Keeping Current In a Data-Driven World

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in UEA Blog

Over the past few weeks, the UEA Human Resources Department held Microsoft Excel 2010 Software training course for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users. In these courses, a training expert led us through everything from the basics to advanced levels of the world's most popular spreadsheet software. Whether you’re a novice or an expert wanting to refresh your skill set with Microsoft Excel, these courses will enhance your ability to master Excel one way or the other.

The first session of the course proceeded step-by-step through the process of entering data in cells, doing basic math, formatting worksheets, setting up pages for printing and applying basic mathematical formulas. The second session moved on to more advanced formatting teaching us how to use Excel provided templates and adding graphics and charts. The third session covered the powerful IF, VLOOKUP family of functions; pivot tables; financial data analysis tools; and how to automate many of these tasks with macros; and briefly introduced Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The instructor interacted with participants frequently to make the training more effective during the class.

For myself, I have learned Excel functions and commands that I was not aware of or familiar with including:

  • Tips to run Excel more efficiently, such as “Paste Link” in the Paste Special operation, which can easily combine and gather data into one sheet from different sheets in one workbook or different sheets on multiple workbooks.
  • Excel version 2007 Vs. Excel version 2010. There have been significant changes on the interface for graphs and labels between the two versions. Sometimes I do have difficulty locating the associated commands in Excel 2010. The instructor provided a lot of help in regards to this during the class.
  • Pivot table applications: Some companies use Excel pivot table to track and summarize the project progress for a large project. Now we know how to take advantage of this Excel function as well.
  • Macros operations and VBA programming: Briefly introduced by the instructor, I would like to explore this more in-depth in the future.

Having completed the training course for Microsoft Excel 2010, we are now more comfortable with many of the advanced features and functions that this powerful spreadsheet software has to offer. The ability to handle advanced tasks in Excel should enable us to get more usage out of the worksheets and be able to shorten our task times as well as improve our efficiency with day-to-day operations.

As we all recognized, Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool and widely used in our daily operations for data processing. For example, in UEA hydraulic swivel production line final testing, we collect and store the test data into Excel sheets and present the test results during testing. Figure 1 shows the UEA hydraulic swivel rotation torque and pressure decay measurements in Excel.

Both ImagesFigure.1 – Hydraulic swivel test results shown in Excel

In today’s fast-paced technical business environment, dealing with data is enormous. Much of our success depends upon how well we can manage the data – statistics, planning, reporting, communicating, and decision making – that we encounter on a daily basis. An incredibly powerful tool for doing this is Microsoft Excel. This training has helped broaden our horizons and will help us become Excel power-users.

Bo Li
Design Engineer