Excel was introduced in 1985. Since then, it has become a standard business tool. In this thread, discuss the different features of Excel that make it a valuable business tool. In addition, discuss why Excel skills are so important in today’s job market.

One of the benefits of Excel is the ability to use formulas and functions. Discuss the differences between formulas and functions. Pick a function in Excel and discuss how that function is used to calculate results in your worksheets. Using the following scenarios, discuss how you would apply the Excel functions or create a formula to solve the scenario.

Please feel free to add other, unique mathematical challenge questions to the discussion, and let us work together to figure out how you might calculate it.

Excel provides many different ways in which to analyze data. Discuss the different methods by which you can analyze data in your spreadsheet. Assume the role of a Regional Manager for a retail organization looking at ways to analyze the large amounts of sales data you have. What are some of the ways Excel can be used to analyze this data? What are some examples of reports you might want to review? Using the concepts from this week, how will you determine where to start and what tools can you use within Excel to help you organize everything and make decisions?

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Excel 2010 provides the capability to exchange data with other applications. Discuss the different types of ways to exchange data between Excel and other Microsoft applications. Are there limitations to the exchange process? How can you exchange data with other applications that are not part of the Microsoft Office Suite? Discuss how you would exchange data with external data sources such as websites.

Discuss and compare the data consolidation and What-If analysis Excel tools. Under what circumstances would you use each of these tools? Do they both serve the same purpose, or is each one used under different scenarios? Give examples of how each can be used.

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This week will be an opportunity to share ideas and approaches to the Excel course project. What are some spreadsheet features you will use to make your spreadsheet professional, readable, reliable, and repeatable? Which spreadsheet functions and data analysis types do you think will be the most challenging to implement in this project? What questions do you have about those functions and types of data analysis?

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Discuss the differences between storing data in Access and Excel. Why would you use a spreadsheet over a database? At what point does it become more efficient to store your data in a database rather than a spreadsheet? If you are deciding whether to use a spreadsheet or database, what questions should you consider?