Believe it or not, Microsoft Excel can be as enjoyable to use as a trip to Disneyland. It is a wonderful spreadsheet tool that people can use to make their jobs – and by extension, their lives – easier, because Excel saves time and money. It also eliminates costly errors. Excel is way more than just a big calculator. It can make the complex simple, the inefficient efficient, the manual automatic and the tedious fun. Here are some of the many ways Excel can work for you. Repetitive jobs that took hours or days now take seconds. Say, for example, someone had to format reports for five bosses and set up graphs every day. Each boss wanted the report to show something different. Having to manually format five different reports took two hours a day – and sometimes longer, because he made mistakes. With Excel, the various reports take seconds with no mistakes. Raw data can be manipulated and assembled into just about any useful way. A human resources department had a problem keeping its employees’ insurance reports in sync with the insurance company’s reports, because each used a different data format and data structure. This caused the HR staff to have to manually reconcile the reports of more than 1,000 employees. This took time, and that didn’t take into account the occasional error. With Excel, all the HR staff has to do is quickly glance at the spreadsheet and the errors will be easily seen. Data can be converted from different sources and formats into Excel. Say, for example, a company has six different databases. Database A is the most current, but it’s missing one critical detail, meaning somebody has to go into Database B to find that detail. If it’s not there, that person has to go through Database C, and so on, until that detail is found. Excel merges all the data into one centralized database, so anyone can easily find that detail. Business aspects are easier to keep track of. A payroll manager had to input each of 50 employees’ timecards and now didn’t have to because Excel combined all the information into one sheet. Now, whatever the manager needs, be it number of overtime hours, or hours per project, is easily called up into that one sheet. Human error disappears. Once, a sales clerk had to add up the total sales by department. But, he added the individual totals and the subtotals instead of just the subtotals, so he thought the company’s sales had doubled. He looked really bad when he had to tell his boss the truth. In summary, Excel allows people to “think outside the box” and develop creative ways to solve problems that make their lives easier, because Excel saves time and money.