowing you to format the
output however you would like
o Makes month over month calculations extremely easy, especially with named cells.
VLOOKUP, INDEX, and MATCH: Useful for looking up any text values
o Always make sure to end your VLOOKUP with FALSE to return the exact match
IFERROR: Replaces errors with a different value
o i.e. IFERROR(A1/B1,0) replaces errors with zeroes
LEFT, MID, RIGHT, and SEARCH: Useful for parsing specific parts out of URLs
TODAY(): Automatically calculates today’s date
DATE: Useful for calculating specific days in the year
o i.e. DATE(YEAR(TODAY()),1,1) calculates the first day of the year (“1/1/2011″)
EDATE: Increments a date by X number of months. Negative numbers also work to go
o i.e. EDATE(A1,1) increments a date by 1 month (“2/1/2011″)
TEXT: Converts a value to any date format you would like
o i.e. TEXT(A1,”dddd”) converts a date into day of the week (“Monday”)
o i.e. TEXT(A1,”mmmm”) converts a date into a month (“January”)
WEEKDAY: Returns the day number in the week.
o i.e. WEEKDAY($A1,2)>5 returns TRUE for weekends
Dynamic Chart Ranges: Use OFFSET and named ranges to only chart cells that have values.
This saves time because you don’t have to update chart data ranges each month
o Alternatively, returning errors (#N/A) when values are blank will also exclude empty
cells from line and bar charts
Rolling Chart Data Ranges: Set a static number of months and use SUMIFS to populate
Dynamic Chart Data Labels: Great for showing month over month % change, instead of
default data labels
Named ranges: Useful for referencing calculated dates, lookup formulas, data validation
lists, creating dashboards, etc…
o CTRL + F3: shows all the named ranges in your spreadsheet
Data Validation: For creating drop down lists
o Named ranges allow you to reference a list of values in a separate tab
Conditional Formatting: For formatting everything!
o Highlight Cell Rules: Highlights positive values in green, negative values in red
o Custom Formula Rules: Useful for shading weekends in gray when looking at a
whole month’s data by day (i.e. WEEKDAY($A1,2)>5)
o Data Bars: Shows a tiny bar chart within the cell. Good for showing trends within a
1. Sales Trends
Excel spreadsheets are perfect for the small business that needs to track sales
trends throughout the months and years. It helps businesses notice changes in
sales, so the business is able to act and correct the problem. The spreadsheets
can be used to create graphs and presentations of quarterly sales for business
associates and investors.
An example of an Excel workbook for a sales application is a spreadsheet with
daily sales. The daily sales can be automatically summed and added to another
spreadsheet within the workbook that totals sales for the month. The monthly
sales spreadsheet can then be summed for yearly sales.
Marketing is a huge part of business growth. Businesses need to take note of
dollars spent versus conversion of customers. On the Internet, marketing can
be quite expensive for new owners. An Excel spreadsheet can be used to keep
a list of the month's marketing expenses and what customers were acquired
using these dollars. If the business has several marketing outlets, an Excel
spreadsheet can be used to track which marketing avenues bring in the most
sales. These trends are important for managers to keep track of more efficient
Many businesses don't have the means for a large database to keep track of
employee records. For small businesses, an Excel spreadsheet keeps track of
employee names, Social Security numbers and pay scale. When saving private
information, it's important to encrypt the file to secure the employee's data
from identity theft. The Excel spreadsheet can be used to keep track of
employees who work on commission, and be linked with a sales spreadsheet
similar to that in Section 1. The link will show the business owner how well
the employee is doing for monthly sales.