By: Jeffrey Derrick
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet creating software offered as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Excel is a very user-friendly system for creating and editing spreadsheets. With a whole host of additional features, templates, and functionalities, it is capable of detailed data analysis, budget planning, and numerical reviews. There are many resources for making the most of Microsoft Excel and many tutorials and templates to help improve the presentation process.
Excel was first developed in 1985, and since its release has become one of the most widely used tools in the Office Suite, with over 30 million users today. Many companies and organizations use Excel to understand and analyze numerical data, and as a result, Excel has many useful integrations with other software in the Office suite, such as the ability to export to Powerpoint for presentation.
Excel is available through Microsoft’s Office plan for $99.99 yearly for families, $69.99 annually for individuals, or a customizable business plan for businesses that can range from $5 monthly to $20 monthly. Additionally, student licenses are available at a discounted price and are offered free to students at ASU.
Using Excel is simple, as Microsoft includes many tutorials for using Excel. One of the biggest appeals of the Excel program is the ability to write functions, a simplified coding experience revolving around analysis with the cells. Some advanced uses of this tool allow users to solve whole equations and multi-step processes with the ability to just change a few inputs. For example, in business management, users can use Excel’s random number generator to run a Monte Carlo simulation, a broad simulation for seeing how likely or unlikely a particular outcome is to happen based on these random numbers. Excel also can generate graphs, solve math equations, and create pivot tables to see data easily.
Microsoft has been a premier technology corporation since the 1980s, having been founded in 1975. The company creates a host of products, such as Windows Operating Software, the Microsoft Office Suite, Edge and Internet Explorer, as well as other hardware products such as laptops, video game consoles, and mobile phones. Excel is firmly integrated into many of these products, and is considered an essential Microsoft product in many of its systems and devices.
Uses in education
Arizona State University integrates Excel into many of the processes and it is additionally offered to the student body through a student license.
As Excel is very widely used and has gone through many revisions for simplicity, Excel is valuable to educators for teaching simple coding, in the form of Excel functions, and mathematical analysis. It is commonly used in STEM education, and the variety of resources mentioned can make learning Excel easier, and demonstrate the value of such a program in an academic setting. Additionally, with the systems Excel has in place for displaying data, educators can make great use of it for teaching more numerical subjects.
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