Common Uses for Excel Spreadsheets

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  • 0:05 The Excel Spreadsheet
  • 0:33 Financial Data
  • 1:45 Database
  • 2:28 Charts and Calculations
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to see the different ways an Excel spreadsheet can be used. See how it can be used to keep data in addition to how it is used to make calculations.

The Excel Spreadsheet

Meet the Excel spreadsheet.

excel spreadsheet

Excel is a spreadsheet program made by Microsoft. A spreadsheet program is a program that has tables where you can input data in rows and columns. Many people use this program to keep track of their data, either for personal or business use. You might even have used it for school. The Excel spreadsheet looks simple, but it is this simplicity that allows this program to be used in whatever way that you need. Let's take a look at several of the ways that we can use an Excel spreadsheet.

Financial Data

Excel is often used to help keep track of financial data. Many businesses keep a record of their finances in an Excel spreadsheet. The Excel spreadsheet allows you to input almost anything you want into each cell. A cell is one particular block in the table of rows and columns. You can title each column to suit your purposes. A business then, for example, can title one column with the customer's name, another column for the item purchased, another column with the purchase price of the item, and another column for the date of purchase. In this way, the business can keep a record of its sales.

People in general can use Excel spreadsheets to help them keep track of their spending. Most people make a certain amount of money per month, and so they can only spend so much. Keeping an Excel spreadsheet can help them to know how much they have spent and how much more they can spend.

Excel is good for keeping track of finances because it is very customizable. You can put whatever labels you need to keep track of the data you want. If you need to make calculations on your financial data, Excel is also a good choice because Excel includes calculations that you can use as formulas. We'll take a closer look at formulas later on in this lesson.


Another use for Excel spreadsheets is for keeping a record of different kinds of data. A library, for example, can use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the location of all their books. A family can use an Excel spreadsheet to keep a record of all the movies that they have.

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