Intern Tip #1: Excel Proficiency

One of the first questions in my interviews for the internships was “Are you proficient in Excel?” Yes I am.

I was familiar with the graphing functions of Excel 2007 rather than the counting and sum functions initially. This is because most of the lab reports I have written are focused on statistics, i.e. the standard deviation of the experimental values.

Before I outline the formulas, here are the input definitions.

The criterion (criteria is the plural form) that you define may be a word, number, or a date. The range is the cells from which you will be pulling data from.

These are the three formulas during my internships that I used frequently to save time which could be spent doing another task.

 COUNTA
    • Counts the number of cells in a range that are not empty
      • Enter as: =COUNTA(value1,value2,…)
COUNTIF
    • Counts the number of cells in a range that meets a certain condition
      • =COUNTIF(range,”criteria”)
SUMIF
    • Adds the cells specified by a given condition or criteria
      • =SUMIF(range,”criteria”,sum_range)

When to use a counting function:

  • Is the criterion text or a number? Yes.
  • Do you want to know how many? Yes.

When to use a sum function:

  • Is the criterion text? No.
  • Is the criterion numerical? Yes.
  • Do you want to know the sum? Yes.
  • The formula will ignore text data when adding up the figures.

I’ve found these to be helpful outside of the workplace. Because I plan on being on EdenFantasys long-term, I created a spreadsheet. Using these formulas I know how many products I have wish listed and what my budget is for each order I make. All I have to do is update the cells and voilá, the calculations are done.

If you know any other formulas that are useful, please leave them in the comments section.
The featured image is “Runaways” ©2012 C-91.
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2 responses to “Intern Tip #1: Excel Proficiency

  1. LOL!!!

    Any chance you might be putting a little too much attention to your wish lists??

    I say just stack up your points, arrange for a free item each month and voila! Then you have free shipping!!!

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