All businesses out there need to look for ways to run operations more smoothly in order to boost productivity and visibility. To reach these goals, it's important for all enterprises to invest in certain solutions that ensure the possibility of growth. Of the many resources out there, one in particular stands out both for its efficiency and its demonstrable success in boosting business. That solution is Microsoft Excel. While some people out there may think of Excel only as a program for basic number-crunching and rudimentary charts, it's really a whole lot more than that. Indeed, there's a reason why colleges like the University of California-San Diego offer classes on the transformative impact of Excel on business. Simply put, it's an essential business tool. Here are some of the ways Excel can help your business pave the road to better operations:

  • Data analysis tools that offer unparalleled accessibility: Say the two words "data analysis" to most people at a business and you'll be met with people who are clearly intimidated. For most employees, the prospect of scrutinizing large sets of information isn't seen as something that's feasible. After all, isn't that the work of highly specialized IT people? But the easy navigability and user-friendly structure of Microsoft Excel makes data analysis something that's attainable for all, as ACP reported. With the easy-to-use analytical tools that Excel offers - including pivot charts and accessible graphs - actionable information can be extracted from any data set in a matter of seconds. This ease of gleaning meaningful data makes Excel applicable to any and all industries. From grocers tracking inventories to clerks analyzing city records, Excel's ability to turn any size data set into actionable data is a major selling point.
  • Formulas: Remember those bygone days of having to manually add up a bunch of numbers in a records book? Well, Microsoft Excel ensures that such legacy methods of making data calculations will remain in the past where they belong. Indeed, Excel comes equipped with the ability to run a multitude of different formulas, all of which promise to automate calculations that would otherwise be a huge burden if done manually. Sure, the prospect of memorizing a host of different formulas can seem intimidating at the beginning, but fortunately for Excel users, there are a plethora of guides that show how to get the most out of the formula system. Here's a very basic one.
  • An overall better sense of business cohesion: Companies need to run as unified wholes in order to be optimally productive. All too often, however, enterprise functionality can be stymied due to organizational issues - like, say, the failure to keep track of all departments within a company equally, which could lead to one sector falling behind the others. Microsoft Excel all but guarantees that organizations won't fall into this type of trap. Because of its ease of use and broad applicability to different company functionalities, Excel is like the ultimate business organizer. Take finance, for instance. When an enterprise uses Excel to keep track of its books, it ensures that all financial material will be contained on the same platform, one that is reliable, easy to navigate and, most importantly, accessible to all. For organizations looking to foster transparency and encourage cohesion, there's no better means of doing so than via Excel.

With all the benefits of Excel on the table, it's important that companies make an effort to properly introduce it into the business infrastructure. This means getting every employee acclimated to navigating the program - not just the folks in IT.