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Top 10 reasons to learn Excel formulas

by Dave Bruns | November 23, 2015

If you've ever wondered whether learning Excel formulas is worth your time, this list is for you!

Formulas are the heart of spreadsheets, so your skill with them can help you in many ways. Read below for 10 reasons you should take time to increase your skill with formulas.

1. Formulas are important in many jobs. In a recent survey we conducted about formulas, over 90% of respondents said that Excel formulas were "important", "very important", or "vital" to their job.

2. Formulas are a powerful way to capture and save a working solution (examples). They let you repeat the solution again whenever you like, always with perfect accuracy. They are far better than your faulty memory.

3. Formulas help you translate your vision into reality. Ever felt like you can explain what you want to do in plain English, but you have no idea how to do it in Excel? Formulas let you build the analysis that's in your head.

4. Your understanding of formulas helps you you design better spreadsheets. You can organize data in a way that takes advantage of formulas, which drastically reduces errors and troubleshooting. (To be fair, Pivot Tables also help you do the same thing.)

5. Hardly anyone is really good with Excel formulas, so being good with formulas is a chance to differentiate yourself by providing more value and productivity. And all businesses love productivity.

6. Being good with formulas allows you to build elegant solutions that avoid complexity. Nothing in Excel is more dangerous that unnecessary complexity — it makes it impossible to understand if a spreadsheet is really working correctly.

7. Because the business world relies on spreadsheets to make decisions, being good with formulas keeps you close to the action.

8. Formulas help you quickly visualize data. When you combine formulas with conditional formatting, you can instantly "see" important trends, insights, and relationships.

9. Skill with formulas allows you to deploy a full set of razor-sharp tools when solving problems. Without formula skills, you are forced to use a dull saw on every job, no matter how large or tedious.

10. Formulas let you get home on time. When you understand how to use formulas, you can do your work faster and spend more time with friends and family. Priceless.

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