For businesses, Excel is a powerful tool. Many companies have leveraged the advanced features of the software to save both time and money. Repetitive tasks can be simplified or even eliminated with the help of automation and VBA macros. Macros are recorded or programmed steps that Excel should perform when you execute the macro. Using macros, you can execute multiple commands with the click of a button.
What kinds of things can you do with a macro? Here are the general categories that macros can be used for, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:
- Enter / change text and data
- Interact with data sources located outside of an Excel sheet
- Large-scale format and style changes
- Create new documents
Using macros to achieve your business goals
Create a mailing list
You want to create a mailing list and you have received an Excel export of many names and email addresses. You don’t want to send duplicate emails to the recipients. Normally, you would have to sort the duplicates and remove the rows. With a macro, you can remove all the duplicates so that only the unique values remain. You then have a basis for your mailing list.
Present a complex Excel workbook in an easy-to-understand way
You have an Excel workbook with many worksheets. If a customer were to open the file, it might not be clear to him or her what the Excel workbook contains. Before you distribute this file, you would like to create a table of contents (TOC) to give users a preview of the contents. This can be done with a TOC gallery that shows a preview of each workbook.
Automate your business processes
If you thought macros were useful, wait until you see the next step: process automation. Process automation comes into play when Excel should be used in conjunction with other software, i.e. administration or marketing automation. For example, you could set up process automation to query a database, write an Excel report, reformat the data, and run existing macros.
Another example is to use Excel to import information from legacy systems. If the data is in a different format than the intended destination Excel file, the data might have to be cleaned up or modified via calculations. This can be done at the click of a button with process automation.
From the management perspective, customized reports can be created and presented in data views. Views of the data can be generated for at-a-glance reporting. Instead of having someone crunch the data, let Excel do the crunching for you – even if it is across multiple files or applications.
Hire a Microsoft Excel consultant
Many of the problems that come with starting up and then maintaining a business is that it takes up so much of the directors time running the business itself and creating efficiency often comes second to the demands of customers. If you are a director or manager of a company and you have the budget you could consider hiring a specialist in Microsoft Excel. There are many professionals that provide Excel consultancy and spreadsheet management to save your business time and money. A one time consultancy could save your businesses thousands in operating costs.
Read more on MS Office & Excel Automation.