I think you’ll agree with me when I say: it can be hard to take the plunge and learn how to become an expert with Microsoft Excel.
But I’m here to convince you to take the leap.
Every business I’ve ever worked in uses Microsoft Excel. Not everyone in the business does (and that’s the point of this post), but I can reliably find Excel on at least one screen on every floor of every office I’ve ever been to. Usually it’s on multiple screens per floor.
Yet only 7% of people consider themselves to be an expert in Excel.
Well, it turns out that becoming an expert with Excel can make your work life more productive, pleasant, and rewarding. Let me prove it to you.
1. Excel Skills Increase Your Income
Research shows that people with Excel skills listed on their CV earn 12.5% more than their peers without Excel proficiency. I can personally vouch for this, I once moved to a higher paying job where over 90% of my output came directly from Excel.
2. Excel Helps You Land Jobs
Think about how many job descriptions you see that include Excel as a job requirement. If you needed proof, a recent study found that 82% of jobs require experience with Excel. This shows you that Excel is a marketable skill on the job market.
Having expertise in Excel is valuable and you can include it on your resume. Better than just listing it as a skill, you should talk about what you did with Excel. For example, you might have built a financial model that led to a better decision or designed and maintained a dashboard to track key projects on an important program of work.
It will help you land a new (and maybe better) job.
3. Excel is the Ultimate No Code Tool
Microsoft Excel is the ultimate low-code/no-code tool.
Basically it means that it is a piece of software you can use for almost unlimited use cases but with very little additional coding required. You name it, you can do it with Excel. I have used it to value businesses, run projects, even predict the result of soccer games.
It’s just so flexible. It can do 99.9% of analyses that business people need.
4. Excel is Really Powerful
Excel handles over 1 million rows of data and 16,000 columns.
That’s a lot of data. Usually you would need a more powerful piece of software that is more difficult to learn and use. But for 99.9% of use cases, Excel will handle the dataset.
That means Excel is a really powerful tool.
5. You Can Make Better Decisions With Excel
There have been times when I’ve felt all at sea with a piece of work. I couldn’t tell whether a business was performing well, or badly. I couldn’t tell if a company was a good investment or not. All I had to do was structure up my work in Excel, input some simple data, and it all started to become clear to me.
Excel is the ultimate decision making tool. It fleshes out a situation and allows you to see it from a distance. Just the cold hard data.
Using Excel for your work leads to better decision making because it’s decision making based on the data, primary evidence. Not opinion or gut feeling.
6. Using Excel Increases Your Productivity
Getting your work into Excel saves you time. The ability to clean, sort and organize data in Excel allows you to get projects done in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually. This allows you to focus on data analysis and things that actually provide value.
7. Your Work Improves When Using Excel
Excel is a forcing function for structure. By that I mean, when you have to order your data and analysis into columns and rows, you automatically have to think about the right structure. Plus, because you have to input and manipulate the data, it means you automatically check for errors as you go. This process removes mistakes and increases the quality of your work.
8. Excel is a Visual Tool
Trust me, there are worse ways to work with data.
I’ve used software that requires code to manipulate the data, and you can’t see the data. It’s stored in the background. In Excel you work in the cells of data, manipulating them right in front of your eyes. The result is then right there to see on the screen.
Data can be overwhelming, so the ability to distill it and process it is huge. Excel makes this easier with formulas, filters, and the ability to sort and organize data. Right in front of your eyes.
9. Excel is Universal
It’s the common language between business people. When you are sent an Excel file, you know exactly what to do with it. Most people have it on their computer. It’s the default language for business numbers.
That means, if you learn it, you know it will be valuable. Money flows through businesses and around business people, this is where the high paying jobs are.
Call this post an Ode to Excel.
Call it what you like, it's a no-brainer to learn this powerful software that can impact your career and work for the positive. Break down that psychological barrier right now and start learning Microsoft Excel today.
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