A spreadsheet or worksheet is a file made of rows and columns that help sort data, arrange data easily, and calculate numerical data. What makes a spreadsheet software program unique is its ability to calculate values using mathematical formulas and the data in cells. A good example of how a spreadsheet may be utilized is creating an overview of your bank’s balance.
The three most common general uses for spreadsheet software are to create budgets, produce graphs and charts, and for storing and sorting data. Within business spreadsheet software is used to forecast future performance, calculate tax, completing basic payroll, producing charts and calculating revenues.
The list of uses for spreadsheet software is endless. However here is a short list of uses:
Modelling and Planning
Household Finance Planning
Business Accounts and Budgeting
Predictions / Simulations
Calculations e.g. Adding, Subtracting, etc.
Break even analysis
Creating Graphs e.g. bar chart, pie chart.
Collect data from different sources e.g. phone number, prices.
Explore and interpret data in order to draw conclusions for business
Spreadsheets are preferable to manual calculation and recording of data for a variety of reasons, one
very obvious reason is the unlimited space allowed to the user by the ‘spreadsheet’, hence the name!
Other Advantages Include:
Calculations are correct
Calculations are completed automatically
Information is organised and easy to access
Information is easy to edit if a mistake has been made by retyping or using ‘undo’
Data can be easily sorted and filtered
Data can be quickly analysed
Reports can be made more visual by using charts and graphs
The following are all applications/programs which can be used to create spreadsheets:
Microsoft – Excel
For this module we will be using Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. Excel is a programme which allows the storage of financial information and lists, such as Household Finance Planning, Business Accounts and Budgeting, Invoices and Wages. This information is always calculated accurately and well
There are lots of spreadsheet packages. What you will want to get depends on what features you need, how much you are willing to spend and what operating system you are using.
Google Sheets is free and has most of the basic spreadsheet features, and is accessible online (and you can use your Google Sheets offline too).
Microsoft Excel comes as part of the Microsoft Office suite and is one of the most commonly used spreadsheet packages.
OpenOffice is free, can run on Linux-based systems, and consumes less memory than Microsoft Office.
Lotus 1–2–3 was one of the first and most widely used spreadsheet packages back in the 80’s-90’s but it has been overtaken by Microsoft Excel in terms of popularity.