Local Support with Excel Spreadsheets: The Power of Excel

Did you know a spreadsheet is little more than columns and rows, comprised of lists and lists? The real power in Excel spreadsheets is when you use Formulas and/or Functions.

Formulas and Functions aren’t the quite the same

Formulas and Functions both enable Excel to come up with the answers you need. Both start with an equal sign. =SUM(cells) or =B4+C4

Formulas

formula ship date (minus) order date
= ship date – order date

Formulas are essentially calculations built using cell references and mathematical operators. In the example on the right, we’ve calculated how many days there are between two dates. As such: [=] Ship Date [minus] Order Date would show how many days elapsed between the two dates.

As a more complex example, as in the example below, you can calculate years between dates. You have to use the order of operations. Cell references for Retirement Date [minus] Hire Date in parenthesis, then divide by how many days there are in a year.

Excel Spreadsheet Formulas
= (retirement date – hire date)/ # of days in a year

Functions

  • Functions are Excel spreadsheets built-in calculations that Excel understands
    • e.g. Sum the entire range of the row  =SUM(C5:C7)

⇒ IF, IFS, IFERROR,       ⇒  SUM, SUMIF, SUMIFS, ⇒  COUNT, COUNTIF, COUNTIFS ⇒  VLOOKUP     ⇒  INT, ROUND     ⇒  LEFT, RIGHT

Of the over 450 Functions (available in Excel 2016), all Functions start with an equal sign  ( = ), followed by the name of the function, and then in parenthesis, Arguments which cells are used to calculate the Function.

Which Formulas and/or Functions do you use, or need help with?

formulas and functions examples

You can contact us to arrange personalized training in Excel. You’ll find a few posts about using Excel. Learn about absolute vs relative references, using proper Order of Operations, and grouping dates in PivotTables.