Excel Report – 10 Golden Formulas For Reporting and Analyzing Business Data

A lot is being said about the Excel inefficiency to store and query data, I have noticed that these comments almost always come from database developers, BI industry guys, or from people who push Excel to the boundaries of dealing with large amount of data.

Excel can help you with your reports…

It is true that Excel is great as a reporting front-end for its extensive statistical/scientific function library but it is not a great tool for bulk data manipulation or finding patterns in your data.

But we are talking here about flat files that resides in your workbook, tables that usually come from a complex query made by a robust database software.

You can use Excel to find patterns in data and then present the information as usable and perceptive reports.

“Both Excel and Access are good tools for finding patterns in data. But they work with different types of data and help users find different types of patterns using different analytical and presentation methods.” – Charley Kyd – ExcelUser.com

Here are some kind of operations you can do using Excel pure formulas:

  • Filling tables with data of other tables
  • Gathering/merging information of different tables
  • Comparing tables
  • Finding patterns
  • Finding exceptions
  • Comparing trends
  • Monitoring progress
  • Consolidating measures
  • Playing with data
  • Reconciliation of data
  • Matching data

The purpose of these Excel functions and formulas is to return values from Excel databases (flat files) to cells in Excel reports and analyzes.

Excel disposes of more than 300 functions. You need only 10 of them to create reports.

  1. VLOOKUP and VLOOKUP + Helper Column
  2. INDEX and MATCH
  3. Array Formulas
  5. SUMIF

Of course you need other formulas, but these ones are the building blocks, for example you may need to compute the standard deviation of the returned-value or sum various returned-values.


Grasp these formulas and you will get a boost in your reporting skills, you soon will get a boost in your Data presentation abilities.

“…you can become a data god who cans lookup, manipulate and analyze any spreadsheet by learning few Excel Formulas. Pointy Haired Dilbert” – Chandoo.org

I find the use of lookup formulas inside another formulas the most valuable aspect of its practical use.

“Make Excel your second nature”, visit my site InnateSpreadsheet.com [http://www.innatespreadsheet.com/]
Read also: VLOOKUP and Excel reports [http://www.innatespreadsheet.com/category/dynamic-excel-reports-and-dashboards/]

How Can PowerPivot for Excel Improve Your Business Intelligence Experience?

If your business is like many others, it’s reliant on multiple sources of data to make strategic plans and to measure ROI. This could mean spreadsheets, online data feeds, complex reports, or any number of other sources. Typically, this level of diversity creates a mess for users who are trying to manage this data and the associated relationships. Depending on the amount of data, compiling reports that can yield meaningful analysis can take days, or even weeks, if the analyst is working with a number of disparate data sources.

Imagine the efficiency and increased level of productivity that could come along with a program to pull and compile this data for you. That’s what Microsoft’s PowerPivot add-in for Microsoft Excel 2010 does.

PowerPivot for Excel makes business intelligence simple by providing users with a desktop application that integrates with Excel to compile literally up to millions of rows of data from all of the aforementioned data sources, and more. In addition, PowerPivot for Excel can also automatically detect the relationship(s) between data sources, eliminating the need for manual relationship definitions.

As a desktop application with a simple installation process, PowerPivot for Excel not only requires little overhead to maintain, but also little overhead to implement. While many enterprise business intelligence solutions are timely, lengthy endeavors, PowerPivot for Excel shines by being quick to install and quick to use.

Unlike many other business intelligence solutions, PowerPivot for Excel allows its users to utilize familiar features, greatly reducing the learning curve. If you’re already familiar with Microsoft Excel and BI data analysis, you’re likely familiar with Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts, and Slicers. All of these features are included in PowerPivot for Excel, making the transition as seamless as the installation.

This common user interface and user experience is an underrated benefit of Microsoft technologies. One of the most critical aspects of business intelligence software – or any software application – is a friendly user interface. All Microsoft technologies have a similar look and feel across applications, meaning if your business adopts a new one, users will find an easy transition from program to program. This elimination of the learning curve is an unheralded perk of leveraging Microsoft systems.

There are a number of business intelligence tools on the market, but if you’re trying to make your decision, remember this: Few business intelligence solutions offer the combination of simple setup and seamless transition for users paired with complex data compilation from disparate data sources housed in a desktop application like Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel.

For more information about business intelligence solutions, visit Magenic Technologies who have been providing innovative custom software development to meet unique business challenges for some of the most recognized companies and organizations in the nation.