Excel is a spreadsheet program. Microsoft Excel is written and distributed by Microsoft. It is used mainly in computers that uses Microsoft Windows operating system or Apple Macintosh computers. It features an intuitive interface and capable calculation and graphing tools. Because of aggressive marketing, Microsoft has made Excel one of the most popular spreadsheet applications that are used these days. It is the dominant spreadsheet application available for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms. The latest releaseof Excel is Microsoft Office 2007 Excel (beta version).
Benefits and Features of Excel In Excel user can run queries to sort and filter data, as well as user can run complicated calculations to derive the information they want. One important feature that Excel contains is use of Microsoft PivotTable and Microsoft PivotChart views to work with data interactively. Both uses forms to add, update, delete and navigate user data. Excel is capable of report generations on data and view in multiple formats. One of the important features Excel contains is to connect to external data and view, query, and edit it without having to import.
Excel can imports data form external databases and also capable of export of data too. Excel can create web pages to display data as read-only or to access it in an updatable format and can create a Microsoft Word mail merge (Nelson 2006). Microsoft Excel organizes data in columns. Columns are also called as fields and store a particular kind of information, or data type. At the top of each column, the first cell is used to label the column. Excel is used in the cases when the data is flat. Suppose user has to create a report only once from a set of data, then in this case Excel will be preferred.
Second case is when the relationships is not going to change, this means that the structure of the data will remains same so Excel can be used in this case. Another case when Excel can be used is when the report format of the data is not going to change (Kevin 2006). Below is the summary of the cases when the data should be stored in Excel: • If there is a requirement of a flat or non-relational view of data • If the data is mostly numeric. • If user want to run primarily calculations and statistical comparisons on data.
• If the dataset is manageable in size (not more than 15,000 rows). (Nelson 2006) References: Nelson, E. 2006. ‘Using Access or Excel to manage your data’. Retrieved on 29 November 2006 from http://office. microsoft. com/en-us/help/HA010429181033. aspx Microsoft Excel. Retrieved on 29 November 2006 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Microsoft_Excel Kevin 2006. ‘Access Vs. Excel: When to Use Excel’. Retrieved on 29 November 2006 from http://www. workplacelife. com/2006/05/09/access-vs-excel-when-to-use-excel/