If a job requires someone to use Microsoft Office, and they’re just getting started, they’re likely wondering how hard it is to learn Excel. Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely utilized software packages for businesses. Excel enables users to format, organize and even calculate data within a spreadsheet. It is a powerful tool that enables anyone to get the meaning out of various amounts of data. Additionally, it can support data visualization or simple calculations and tracking.


The Use-Cases Behind Excel


Microsoft Excel training courses can go a long way towards aiding someone in the mastery of Excel. Some key use cases surrounding Microsoft Excel include:


  • Data entry
  • Data management
  • Accounting
  • Financial analysis
  • Charting and graphics
  • Programming
  • Time management
  • Task management
  • Financial modeling


Many people need help understanding what a beginner level in Excel actually represents and what they need to know. These are the key things to know to be proficient in Excel.


Excel Skills Explained


Excel is a part of the broader Microsoft Office Suite utilized across most corporate offices or academic institutions. Proficiency in Excel allows anyone to manage, input, and analyze data. This helps them complete projects or keep track of information. 


Knowing how Excel works and operates is valuable because the program relies on various formulas to analyze data efficiently. With these formulas, users can calculate the budget for a specific company, department, or even a single project. They can also record data by inputting and organizing entries, and even manage employee schedules depending on availability and dates. 


The Beginner Level of Excel Explained


There are numerous levels to understanding Excel: There is beginner level, the intermediate level, and an advanced level. These levels can be split across numerous other, lower, or higher levels. Generally, people are either beginners, intermediate users, or advanced and expert users.


If users have never worked with Excel before, they start at the beginner level by default. Whenever someone opens up Microsoft Excel for the very first time, there are tasks that they can do just by simply interacting with the simple user interface. These tasks are more naturally intuitive and similar to other functions across Microsoft Office programs.


The clipboard, the font, the alignment, and the number groups can all be found in the ‘HOME’ tab, and these are similar to other Microsoft products, such as Word, for example.


Aside from what is familiar in other Office programs, beginners are expected to be able to complete certain simple tasks. For example, any user can present static data within a spreadsheet. However, the basic skill level involved in Excel will feature knowledge of using ‘HOME,’ ‘PAGE LAYOUT,’ and ‘VIEW.’


Users will also need to know how the list of basic functions works. Some of the most basic functions that any beginner should understand include SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT NUMBERS, MIN, and MAX. Users must understand how to apply these functions in formulas within spreadsheets. An understanding of the spreadsheet’s interface and the ability to conduct subtractions, multiplications, and divisions are all essential tasks that a beginner needs to understand.


The basic user can do simple computations and data representation and move away from static data representation and printing. Many consider this level the beginner level, as it covers just the most basic functions within Excel.


Moving Forward With Learning Microsoft Excel


Understanding Microsoft Excel might seem intimidating, but it does not have to be. By putting in the time, effort, and training, anyone can learn Excel at the beginner level within a few days or hours. 


Comprehensive training for beginners includes:


  • Mastering keyboard shortcuts
  • Mastering key data points
  • Complete basic computations


Users will become familiar with more complex formulas, Pivot Tables, VLookup, and date functions as their training progresses to the intermediate. The most advanced Excel users will know how to manage and organize large amounts of data quickly, create comprehensive graphs and tables, or even conduct automation processes for everyday tasks.


To get started on your training or training for your organization, contact ONLC today for more information!

About The Author

Patty is a lead applications trainer for ONLC Training Centers and has worked for the company since 1988. She is technically proficient in all programs and all levels of Microsoft Office, Excel BI Tools, and is certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS). Patty has developed custom courseware, worked as a deskside support specialist and has been involved as a project manager for enterprise-wide Microsoft Office corporate migrations. She is also a trainer and consultant for Microsoft Project and Project Management Concepts. Prior to joining ONLC, Patty worked as a software support manager, developer and instructor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>