5 Tips and Tricks to Become an Excel Expert

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

Microsoft Excel is a wonderful tool that’s useful for a wide range of tasks. Whether you’re an accountant or a marketer, an analyst or a writer, you can definitely find a way to incorporate Excel in your daily work routine.

For virtual assistants, Microsoft Excel certainly has a lot of uses. Whether it’s keeping track of your daily tasks, analyzing data trends, listing down all resources within a project, or any other task, Excel can help you become more organized and efficient.

Many clients value great Excel skills in a VA, so it will be very beneficial for you if you can master the tool. But expertise with a tool as massive and in-depth as Excel will take months and even years to come by. For now, you can start your journey towards mastering Excel by learning these tips and tricks.

  • Extract useful data using Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are one of the most powerful tools in Excel. They might seem daunting and more than a little complicated at first, but they can actually be fun to build. With Pivot tables, you can summarize and analyze data more quickly.

Creating a pivot table takes less than a minute; just select your data and click on Insert > Tables > Pivot Table. After you create one, you can just play with the different options until you get the configuration you need.

  • See only what you need with Filters

Sometimes, your spreadsheet becomes cluttered with data. To be able to see what’s important faster, make use of filters and filter views. To create a filter just select the range of data you want to filter, click on the dropdown icon and choose the type of filter you want to apply. Uncheck anything you want to hide so that you can narrow down your data and focus on the stuff that matters.

  • Visualize your data with Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs can save the day when the data in your tables overwhelm you. They’re also useful when you’re sending reports to your clients as they can see things more clearly when presented in a visually appealing format. Creating charts is easy. Just select the data you want to visualize and select the type of chart you want in the Insert > Charts tab. You can even save charts as templates and reuse them for recurring reports.

  • Automate repetitive data entry by Combining and Splitting Cell Data

Ever been in a situation when you had to manually combine or split the text from one cell to another’s? It’s okay to this once or twice, but if you need to combine or split data from an entire column, it’s important to know the shortcut.

To join data in Excel, you can use either the CONCATENATE function or the & operator. To split the contents of cells in a column, select the column, go to Data > Text to Columns, and just follow the instructions.

  • Use Conditional Formatting to make things easier and quicker to find

Conditional formatting allows you to highlight certain cells if they meet the criteria you set. By highlighting cells, you can analyze your data at a glance and see trends better. Excel has built-in formatting rules that allow you to highlight cells that fall under general criteria (greater or less than a certain number, and so on), but you can also use custom formula to format cells.

Like many other skills, becoming an Excel expert will take a lot of practice. But mastering Excel is definitely one of the most worthwhile things that any serious VA should invest their time in. Once you become an Excel expert, you’re sure to find that more doors are opening for you in terms of your career as a VA.

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