Microsoft Excel is a time-tested tool for performing complex tasks like data analysis and visualisation. But did you know that it can also be used for automation? Yes, you heard that right. You can use Excel to automate specific tasks with the help of some powerful tools like Macros and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) codes. Microsoft Excel Masterclass is an online course that you can apply to learn Advanced Excel Skills and take your career to the next level.
Excel is a widely used tool, used in many organisations every day. People with Excel skills are always in high demand and are more likely to be considered for a job. In this article, you will learn about London Excel training and Excel automation and its benefits and challenges. Continue reading to find out more.
Table of Content
- Examples of Excel automation tasks
- What are the methods of Excel automation?
- What are the Benefits of Excel automation?
- Challenges and considerations
Examples of Excel automation tasks
Excel automation can help streamline various tasks, including formatting data, copying and pasting, financial modelling, data analysis, creating charts, and generating tables. Automation can automate formatting tasks such as aligning columns, changing fonts, or applying conditional formatting to cells. It can also help with complex financial modelling and data analysis tasks, such as cash flow or scenario analysis.
Additionally, Excel automation can automatically create charts and graphs and generate tables that summarise data, such as sales figures or inventory levels. Excel automation can help save time and increase productivity for professionals in various industries.
E.g. Macros: Macros are a set of actions or a pattern that can record your keystrokes from keyboard and mouse clicks to automate specific repetitive tasks. Essentially, macros record the actions you perform on your computer to reuse the instructions again automatically. Apart from this, you can also automate specific tasks like:
- Copying, pasting and formatting data
- Generating reports
- Creating charts and tables
- Complex calculations like financial modelling, trend analysis and data analysis.
What are the methods of Excel automation?
Excel automation can be achieved through various methods, including recording macros, writing VBA code, and using third-party add-ins or tools.
Writing VBA code
VBA is a programming language that can create more complex and customised automation tasks in Excel. With VBA, users can write code to automate tasks, perform calculations, and interact with other applications. This method requires some programming knowledge and experience.
Using third-party add-ins or tools
There are various third-party add-ins or tools available that can automate tasks in Excel. These tools can range from simple plugins that automate repetitive tasks to complex software packages that offer advanced features and integration with other applications. Some popular examples include Power Query for data analysis and manipulation, Power Pivot for data modelling, and Power BI for data visualisation.
Macros are actions that can be recorded and played back to automate a specific task. To record a macro in Excel, users can go to the Developer tab, select Record Macro, perform the desired actions, and then stop recording. The recorded macro can then be played back with the click of a button or assigned to a keyboard shortcut.
What are the Benefits of Excel automation?
Excel automation has many significant advantages, like saving time and resources. Some of them are listed below:
- Excel automation can save a lot of time, energy and resources.
- Reduce work-related burnout as users only have to type the instructions once and don’t have to retype them repeatedly.
- To do automation in Excel, you don’t need programming knowledge, and all you need to do is to select automation functions like Macros and record your keyboard and mouse instructions.
- Dealing with a vast amount of data manually may lead to some errors. With Excel automation, you can produce more accurate reports with minimal errors.
- It can minimise operating expenses since you only need less time to finish your work.
Challenges and considerations
Although there are many benefits to Excel automation, some challenges and considerations still need to be worked on. They include:
- Although you don’t need to have high programming skills, you still need to learn some codes and instructions for Excel automation. One of the most significant challenges is the learning curve for scripting and programming in Excel. Becoming proficient in scripts like VBA codes can take quite a bit of time.
- The next challenge would be errors and troubleshooting, as one mistake in a formula can have catastrophic consequences. Identifying and troubleshooting errors can be a considerable challenge.
- Excel has undergone several changes since it first launched in the 1980s, and many different versions have been released throughout the years. If you work and store your data in an older version, it could lead to compatibility issues when you try transferring that data to a newer version.
Excel is a brilliant tool for automation and is very simple to use. By reading this article, you will be able to understand everything about Excel automation. Apart from this, you would have also learned about the benefits of Excel automation along with its challenges. We hope you enjoyed reading this article.