Why does a business analyst need to master excel?

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PhotoMIX-Company (CC0), Pixabay

In the modern era of advancement, technology, and the internet, the techniques and approaches of running a business have changed tremendously. Long gone are the days when data and information of each domain and system used to be handled manually. Today, most of the paperwork has been shifted to a spreadsheet, and every business analyst needs to master Excel to keep their game up.

Business analytics and excel go hand in hand; the professionals of this field understand the importance of excel quite deeply. However, if you are an amateur to the field and wonder why a business analyst needs to master Excel, then stick with us to find out why:

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Let us give you an insight of before jumping to reason why mastering excels is a must to a business analyst:

Who is the business analyst, and what do they do?

A business analyst is a person who gives technical solutions to business problems. A business analyst is a mediator, moderator, connector, and ambassador of an organization. A person who fulfills the business needs of an organization altogether with IT resources.

While running a business, there are lots of things going on there like products, sales, services, marketing, branding, and software. This data is analyzed by the business analyst in order to improve the business and to maximize the efficiency of all departments.

The analyst needs to coordinate with different departments. He/she needs to interact with the system architects and developers to ensure the work is going smooth. The work includes analyzing, collecting information, communication, documentation, user testing, domain expertise, developer, quality assurance and subject matter expert, and many more. Excel IF is thus a must possess skill by the business analyst.

Business analysts work in different industries, finance, banking, insurance, telecoms, utilities, software services, government, and so on. In short, a business analyst is the heart and soul of the organization he has to have all the knowledge of the organization as it is a basic part of their work.

Excel:

The basic idea behind the spreadsheet is to have calculations done much more easily, and you only need to apply formulas. After that, you can copy the formula and have the digits on the spreadsheet. The role of the excel worksheet in an organization to keep a record of the finances, profit, and loss reports of analysts, investors, accountants track, balance sheet, and many more. All the data which are important for the organization can be stored in an excel spreadsheet and this data is used by the business analyst.

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The main tasks of the business analysts include data analyzing to data reporting, sorting, and filtering of the data. The analysts need to do all these tasks, and thus, needs expertise in excel. The analyst finds the fruitful results for complex problems squeezing the data. This is where Excel comes in as a game-changing aid as it lends a business analyst with the guarantee of preciseness, arrangement, and smoothness of the work process.

If you are looking to hire business analyst for your firm but are unsure about the skills to seek for in the probable candidates. Here, we shall discuss a few of the must-have excel skills to seek for in the business analyst for your business firm:-

These could be discussed as such:-

Ø VLOOKUP: –It is the most versatile services that excel have to offer to every business analyst. One can accomplish tasks such as replacement of complex IF’s and assign categories to them. VLOOKUP is thus one of the major excel aid that you must look for in your business analyst of you need him./she to be quick and smooth in work.

Ø Pivot Tables: –‘Pivot tables’ is the excel skill that allows you to go deeper into data for much more complex analyzation, and there is no denying the fact that data analysis is the primary duty of every business analyst.

Ø SUMIFS: –SUMIF’s might not be as efficient as the Pivot tables but are certainly a much more versatile replacement of the same. It can help you handle data analyzation of versatile items and on a larger scale.

Ø SUMPRODUCT: –You can multiply and return the sum of different corresponding ranges. It is often observed as confusing by many people because it can hold too many mathematical operators. The use of the word ‘Array’ in an argument in SUMPRODUCT further complicates things for the users.

Yet it is no doubt the most efficient way to calculate the sum of products.

Ø IFERROR: –This is the excel function used when we need to hide the errors of excel or to replace them with a made-up customized message. It generally has two arguments and is used widely by business analyst due to the swiftness that it offers to their tasks.

Ø INDIRECT: –It is the most versatile yet the least used function in Excel as per surveys that collected date from a business analyst all around the world. It is the perfect solution when you have to put a variable in the place of a fixed cell range in a formula.

Ø Merge Data: –It is an excel function used to combine multiple data columns. It allows you to do the merging quickly and smoothly. Although it has to be considered that if you combine the columns A and B and create column C, any data change in A or B shall straightway reflect in C too.

Ø IF Function: –Excel IF is a function that allows you to conduct a logical test of the values and pass the values as true or false. Another amazing feature is that more than one feature can also be tested by the means of the IF function.

The above-given functions of excel are a must possess traits for a business analyst. A candidate adept in skills such as Excel IF and other such applications of excel would certainly make for a qualified business analyst personnel.

 Author Bio:

Sohail Anwar is an online trainer conducting professional training classes on Microsoft Office tools. As a former project manager with a blue-chip company, he has used MS Office tools, especially MS Excel, extensively. He regularly writes blogs on the use of Excel and its several functions detailing solutions to the common challenges executives have with the use of this tool. Apart from conducting online training, he also works as a Business Analyst with start-ups and SMBs.