With college graduations around the corner, we thought it timely to cover something colleges and universities tend to breeze past and something you learn mostly on the job: Excel. We’ve gathered our top tools, formulas and tricks to share. Some are pretty basic, while others… not so much.
- Pivot tables: Essentially, creating a table based off an existing table and reorganizing the data in a different view.
- Sorting/filtering: In the “Data” tab, you can sort your data by number or alphabetically. You can also just filter.
- Graphs: Visualize your data by selecting the rows and columns you want to graph. Then, on the “Insert” tab, select a graph.
- Remove duplicates: Just like the name says, it takes columns of data and removes duplicate entries.
- Freezing panes: Keep forgetting what your row or column titles are? This tool found in “View” > “Freeze Frames” will keep those cells in place while you scroll.
- Conditional formatting: Color codes cells based on user-defined rules. For example, if you’re over budget on your campaigns, you can have your cells change their background color to red automatically.
- Lookups: V-LOOKUP, C-LOOKUP, INDEX MATCH… These formulas help you avoid manually trying to match data from table to table and are huge time-savers.
- SUMIF: Similar to a pivot table, this formula helps you add columns of data that meets characteristics you identify.
- CONCATENATE: Combines text from two or more cells.
- LEN: Counts characters in a cell. We use this when writing ads, as to not go over any character limits.
- “<>” and “text”: Does not equal text.
- “*” and “text” and “*”: Contains text.
- =text(CELL CONTAINING A DATE, “ddd”): Returns the day of the week that date was on.
These are some of our most-used tools, formulas and tricks, but Excel is a beast — there’re always more formulas to learn or another way to do things. Watch how your friends and colleagues use Excel and you’re sure to learn a ton of new stuff.