What percentage of Excel functions are commonly used?

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  • What percentage of Excel functions are commonly used?
  • Office discussion about functionally overloaded applications and Excel came up as as an example.

    Someone reckons that 95% of the people only use about 5% of the functions.
    Someone else reckons it is 80:20 but that is what most people say (about 80%)

    Any guesses or perhaps even facts from STW?

    Stoner
    Member

    Depends on your field as to which classes of functions you use most (even as a superuser).

    Some wil use more statistical tools, others logical and again others will use text manipulators etc.

    Even as a very heavy Excel user, I probably only use 30-40% of the functions available but that may represent upto 100% of the functions in one or two classes.

    However, secretaries should be forbidden from using Excel and taught to use tables in Word instead for doing their pretty pictures and telephone lists in πŸ˜‰

    thomthumb
    Member

    i odn’t know how many there are but i heavily use the same 30 functions. but what i do with excel is not very broad.

    Just doing a formula to work this out….

    alfabus
    Member

    Most people use “sum” and nothing else.

    Advanced users might use “count” or “countif”.

    Use any more than that and people look at you like you are some sort of magician.

    Premier Icon Pyro
    Subscriber

    I’m with Stoner – probably 30-40% for me. But then I’m a Data Analyst and therefore a fairly heavy Excel user.

    being what Pyro is above I use quite a few. Excel always amazes me at what it can do…I am always learning (and then forgetting) a new function. It’s one piece of Microsoft kit that I think does a fantastic job.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Not really a case of a “functionally-overloaded application”, more about users picking an inappropriate application for their needs. That large proportion of users who only use Excel for basic “adding-up” type tasks could easily switch to much simpler (and much cheaper!) software such as Microsoft Works.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Someone reckons that 95% of the people only use about 5% of the functions.

    Possibly true, BUT I don’t think that 95% of people use the same 5%

    Earlier this year I discovered ‘user defined functions’ an thought all my Christmases ha come at once.

    I use probably 5-10% of standard functions and make some of my own up. . .

    Stoner
    Member

    and make some of my own up

    I often like to calculate the purple to the power of wibble last tuesday.

    Ewan
    Member

    I love nested array formulas… I do a little sex wee everytime someone asks how they can do a multiple condition count if. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon titusrider
    Subscriber

    anyone using Powerpivot excel addin?

    a whole new set of functions to play with and much bigger row limits πŸ™‚

    toys19
    Member

    I use loads of the engineering functions, and I feel very ashamed that I don’t use the data analysis functions 😳

    footflaps
    Member

    I do everything in VBA even though there are probably built in functions which would be quicker to use. It’s so vast, it would take a lifetime to learn all the commands and the complete object model.

    Stoner
    Member

    my favourite functions are the ones that dont exist:

    The DATEDIF function computes the difference between two dates in a variety of different intervals, such as the number of years, months, or days between the dates. This function is available in all versions of Excel since at least version 5/95, but is documented in the help file only for Excel 2000. For some reason, Microsoft has decided not to document this function in any other versions. DATEDIF is treated as the drunk cousin of the Formula family. Excel knows it lives a happy and useful life, but will not speak of it in polite conversation

    http://www.cpearson.com/excel/datedif.aspx

    I’ve just had PowerPivots loaded onto my machine and have scheduled a day to have a look at its potential.

    Excel can do way more than I can imagine it can do, and I’m a very heavy excel user. Infact I use it even more than I use STW.

    Pieface
    Member

    Majority of people I know use it for making risk / issue and action logs. These people probably acocunt for 80% of the user base. The other 20% probably use the advanced fucntions, but even then I reckon no individual uses more than 20%.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    We use a lot of software written in VBA/excel, still amazes me whenever I go into edit the software how many different way people have found to do very similar tasks. Others I just give up, accept it works, and copy and paste the whole lot into a new window and put my own little contribution infront/behind it.

    footflaps
    Member

    On a related note, if you think you know Excel, buy a copy of ‘Professional Excel Development’ – realised I knew very little after reading that!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-Excel-Development-Applications-Addison-Wesley/dp/0321262506

    m1kea
    Member

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you find it’s probably 99% of people use less than 10% of the features.

    Much like Photoshop. – A huge roaring beast of a program that I know I only use a fraction of.

    Surely it’s primary use is to document desk layouts? Seems to be what the drones here use it for most!

    What percentage of Excel functions are commonly used?

    If only there were some way to record data and then perform statistical analysis of that data. Ideally on a personal computer. The data could then all be “spread” out over one computerised “sheet” of paper for ease of viewing. A “spreadsheet”, if you will…

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    What’s Excel? I presume its part of Fisher Price Microsofts offering πŸ˜‰

    thomthumb
    Member

    primary function is for weight weenieing bike stuff. no?

    Premier Icon portlyone
    Subscriber

    Beyond the very basic stuff I am mainly asked to show others how to use vlookup and pivot tables. Pretty powerful tools.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    My girlfriend did an ‘Advanced Excel’ course through work – which she found extremely beneficial.

    They didn’t get to pivot tables or conditional formatting, which IMO are 2 of the most straightforward ways to impress people who don’t know how to use Excel!

    I reckon 99% of people use 1% of the functions frankly! I’ll wager a lot that the vast majority of people never go beyond SUM, or at a push AVERAGE, certainly not beyond basic arithmetic functions!

    I use it for only a few functions; probably ought to learn more of them – I just don’t have that much need though πŸ˜›

    brakes
    Member

    functions I use the most:
    IF
    ISBLANK
    ISERROR
    COUNTA
    COUNTIF
    VLOOKUP
    HLOOKUP
    INDEX
    MATCH
    INDIRECT
    OFFSET
    SUM
    SUMIF
    QUARTILE
    AVERAGE
    LEFT
    RIGHT
    FIND
    TEXT
    and any combination of the above.
    I particularly like long and overly complex logical formulas containing IF and VLOOKUP.

    My pet hate is people who use excel as a database – IT’S NOT A F***ING DATABASE! Although I suppose to be fair, Access is far to hard for your average person πŸ˜‰

    brakes
    Member

    that’s a lot of hate, Excel is probably the most used database tool in the world

    don simon
    Member

    certainly not beyond basic arithmetic functions!

    There’s more? 😯

    Premier Icon matthewjb
    Subscriber

    I’m betting quite a few people use 0% of the functions.

    When we first got Excel it wasn’t unusual to see spreadsheets with a column of numbers and a manually calculated total at the bottom! It always caused some confusion when you’d change a number in the list and the total just wouldn’t change!

    Premier Icon titusrider
    Subscriber

    Im a BI developer and we come in and sort out peoples mini empire excel database’s / reporting and turn them into something robust.

    This things people do with Excel and the complexity can blow your mind.

    From my experiance its a great way of getting yourself a steady job building the comanies reporting suite that only you understand !

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    Mathwejb +1 – I still catch people using a calculator to add things in Excel?!

    Pivot tables are cool – and lets hope no one else in my company figures out how I do what I do!

    stuartie_c
    Member

    Excellent – I can use the expertise in here…

    I want to make a line chart to show a distribution of a range of values. Say I have 100 (or 1000) values in a column, all in the range 1 to 7 (ideally I’d like it to deal with continuous values but I’ll settle for discrete for now). I want a chart showing the distribution from 7 to 1 (ie lowest to highest – 7 is the “lowest” value in the range because they represent grades (discrete) or predictors (continuous, with 2 d.p.)).

    I suspect this is tricky but I’d love to discover a simple method. If I can do it in Excel, I can try and tackle it in Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Surely that’s just a basic Scatter chart? If you right click the axis you can manually set the limits, such that it’s 7-1 rather than 0-7.

    Unless I’m over simplifying…

    Use sum, choose, if, count and a few (copy and pasted) macros here.

    One function I don’t use is the one that auto inserts a footer with page totals. Not because it wouldn’t be useful, but because the stupid programme doesn’t seem to have one… πŸ‘Ώ

    I use DATEDIF Stoner! 8)

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