Office 365: How to benefit from new Excel features

Friday 20 December 2013

If your business has signed up to Office 365 to access cloud-based productivity solutions, online access to Excel is one of the potential benefits. A number of Office 365 tariffs include access to the spreadsheet application, which can be used for a variety of purposes - including formulating accounts, data management and the creation of charts and graphs.

With Excel 2013, business users have access to a host of new and improved features, which can potentially simplify tasks, automate processes and offer insights. This can help employees work more productively, ensuring they can add greater value to the business bottom line.

Improved feature with Excel 2013?

The latest version of Excel has a brand new, cleaner look than previously. This is designed to help users maximise the value of their data, and achieve professional-looking results in a short timeframe.

Users are able to get started quickly, courtesy of the templates that are available in Excel. These exist for budgets, calendars, forms, reports and more. The templates do the majority of set-up and design work automatically, allowing users to focus on data management and interpretation.

Excel 2013 also enables instant data analysis, with users able to convert data into a chart or table in two steps or less. The Quick Analysis tool allows you to preview data with conditional formatting, sparklines or charts.

It is also possible to fill out an entire column of data in a flash. The Flash Fill function looks for patterns and tries to works out what the user is trying to do, then it enters information into the intended destination.

Presenting your data more effectively

With Excel 2013, it is easy to create the right chart for your data. Chart Recommendations suggest the most suitable way to present your information, with users able to choose from a number of preview options.

Users can filter table data by using slicers - a tool which was originally introduced in Excel 2010 as an interactive way to filter PivotTable data. Slicers are now easier to use, and can filter data in Excel tables, query tables, and other data tables.

Another new feature of Excel 2013 is that each workbook has in its own window. This makes it easier to work on two workbooks at once, which is ideal for busy professionals who are multi-tasking.

Collaborating better using Excel

Excel 2013 offers new functions across a range of categories - including maths and trigonometry, statistical, engineering, date and time, lookup and reference, logical, and text.

Saving and sharing files online has never been easier, with users able to store workbooks in their online location - for instance on Office 365. This makes it easier for professionals to collaborate with other people, since they can easily share files and documents online.

It is even possible for more than one employee to access and edit a workbook simultaneously, allowing colleagues to work together more effectively.

Click here to find out more about Excel 2013, which can be accessed as part of an Office 365 subscription.

Posted by Dan Smith