Released in 1985, Excel is perhaps the single most important software program ever. It is widely popular and used for a ton of different reasons by both individuals and businesses alike. Whether you are organizing your family budget, your business’s budget, creating a contact list of clients or potential leads, preparing data for marketing, Excel is the “swiss army knife” software that many people have turned to in order to get “stuff” done.
Below are a few overviews of how Excel is used for business purposes.
Finance and Accounting
Almost all finance and accounting departments at business both big and small use Excel or some form of spreadsheet software. Computer screens are open with Excel spreadsheets filled with customer data, budgets, monthly and quarterly financial results, P&L statements and budget forecasts. These are all very important for making business decisions and Excel has grown to play a crucial role in this.
One could argue that these departments are where Excel gets its most use. There are a ton of features and functions of Excel that can turn painstaking manual efforts that use to take days or weeks into very easy tasks that take a few hours or minutes. That is how you can really reduce costs and increase the productivity of your work force.
There is a close relationship between the marketing and finance folks at any business. The marketing teams depend on the finance team to provide them with valuable sales and client data. This data helps the marketing team make decisions on what marketing efforts are working or not and provides them with information on how to make better use of the company’s marketing dollars. When it comes to customer and lead generation side of marketing, spreadsheets can play a crucial role in helping to organize marketing efforts. For example, using pivot tables, marketing team members can quickly summarize sales data by various categories and isolate potential clients into certain “buckets” so they can better target them.
Human resources plays an important role in any business. HR employees are the ones who tend to help make decisions about employees. One way they do this is by figuring out just how much employees may be costing the company and keeping basic data/records on employees. Excel can play a role in organizing this data that can be used by various departments in the company. You Can Do Anything with a Spreadsheet
Here’s a few examples of how Excel can be used:
Create revenue models for an existing product line for an ecommerce company.
Create a list of employees and their basic information, company information like hire dates, vacation time, sick time and general notes.
Create a calendar of events for company events.
Create a calendar to outline an action plan for the activities you are going to perform for a new product launch.
Create a simple budget forecast for how much you are going to spend on a new advertising campaign.
These are just a few examples of what you can do. If you think your employees could benefit from using Excel and take better advantage of what it can do, then start looking online for resources. You can go the DIY way and just scour the Internet for videos and tutorials or you could even hire an Excel spreadsheet consultant that can teach your business team. Either route you take can only help if the main goal is learn how your company can take full advantage of Excel.