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MS Excel for Data Entry

Do you want to get the job of a Data Entry Operator (DEO) ? Nowadays even government agencies require some good numbers of DEO. MS-Excel is one of the skills which is most in demand in job markets all over the world. A DEO will have to use MS-Excel for inputting various types of data.

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. It is one of the application software that comes in MS Office suits and it is one of the most used tools for data analysis and documentation. Furthermore one can store, organize and track data sets with the help of this software tool. MS-Excel is an indispensable tool for accountants, data analysts and many other professionals which is favored due to its strong computational power in creating financial documents.

Versions of MS Excel

Since 1985, Microsoft has released 30+ versions of Excel. They are compatible with various operating systems which over the years have undergone necessary transformations to reach a latest version today. Each of them has slight or significant changes than the preceding. The latest version of MS Excel is 2019. All the features of the earlier versions are included in it and in the age of data, data charts are the latest features that have been added to it. Usually you must use the latest version but sometimes depending upon your requirement and usability, a previous version is also suitable. You can revisit all the previous versions through this link – https://spreadsheetpage.com/excel-version-history/.

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Tasks that we can do in MS-Excel

The main objective behind a spreadsheet program is to make calculations easier and time saving. In Excel, starting from basic mathematical calculations like addition and subtraction we can do very complex calculations like regression analysis, calculus, conversions etc. Here, I have mentioned a few of them –

1. Tools, Calculators and Simulations

You can create customized calculators. We often call them dynamic calculators which means upon changing a parameter, the other calculations adapt or change accordingly.

2. Excel as a database

Up to a certain limit, we can use excel as a data storage system but for big amounts of data, excel is not a reliable option. Most of the data today is pushed towards cloud storage systems. The rows in excel are limited. It has a limit of 1 million rows. Within this limit maintaining a database is all right but ahead of this limit, you have to move to real databases like Access, SQL etc.

3. Fetching Live Data from the Web

Nowadays more and more data is shifting towards cloud systems. Earlier you had to download the data into your computers but today there is no such need to download every bit of information. You have to connect your excel to a data feed to access the required data. So, Microsoft is working towards the web integration of Excel. You can fetch –

  • Share stock data
  • Live Match scores
  • Real-time flight data of Airports
  • Train-time
  • Weather updates and a lots more

4. Diagrams and Charts Presentation

You can create bar diagrams, pie charts and many more both in 2D and 3D format using excel. Often in educational or business research reports such diagrams are necessary which can be best prepared using MS-Excel.

5. Dashboards

Every e-commerce website and many websites nowadays have the dashboard feature. You must have seen the sales dashboard. With the help of excel, you can easily create a dashboard for your various tasks. The idea behind creating a dashboard is that you needn’t to switch to each of the different pages.

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Formulas and Functions

To perform calculations in Excel, there are two basic ways – Formulas and Functions.

A formula is a fixed expression. It operates in a cell or within a range of cells. Functions are predefined formulas. They are not the same as conventional mathematical curriculum formulas but they do come as human-friendly mathematical terms. They make the manual entry process of formulas easy and less time consuming. It is a very difficult thing to remember all the formulas and shortcuts.

Home Tab and Formula Bar

The home tab contains the frequently used editing tools. It has all together 7 different sections which are – clipboard, font, alignment, number, styles, cells and editing. The formula bar displays the contents of the active cell. You can edit the contents of the active cell from the formula bar and expand the formula bar both in horizontal and vertical directions if required.

Inputting the data

Excel in Excel means to learn “how to use time saving input procedures”. Pop up function hints always appear. So, this has made the tasks easier. Manual entering of data involves clicking on the desired cell, entering the items and clicking on enter. You can also enter a sequence of data and let excel itself fill the remaining for you. The data that you enter will always fall in one these categories –

Text, Value, Date and Formula

Text contains alpha-numeric characters and they can’t be used in most of the formulas. You can enter up to 32000 alpha-numeric characteristics in a cell. But there is a limit up to which you can see the characters in a cell. The characters get hidden only and they are never lost.

Features available in MS-Excel for data entry

1. Data Entry Forms

A data entry form is the most useful feature for inputting data. Because of them, the chance of making mistakes lessens to a great extent. There is no need to switch every time as we can focus on one record at a time. This is a convenient and faster way to input records in Excel. So, you have to convert the excel spreadsheet into a more handy data entry form.

2. Ranges and Shortcuts

A range is a collection of cells that are used as an argument for a function and create graphs. They have other uses as well. Shortcuts are keyboard combinations of two or up to three keys against a specific function. You can find shortcuts for editing, inserting, formulas, borders, formatting, pivot tables, navigation and lots more. It is not possible to remember all of them and it is also not necessary as it depends on the type of work you’re performing.

3. Printing, Formatting and Conditional Formatting

Excel provides you customized printing options which means you can print the entire worksheet or only a part of it. You can even print only an excel table from within a worksheet. Conditional formatting allows you to apply specific formatting to cells which is done by creating a conditional rule which mainly helps you to differentiate among data within a spreadsheet.

4. Macros and VBA

If you have to do the same steps everyday in excel and a good amount of time is required for the same, you can create a recording of those steps called a macro. With the help of a macro, you can do your repetitive tasks in one click. VBA (Visual Basics for Applications) is a programming language of excel with the help of which you can automate excel tasks. You needn’t to code from scratch, excel will do the majority for you but you can modify the codes if required. You can create macros, user forms, user-defined functions, add-ins etc. with the help of VBA.

Excel Worksheet

5. Creating Charts

You can easily create charts in excel for your projects. Excel has a total of 11 chart types that have enough variations required for completing specific tasks. Creating charts in excel is just a value inserting work.

6. Pivot Tables

To extract the summary or the significance from a large amount of data, you can use a pivot table which is a table of grouped values. From a large data sheet, one can draw comparisons, patterns and trends with the help of a pivot table. This feature is available inside Excel. You can create both one-dimensional and two-dimensional pivot tables. With the help of Pivot Tables, one can get quick answers to business queries which saves precious time.

Conclusion

In this Digital Age, more and more people are getting connected and this has led to generation of a collaborative kind of work culture. So, other spreadsheet programs like Google sheets have become popular. But in terms of advanced functionalities, MS-Excel is still the first choice.

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