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7 Ways Excel Can Help Automate Your Business

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used software products by businesses.  There are many reasons why you should consider using Microsoft Excel in your business.  Most people think of Excel as just an automated calculator.   With the right knowledge on how to use Excel efficiently, you'll be able to automate many of your business processes and make better decisions about marketing campaigns to hiring new employees and everything in between.

Excel is more than just a calculator, it can help your business in many different ways

Excel can be used for customer relationship management, budgeting and forecasting, data analysis and visualization, financials, marketing analytics and much more.  Let’s look at how Excel can help your business in each of these areas:

Customer Relationship Management Communication

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most important tools for any business.  It helps you keep track of your customers and their needs, as well as what they're asking for.  You can use it to manage your sales pipeline and stay on top of all interactions with potential clients.  Excel is a great tool for CRM because it makes it easier to keep track of everything that's going on with each individual customer in one place so that you don't miss anything important.

You can use Excel to store contact information and company records, as well as notes about each client.  You can also use it to create customized fields that are specific to your business needs.

Business Reporting with Excel

Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for business reporting.  In fact, it’s so versatile that with the right training and experience you can use Excel to create almost any kind of report or dashboard.

Excel provides users with a number of different options when it comes to creating charts and graphs.  The most effective way to create a chart or graph is by using an array formula in your spreadsheet (see our blog post on how to do this).  However, if you don’t know how to use arrays then there are simpler alternatives available:

  • Chart.  This feature allows you to easily create line, bar and pie charts. You simply drag and drop data points onto the chart area then select one of several styles offered at the top right corner of your screen.
  • Pivot Table.  This allows users who want more control over their data tables by allowing them to rearrange fields from rows into columns or vice versa; add new fields; apply calculations against existing fields within their table as well as limit results based on filters applied via checkboxes in each column header cell (known as “drill downs”).

Accounting and Finance

As a business owner, there are many things you need to keep track of.  Accounting and finance are two areas that require frequent attention.  With the help of Excel, you can do all these tasks in one place with ease.  For example:

  • Financial analysis.  Excel is great for analyzing financial data and performing complex calculations. You can use this program to make budgets, forecast sales growth, simulate cash flow projections and more.
  • Financial modeling.  You can also use Excel for financial modeling purposes such as calculating future values of investments or determining break-even points when determining which products make money for your company (and which ones don't).  It's also helpful when making cash flow projections into the future so that you have an idea about whether or not your company will be able to meet its expenses at various points in time.
  • Cash flow management.  In addition to helping with budgeting, forecasting and modeling needs (as detailed above), Excel has tools that allow users like yourself to manage their day-to-day cash flow concerns as well.

Marketing Analytics

  • Analyze your marketing campaign.  This is the most basic use of Excel, but easily one of the most useful.  You can use the data from a marketing campaign to determine what worked best for you and what didn't work at all.  You can also look at how much revenue you made from each channel or type of advertising and figure out which ones were more effective than others.
  • Analyze your competitors' campaigns.  If you're thinking about getting into a new market, analyzing how other companies in that market are doing can give you some helpful insight into how successful they've been—and whether they're likely to be able to take up all the available space in that market before you do so yourself!

Budgeting and Forecasting

Budgeting and forecasting are important tools for any business that wants to succeed. In Excel, it’s easy to create a budget based on estimates and forecasts from your team members. For example, you can have an employee estimate the number of hours they think it will take them to finish a project by inputting it into the program.  If you want to make sure everyone is working efficiently, consider using this data as a guide for assigning tasks—and then compare their actual performance with those estimates when projects are finished.

This is also helpful if you need to give employees feedback on their work habits or just want an objective way of measuring how much time they spent doing certain tasks compared with others who may have had similar responsibilities but may not be as productive because they aren't working hard enough (or at all).

You can also use Excel in conjunction with other programs such as Business Intelligence (BI) Tools and Email Apps so you can further automate your Budgeting and Forecasting. 

Data Analysis and Visualization

You can use Excel to perform data analysis, including statistical and financial analysis, forecasting and much more.  You can also use it to visualize the results of your analysis by creating charts, graphs and other types of visualizations.

For example, let's say you want to analyze the sales trends for your company's products over time.  To do this in Excel:

  • Enter the year into column A and month into column B (for example: 2012-12). In column C enter the number sold on a given day (for example: 100)
  • Create a pivot table by going to Insert > Pivot Table at the top ribbon of Excel or by pressing Alt + D > PivotTable under Tables on your keyboard

Use the drop-down menu to select the table you want to add.  Use the drop-down menu next to it and select “Sum of Values” then click OK.

HR, Scheduling and Time Management

Excel can help your HR department with managing employee schedules, time sheets and attendance.

  • Employee Scheduling.  The ability to create schedules in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to maximize efficiency while minimizing the impact on people. It also simplifies training new employees on when they need to be where and allows managers to see which employees are available for work at any given hour of the day.
  • Employee Time Sheets.  With Excel’s rich features for analyzing data, it makes sense that creating automated timesheets could be done using this software as well.  By using formulas or macros in your spreadsheet, you can automatically calculate hours worked based on scheduled tasks.  It’s also possible for managers to view timesheets from their own computers so they don’t have to travel around the company looking for them—they just look at their computer screens!


Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for business, and it can help you in many different ways. You can literally run your entire business using Excel.  With all the data you collect, it’s important to have a way to analyze it and make sense of all that information. If you have any questions about how Excel can help your company, please contact us today!

Does your business need help with Excel or Business Automation?

Does your business need help with Excel or Business Automation?  At MBCS, we have a team of Excel Experts that can help with all aspects of Excel including - Dashboards, Pivot Tables, Macros, VBA Programming, Charts and Graphs, and Automation.  Send us a message by filling out our Excel Inquiry Form or call us at 813-586-1531.   We also offer a variety of Web Design and Digital Marketing services that will meet your needs at competitive prices.  Contact us today to learn more.

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