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Superior Excel Skills

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 21st, 2010 8:51 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
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May 18, 2008
1888 posts
184 upvotes

Superior Excel Skills

What do you consider will fall under superior excel skills?
obviously nothing like adding, subtracting, etc.

I'm guessing Macro, Filter, creating an auto-solving solution, splitting the excel sheet in half (one side static, other side can be side-scrolled).. but i don't know any other things that could be done with excel under a Superior skill category.

Anyone with "superior" excel skills want to share what they can do with excel>? thanks.

Just so people don't feel TLDR, i'll just summarize here what rfders have considered to be superior excel skills:

Pivot Tables
LookUps
Utilizing Excel Formulas
Freeze Pane
Macro
Linking in different excel sheets
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17 replies
Member
Apr 19, 2008
388 posts
15 upvotes
Burlington
Lookups and pivot tables should probably be included
Deal Addict
Jun 19, 2009
1019 posts
195 upvotes
Toronto
What you call splitting the spreadsheet in half is called freezing cells in Excel right? I'm not sure what you mean by auto solving solution either. If by that you just mean formulas that refer to blank cells and once you fill in the blank cell the rest of the sheet populates itself, then I follow you.

I personally know most of what you listed with the exception of macros although I do use them, I just use what is found online and/or prepared by others. I've never done anything from scratch although I don't think I would have a problem recording mouse/keyboard movements or basic macros for formatting. I may be modest but I don't consider that superior/advanced yet.

Macro and VB programming can be very much more advanced though so I would personally only say all that I know (what you listed + the 2nd post) is only medium level. However, I doubt many ppl actually go that far in the regular working world and everybody claims to have advanced excel skills now so I think that about covers it.

I would like to see what others consider advanced/superior excel skills too.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
5378 posts
1656 upvotes
I'd say knowing macros is the highest level. It's practically like programming. There are lots of "advanced" functions like lookups and pivot table but those are easy to learn but the average person hasn't learned yet. Freeze pane is very easy to do as well. One should learn conditional formatting.

The harder part comes from having logic. Sometimes you have to know the most efficient way to organize data and compute data based on that. If you ever took computer programming and did well, chances are you'd be very good at mastering advanced excel skills.
Newbie
Jan 8, 2010
92 posts
6 upvotes
Ontario
I would say intermediate is (examples only, there are lots): Algebra in cell formulas, linking information across different sheets in a workbook, freeze panes, etc.

Advanced is intermediate plus (some examples only): Visual Basic, if/else statements in cell formulas, lists, pivot tables, placing partial elements of one cell into another, radio buttons and other graphic elements, etc.
Member
User avatar
Sep 9, 2009
324 posts
35 upvotes
Toronto
In business, "advanced" Excel skills means speed and accuracy. If you say you're good, and the boss throws you two 1000+ line models to consolidate in an hour, you better get it done in an hour.

On the technical side, the most complex things you work with are pivot tables, vlookup, solver, 2-way table fills, freeze panes, and the like. Multi-line graphs, football/waterfall fills, and any type of chart is common too. I have never encountered having to write a custom excel macro or use VB - you usually get someone specializing in IT to do that for you.
Deal Addict
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Jan 4, 2010
2021 posts
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Definitely agree on the Macros part.
Jr. Member
Jun 23, 2010
154 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
I'll take it one step further and say cross office implementation (i.e. populate via database).
[OP]
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May 18, 2008
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Awesome, thanks guys. I totally forgot about VB and how it could be integrated into Excel. I gotta leanr that quickly lol.

Cross implementation through database sounds hard and complicated. no doubt it seems very difficult to do with some programming involved.
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Jr. Member
Jun 23, 2010
154 posts
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Toronto
Questionz wrote: Awesome, thanks guys. I totally forgot about VB and how it could be integrated into Excel. I gotta leanr that quickly lol.

Cross implementation through database sounds hard and complicated. no doubt it seems very difficult to do with some programming involved.

Depends on your comfort level with database design. You can practice it using MS Access (since they both use VB as the background language as well as built in office tools and commands) then graduate later by using Oracle or whatever you like using for a database. As long as you build the database background with excel reporting in mind (one thing you should be doing anyways if you are building a database given the love in most businesses have for excel and power point), it's easy to convert/datamine.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2005
1966 posts
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Toronto
vlookup is one that really impresses people that haven't seen it before.
Deal Addict
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Jan 22, 2009
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"Superior Excel"......... hahaha

It's like trying to put a jet engine under your rollerblade

........oh Canada
Jr. Member
Jun 23, 2010
154 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
williamsauga wrote: "Superior Excel"......... hahaha

It's like trying to put a jet engine under your rollerblade

........oh Canada

Tell that to every business around the world. It may not be the best thing but it is the most used one doesn't matter if you like it or not. I'm willing to sacrifice some usability for cross company compatibility.
[OP]
Deal Addict
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May 18, 2008
1888 posts
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so apparently pivot tables is actually a high excel skill.. but i don't understand the difference between that and the filter function, since (i think) the filter function can also do the drop down type thing? i remember doing something that had a drop down function, but i don't remember using pivot tables for that.
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Deal Addict
Oct 25, 2008
2309 posts
355 upvotes
North York
Questionz wrote: so apparently pivot tables is actually a high excel skill.. but i don't understand the difference between that and the filter function, since (i think) the filter function can also do the drop down type thing? i remember doing something that had a drop down function, but i don't remember using pivot tables for that.


On some basic function you can do just filter. Filter is just like what the name suggests: it filters without manipulating the data. Let's say you want to filter the sales of store 1234 and ignoring all stores or filter for sales that only greater than >$10,000

PIVOT table allows you to completely reorganize the data and manipulate it (sum, count, max, min, etc). Best way to experience pivot is to actually try it. Trust me, I never heard of pivot few days before I become really familiar. It's easy peasy.


On the other hand... I am clueless on macro and it is something that is in high demand these days.
Deal Addict
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Apr 4, 2008
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Superiority is, after being fed up and not wanting to deal with the BS anymore, building an application out of VBA(access) because:

1) Company is not allowed to have their own IT due to contract signed with another company
2) and therefore does not own any license for any IDEs
3) and prohibits the installation of any free / open source IDE or even a compiler
4) it's the government...it's inefficient

And the end result is an application (with good UI) that's better and more customize-able than the vendor software shipped with the $1 million contract.

However, this is one rare / extreme case. For average users, knowing formulas / charts / simple macros is good enough.
Jr. Member
Jun 23, 2010
154 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
devil2k wrote: Superiority is, after being fed up and not wanting to deal with the BS anymore, building an application out of VBA(access)
...
And the end result is an application (with good UI) that's better and more customize-able than the vendor software shipped with the $1 million contract.

This is precisely what I did in my first job. Built a database system from the ground up and the company ended up using it. Those that were more comfortable with excel (usually the big wigs that only needed the data) I made a sheet where it would be auto-populated by the database which was located on servers. I locked the write/modification functions to only be available to specified users.

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