We love excel. We use it for almost anything: Christmas shopping, holiday plans, organising parties... We are devoted. And we were SUPER excited when @msexcel tweeted us the other day. We went a little bit geek today at Bulldog HQ chatting about our all-time favourite excel hacks. The tricks that flipped a switch and made us go "ooooooh, that's useful". The things we roll out whenever we do data analysis, reconciliations or just some tidying up for a client.
Here are some of our favourites:
1. Pivot Tables.
Every wannabe excel-ninja's back pocket wildcard. Rows and rows of data transformed into a tidy little table in the blink of an eye. Beautiful.
2. VLOOKUPs (and its lesser used cousin, HLOOKUP).
Got two sets of data you need to compare against each other? Got a common field? I have just the thing. And it looks like gobbledygook to the uninitiated. Love. It.
This one's a belter. You know how when you drag a formula across a row or column, it shifts everything across (or down) by 1? And if you are trying to look at a specific cell for every other cell you don't want ALL the formulae to shift? Put $ in front of the cell reference you want to keep. Job done. Witnessed a lovely light-bulb moment when we demonstrated this to someone last week.
4. CTRL + Z
This is more of an ode to microsoft packages but we learnt it first and use it most in excel. Ever accidentally delete something and don't know what it was? Ever break a spreadsheet (the dreaded #REF!) and don't know what you did or how to get it back? Keep calm and press CTRL + Z. It will undo the last thing you did. Lifesaver.
We found this one tricky to master but now we've worked it out we're totally sold. Crazy useful when trying to work out what a dataset could possibly be telling you. Too difficult to explain without descending too far into geek-speak.
If you want to know more about any of the tricks mentioned above, share our soft spot for spreadsheets or just need a little bit of help with your data, drop us a line! We're on twitter, facebook and linked in and you can contact us through our website too.