It is everyone’s wish to be able to work more productively, right?
As our workload seems to pile up every day, it will be great if we find ways to complete them faster. One of the things we can do is to try to do automation on our tasks if it is possible. It is important, however, that we do it without neglecting the quality of the outcomes we produce.
If we often use excel in doing our work, there are many tools we can use there to automate our work. After all, excel’s capability to process data seamlessly is one of the things that makes it popular. When we can maximize its vast potential, excel can help us to get good quality work outcomes much faster.
Important Excel Tools You Should Understand for an Excel Automation Process
The tools excel provides to help us automate our tasks are various. In the following, we will see the eight most essential ones and what we can do with each of them.
Related Excel Formulas
Formula is one of the most popular tools in excel, if not the most popular. There are various formulas we can use and each of them has a unique function to help us process our data.
When we place them right and use them to get the correct outcomes, they can make your data processing a breeze. Just make sure you use relevant formulas and understand how to use them to automate your unique tasks.
Workbook & Worksheet Protection
This is more about restricting the inputs in our worksheet to make the excel automation process smoother. When we want to create an excel template to do data processing automation, we must pay attention to the inputs given. Some of our worksheet areas can be off-limits to ensure the process we run doesn’t give us errors.
Luckily, excel helps us on that with its workbook and worksheet protection feature. By using it, we can make users unable to change some of our cells’ contents. We can use the cells to help to process data in our excel automation process instead.
Sort & Filter
One of the most useful data processing abilities in excel is data sorting and filtering. We can display our data neatly and/or only the data we want to show with it.
This display is also an important element when we want to process and show the outcomes of our excel automation. By understanding the sort & filter tool in excel, we can get a better result from the data processing we do.
This is one more input restriction tool besides the workbook & worksheet protection mentioned earlier.
When we want to automate our data processing, we may need to limit users’ inputs in our cells. This is so they don’t input something that our excel automation template cannot process. By using the data validation tool in excel, we can do that easier.
One of the most popular types of data validation is the dropdown list. We can determine the choices users can pick in it so the input isn’t something that we cannot process.
Charts & Graphs
When we want to visualize our data in excel, then we should use the charts & graphs tool in excel. If we update the inputs in our worksheet, then the charts & graphics can update themselves too!
There are many types of charts & graphs we can use in excel. Depending on the kind of data we have, one type of them might be more appropriate compared to the others. For example, if we have proportion data, then we probably should use a pie chart to visualize the data.
As we want the best results from our data processing automation process, charts & graphs can be something we need. They can make the outcomes of our automation process more interesting and much easier to read.
Talking about visualizing outcomes from our excel automation process, one tool that is also important is conditional formatting. This is a tool that can help us to color or give marks to our cells based on their values.
The color/marks determination is usually based on the comparison result with other values. There are many options we can use in conditional formatting so we can visualize our cell contents optimally.
We should consider using conditional formatting in displaying our results so they can be more digestible by other people! Trying to get our data processing outcomes to be easily understood will certainly be nice.
If we want to summarize and create reports from our data inputs/processing outputs, then a pivot table can help. We can rearrange the data table we have and process the rearrangement so we can get more insights from them. It can also be set to update itself when there are updates or new inputs to our data.
The pivot table also has the pivot chart tool to visualize the data arrangement that we have done using the table. Using both tools at hand, we can analyze our automation inputs/outputs easier.
Macro & VBA
Last but not least is the tool that can become the most important if you seriously want to automate your excel. Macro & VBA are important to understand so you can run a complex process fast in your worksheet. This is certainly something you want to do with excel automation so you can work much more productively, right?
Macro can record your action in excel and run it when you need it. Meanwhile, you can also code the process you want to automate using VBA. They can store the process you want so you can do it repeatedly whenever wherever you need the process.
Moreover, you can run macros and VBA codes by clicking the buttons where you embed them before. This can make our excel automation process much more organized.
So, what do you think about those excel tools? Have you mastered all of them? Try to do that so you can build an excel automation template which should make you work more productively!
Comment below if you think there are other excel tools that are essential for a better work automation process!