Excel is basically a spreadsheet program that has replaced the old paper accounting ledger.
So what is Excel? Excel is an application that helps us to store data in a tabular format using rows and columns.
The tabular format shouldn’t be new to you if you are familiar about tables. If you aren’t then do not worry it is quite simple.
Below is a simple representation of how a table looks like,
|Heading 1||Heading 2||Heading 3|
|Row 1 , Column 1||Row 1, Column 2||Row 1, Column 3|
|Row 2 , Column 1||Row 2, Column 2||Row 2, Column 3|
The first line is usually used to represent the heading like Name, Location & Designation. This heading tells us what data is available in that column and makes the whole table meaningful.
From second line, the actual data for the respective headings will be entered.
Below is one such example created using Excel.
Columns and Rows
If you had observed closely, in the above image Rows are represented using numbers and Columns by Alphabets.
There are 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.
The junction or the intersection of a Row and Column is called a Cell. Each and every value resides inside a cell. Each of these Cells have an address called Cell Reference which uniquely identifies that cell. The cell reference is displayed in the Name Box which you can find it in the top left corner just below the Ribbon. We look in detail what is a Ribbon and what it is used for.
Take a moment to look at the below picture to understand what is a cell and where a cell reference is displayed.
The container or the area that holds the value India is called a Cell in Excel.
The Cell Reference for cell that holds the value China is B2, which is Column B Row 2. You should also notice that both the Column B and Row 2 are highlighted when you select the cell.
Microsoft Excel is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite which contains other major applications like Word, PowerPoint, Access, etc.
The below table shows you the versions of Excel that has been released so far,
|Excel Version||Year Released|
Though the newer versions are getting released, the base concepts have remained the same over the period of time. So irrespective of what version you are using the concepts that you are going to learn from this site will help you.
Uses of Excel in Business
Excel is Microsoft’s wonder product that has been helping out millions of people around the globe in their day to day activities.
- People use Excel for various activities but it is majorly used in Financial Institutions for calculating data and generating reports out of them.
- The different divisions within an organization use Excel, for example the Human Resources team may use it to keep track of list of resources that they have picked for an interview with details like Name, Contact Number, Email ID, Years of Experience, Technology, etc.
- A Testing Team use it to record Test cases that they have tested against a product. A development team may use it record the list of features/changes that they need to work on.
- Excel is nowadays used in all walks of life, today it is mostly used at homes to keep track of expenses and create a budget.