At first, Microsoft Excel can appear to be quite daunting, but once a person learns the basics, they can see why it could make their life easier. It can also boost their employability and career prospects. And guess what? It is also an extremely handy tool to analyse data in everyday life, such as keeping control over personal finances.
Firstly, Excel can do much more than most of most people have ever realised. It has more to do with problem-solving in an organised way than it is about rows and columns. Understanding that will help people think more critically about how Excel can help them.
Here are some of the things Excel can do:
- Organize data in an easy-to-navigate way
- Do basic and complex mathematical functions, so users of this application don't have to
- Turn piles of data into helpful graphics and charts
- Analyse data and make forecasting predictions
- Create, build, and edit pixelated images
Excel can help boost productivity by up to tenfold if you know how to create a spreadsheet quickly, says Zandax. "Productivity is boosted by knowing and using things like keyboard shortcuts to speed up your use of Excel, and then using features such as copy/paste, dragging formulas across columns and rows they will re-adjust themselves to their new cell references.
Large amounts of data can be quickly manipulated in Excel by filtering, sorting, doing calculations, what-if analysis, charting data as a pie chart or line charts with trendlines," Zandax added.
Excel spreadsheets effectively get your staff to collaborate with shared documents no matter where the employees are based. It also helps improve the quality of work by letting users easily create beautiful dashboards, reports, interfaces, charts, and formatted data.
Indeed there are more reasons, but let's get down to presenting online freelancers with several resources that could help them acquire more and better Excel skills.
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1. TRUMPEXCEL: Learn Excel – Free Online Excel Training
This 26-lesson, 12 plus hours of free Excel training videos does not require students to sign up. And it is perfect for beginners and intermediate students.
The instructor, Sumit Bansal, an Excel MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional), has trained people in basic and advanced Excel and dashboards for over ten years.He has ensured that all students taking his course will get all the basics they need to learn advanced things in Excel.
"When done with the course, I guarantee you'll be able to do a lot more in Excel in a fraction of the time," says Sumit Bansal. The instructor also recommends that to make the most of his seven-module course, students go through the training videos in the sequence listed.
What you'll learn
- How to apply advanced formulas and conditional logic.
- How to analyse and report on data frequently.
- Automating complex or repetitive tasks.
- How to perform advanced data analysis, collaborate on workbooks with other users, and automate workbook functionality.
- Protecting your workbooks.
- Performing Formula Audits and Data Validation.
- Creating Macros and using Visual Basic.
- How to use Advanced Charting Techniques to build professional dashboards.
This is a free six-week course by the University of British Columbia. Designed for experienced Excel users, the course will help learners master the techniques needed to draw insights from vast amounts of data.
Whether the Excel user needs to process numbers for personal projects or organisational purposes like sales, inventory, human resources, or IT, knowing how to make sense of data is critical. The learner will develop in-demand skills to gain a competitive edge and value to the organisation for which they work. The learner will also know how to extract actionable intelligence from raw data and present it visually to help drive organisational decision-making. Learn how to get Excel to do the hard work with sophisticated automation, spreadsheet design, and powerful dashboards.
3. COURSERA: Everyday Excel Part 1
What you'll learn:
- Navigating Excel, editing the worksheet (including inserting/deleting cells, columns, and rows), and cell formatting.
- Expression entry and common Excel formulas (including logical functions, text functions, and financial functions).
- Data management (sorting, filtering, consolidating, removing duplicates, data validation, and one-way lookups).
- Data visualization (scatter plots, column charts, pie charts, Slicers, Sparklines, and Pivot Tables).
Everyday Excel, Part 1 is for those seeking to learn Excel from the ground up. No experience with Excel is necessary. While this course is for beginners of Excel, advanced users will also find it very useful in acquiring new skills and tools.
This course focuses on teaching introductory through very advanced techniques and tools in Excel. Students who take this course will learn how to navigate around the Excel environment effectively. They will also know how to edit and format Excel worksheets. And also how to implement basic to advanced Excel functions, including financial, logical, and text functions. They will learn how to manage data sets (filter, remove duplicates, consolidate data, sort data, and validate data). And, lastly, how to effectively visualise data through scatterplots, column charts, and pie charts.
4. COURSERA: Everyday Excel, Part 2
What you'll learn:
- Advanced data management techniques
- How to implement financial calculations in Excel
- How to use advanced tools in Excel (Data Tables, Goal Seek, and Solver) to perform and solve "what-if" analyses
- How to create mathematical predictive regression models using the Regression tool in Excel
The Everyday Excel, Part 2 is a continuation of the popular Everyday Excel, Part 1, which is immediately above. This second part builds on concepts students learned in the first course. And from there, learners will continue to expand their knowledge of applications in Excel. The course is for intermediate users, but even advanced users will pick up new skills and tools in Excel. By the end of this course, the learner will have the skills and tools to take on the project-based Everyday Excel, Part 3 (Projects), next on this list.
5. COURSERA: Everyday Excel, Part 3 (Projects)
What you'll learn:
- To apply Excel functions and tools to solving broad, somewhat open-ended problems through a wide variety of guided projects.
Everyday Excel, Part 3 (Projects) is a continuation of Everyday Excel, Parts 1 and 2. It is a capstone, project-based course in which students apply what they've learned in the last parts of the course.
Each student or learner must complete three warm-up projects, three intermediate projects, and three more advanced projects. The projects aim to cover various interests and topic areas and appeal to diverse learner backgrounds.
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