Introduction to Excel I: The Interface

, Excel Developer & Trainer

Class Project

Master the basic & essential operations for Excel analysis

About the Class

Spend less time formatting and manipulating data, and more time analyzing results and presenting insights.

Excel is an essential tool for organizing and understanding data about the world you live in! This is the first part of a 3-part series on learning to use Excel from the producers of KeyCuts. In this first class, Excel I, we will walk through the interface to help you become familiar. You will learn to navigate your way through all necessary functions of the software, understand practical applications, and gain the confidence to use it for your information needs. 

Excel is a tool for analyzing data, and after taking this series you will be able to organize, analyze and provide meaningful insights about business, social/economic trends, and other data that interests you. Whether you are new to Excel or are looking for a refresher on how to use Excel to analyze data, this 3-part series is for you.

Also see: Introduction to Excel II: Keyboard Shortcuts, & Introduction to Excel III: Analyzing Real Data

Analyze Data

Excel Mac 2011

What You'll Learn

Part I of this series is all about getting familiar with the Excel interface and knowing the basics. We'll write some basic formulas, do some formatting, and cover 90%-100% of what analysts use Excel for every day.

  • Using the Ribbon. First you'll learn how to use the Ribbon to your advantage by clicking on different buttons and customizing the ribbon to fit your needs.
  • Structuring Your Workbook. Excel is all about cells, so we'll cover cells in a worksheet and how worksheets fit into the bigger picture of a workbook.
  • Formatting. Believe it or not, you can get a little artsy in Excel! Fill and font color are the two types of formatting that will help spice up your worksheet. We'll also cover number formats.
  • Selecting Data. Now that we have data in our cells, let's see how we can select the data and smartly "autofill" data.
  • Writing Formulas. How do you tie data from different sources together? We will walk through writing basic formulas and do a deep dive on the popular VLOOKUP formulas.
  • Listing and Sorting. Organize your data so that it's easier to analyze. We will expore the Sort and Filter menus in depth.
  • Using Paste Special. Doing a regular copy-and-paste in Excel is boring, so we will see how the Paste Special menu lets you do things above and beyond copy-and-paste.

What You'll Do

You'll follow along with me in the Excel file I have provided to learn the most common uses for Excel. The menus, formulas, and data organization techniques are the operations data analysts use 90% of the time to get their job done.

Deliverable. Create a versatile workspace for research, statistics and organization in Excel.

Brief. Create a workspace that will benefit any project you execute within the software.

Specs. Use the workspace to accomplish any task within the software.

Data drives all decisions, regardless of the business or industry you work on. You need to know how to organize it! Data is power! This Excel series will not only develop your technical skills, but also help you work with data in an efficient, smart way.

More Information

Students will need access to Microsoft Excel. A free trial can be downloaded at

Level: Beginner

School: Business

Related Subjects: Business Modeling, Data Visualization, Microsoft Excel

At a Glance

  • 9 Video Lessons (1h)
  • 456 Students
  • 100% Positive Reviews (19)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Al Chen

Al Chen

Excel Developer & Trainer

Al didn't know how to use Excel at all until he became a financial analyst at Google. He used to think that people who were efficient at Excel were the anti-social data nerds who thoug...

100% Positive Reviews

Jennifer P.

Jennifer P.

Really great class. Some stuff I knew already, some I didn't. Was a good refresher

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