Should I upgrade to Excel 2013

Should I upgrade to Excel 2013

As each version of Excel comes out, we often gets asked whether our clients should upgrade. For the most part it is much of a muchness with some new features but rarely is it something that will add significantly to productivity. This has changed with the ‘Should I upgrade to Excel 2013’ question.

The simple answer is yes.

There are lots of new features but there are 2 main ones and they can be differentiated by who would benefit from them. There is a great tool for the beginners and another one for advanced users

Beginner and Intermediate Users- Flash Fill

If you are a beginner or intermediate user you MUST get Excel 2013 and use Flash Fill.

Simply put, all the hours you spend doing things like splitting names into first name and surname can be converted into a quick fix and then you can spend more time doing your real work.

Our courses often spend up to half a day showing people how to convert text to columns and using LEFT, RIGHT, MID to achieve this. Flash fill means all you need to do is type what you want to see, highlight some cells and tell Excel to do the work (see below as Excel 2013 takes a full first name, middle name and surname and converts it to a first name, initial for the middle name and surname in one cell).

The hours of needless repetitive work saved more than make up for any additional cost you may incur!

Flash fill 3- create name from 3 items

To see some more of what Flash Fill can do have a look at a recent blog post we wrote about Flash Fill

Advanced Users- PowerPivot

If you haven’t heard about PowerPivot you need to educate yourself.

As the name implies it is based in some way on Pivot Tables but adds tremendous power. Every problem you have experienced when using Pivot Tables has been addressed and you can now build sophisticated business intelligence dashboards in your normal Excel. If you have ever had to build formula outside the Pivot to meet your needs you will really appreciate PowerPivot.

The power of the tool is impressive, but as important, is how easy it is to transition to it. There are some minor adjustments required but it is basically leveraging off your knowledge of Excel and adding to it.

If you are not sure, have a look at the introduction to PowerPivot tutorial we have