What to look for in Microsoft Excel Online Training

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I’ve been a long time user of all the Microsoft Office products and can be blamed of being guilty of not using this tool to its maximum potential.   While  I’m fairly proficient in Excel I know I have a lot to learn.   I can follow manuals and look up help for the most obscure formulae and in a pinch I can build a meaningful pivot table with charts; I am frustrated that I’m not an expert.  

I’m of the school that when armed with the appropriate tools (smarts, computer, software, time and the correct online Microsoft training) that one can master just about any software application ever developed.  In my quest to become an excel master I decided to seek out Microsoft excel online training.   As mentioned before I can work out just about any formula through Excel’s extensive online help feature, where I need help with Microsoft Excel Online training is with charts, OLAP functions, integration with Word and other office products.   

What I’m finding though is that most Microsoft Excel Online training courses offer only the basics.  I need to get past how to use the ribbon, setting up the environment, using tabbed sheets, saving files to disk (got to be kidding!!)

Topics to look for which can provide a good outline for anyone seeking out a quality Microsoft Excel Online training course  include:  how to use the office fluent user interface, quick formatting, the formula authoring experience, how to create professional looking charts, checking out conditional formatting, data manipulation – sorting and filtering, how to create a pivot table or pivot chart view.  Take pivot tables for instance.  Pivot tables are a huge feature in Excel and are basically an unknown quantity.   A pivot table is compiled from a large list of data; take for instance sales results for your entire company.   These numbers alone don’t really mean anything and you’re finding you need a mechanism to mine this information to make it meaningful.   Some questions you need answers to include:

·         Sales by region

·         Product sales over time

·         Who is the highest producing salesperson?

 

You don’t have to look any further than your office desktop.  Pivot tables were introduced in earlier versions of Excel and this feature has only matured over time.    A pivot table report is an interactive table which automatically extracts, organizes and provides summaries of your data.   Once your data is massaged and summarized you can take advantage of the pivot chart report to organize and display the output.  A comprehensive Microsoft Excel Online training course will include options for reporting on external data.

 

Advanced topics central to a good Microsoft Excel Online training course include options on using Excel Services.  Excel services dynamically renders Excel spreadsheet data as HTML so others can access data included in the spreadsheet over the web, in a web browser.  Excel services allows users to navigate, sort, and filter and input data.  ALL within their browser.   

Additional topics that are really cool include creating business dashboards from spreadsheets that can be shared on a Sharepoint server, spreadsheets can be stored in XPS or PDF for common file formats for sharing and the new XML format allows a more efficient use of interoperable information.  Other advanced topics in Microsoft Excel online training include advanced integration with MOSS 2007,  security to protect data,  how to connect to external data sources with the new data connection library and how to use the Excel calculation engine in other applications. 

Options for online Microsoft training are changing every day and if you find a Microsoft excel online training application which meets or exceeds your expectations then I’d appreciate it if you’d provide feedback on this article.

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