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Creating Custom Internal Solutions with Excel Training

Microsoft Excel TrainingOne major misconception held by those who train their workforces for software competency is that training is solely about discovering new techniques or standardizing organizational usage procedures. In reality, however, the true value of application-specific training lies in its ability to help you modify your tools.

While it’s important to change the way you work to fit the resources you have on hand, you must be able to modify said resources to fit your needs as well. Microsoft® Excel is no exception.

What Lies Outside the Box?

Applications like Excel have tons of built-in tricks. For instance, you can insert formulas in worksheets and use them on a per-cell or per-column basis, but you can also apply formulas to specific types of cells for content-relevant calculations. Although such functions are well beyond many casual users, they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

Sticking to standard internal functions and capabilities may not always be your best bet. For instance, your next project might force you to integrate your worksheets with a database that allows for the automatic updating of pertinent values and lets you build complex information structures without having to go back and rework things all the time. For such tasks, you should rely on higher-level training and learn how to customize your Excel package by integrating it with other applications.

Using Excel for Interactivity

Ideally, your data should be responsive. If one of your employees authors a complicated, multi-worksheet document, for example, their coworkers can manually hunt for values, but communication will be far quicker if they can simply use logical or lookup functions. Learning how to structure Excel documents so that they respond to user requests with the appropriate data is integral to how useful your information actually is.

Also remember that as Excel documents grow in scope, they become more confusing to look at. Unless you’re the original author, you may not notice important trends buried deep within row upon row of values, and looking for critical information becomes increasingly more time consuming as further values are added.

It makes sense to learn about the advanced data-visualization capabilities embedded within Excel so that you can preface complicated information with charts, trendlines and other graphics that update themselves according to a worksheet’s contents.

Implementing Training

Your Excel training should be like any other professional education program you embark upon; it’s important to have an end goal in mind. Even if you’re currently unfamiliar with the specific lessons you could learn, you can still choose a training program that helps you deal with common tasks or target outstanding problems you’ve previously identified.

Change the way you use Excel, and you’ll be able to present accurate representations of what’s really going on at any given moment no matter how complex the raw data looks.

Ashford Global IT staff have real-world experience educating startups as well as huge firms and governments, and they’re more than willing to help you identify attainable training goals. Contact them today to discover more about how you could be leveraging your most powerful business tools to your advantage.

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Frank is a leading trainer in IT Security.

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