6 Advanced Excel functions to help you thrive in the workplace


If you’ve just started learning how to use Microsoft Excel, you’ll probably have a lot of questions to ask about the functions of the program. Because let’s face it, despite being exceptionally useful, Excel can be a very complicated application. 

Now a days, many jobs require advanced Excel skills and having a knowledge of them makes you thrive in the workplace.

The SUM Function

The sum function is the most used function when it comes to computing data on Excel. This function works to sum a group of numbers in a specific set of cells. This means you don’t need to type a long cumbrous formula just to calculate the sum of all the data you need. Because of its popularity, newer versions of Microsoft Excel have a button specifically for this functions

This function is performed by typing the formula on the function bar and highlighting the cells you want summed before clicking “Enter”. You also need to be careful in highlighting cells, as Excel will sum everything you include. If this happens, you can easily click the “Undo” button to reset the values back to its original state.

The syntax formula for sum function is “=SUM” (number1, number2, etc.).

The TEXT Function

Text function is a useful tool that helps convert a date (or number) into a text string in a particular format. It falls in the category of string formulas that converts numerical values to a string. It is handy when users need to view numeric data in a readable format. Take note that the “TEXT” formula only works to convert numeric values to text. Therefore, its results cannot be calculated.

The syntax formula for text function is “=TEXT” (value, format_text).

The VLOOKUP Function

VLookup is powerful Excel function that is often overlooked. Users will find it useful when they need to find specific data on a large table. You can also use VLookup to search for names, phone number, or specific data on your sheet. Instead of manually looking for the names and wasting time scrolling through hundreds of data, the VLookup function makes this process faster and more efficient.

The VLookup formula is “=VLOOKUP” (lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, *range_lookup*).

The CONCATENATE Function

This function is a good time saver when you need to combine data from 2 or more cells. Unlike the merge tool which physically merges two or more cells into a single cell, the concatenate function only combines the contents of the combined cells. In the latest version of Excel ( 2016), the concatenate function has been replaced with concat function and will be incorporated in more future versions of Excel.

The AVERAGE Function

The average function is an extremely useful tool for getting the average value in a range of cells. Like the sum function, it is frequently used in computing and analyzing data on spreadsheet. Basically, the average function works to find the “arithmetic mean” for a group of cells. Aside from the average function, Excel also has the median and mode function.

VBA & Macros

Excel’s own language – VBA, allows us to give instructions to Excel to get things done. This is a simple, but extremely powerful way to extend Excel’s functionality. Advanced users of Excel are familiar with VBA & can write macros to automate their day to day work, thus saving countless hours of time & money.

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