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What Is Microsoft Excel VBA And How Can It Help You Work Smarter?

Aug 17, 2007
You may discover that after a couple of MS Excel training courses that many things you never thought were possible are actually quite simple with a little knowledge of this amazing spreadsheet program. However, after 4 or 5 days of MS Excel training, you're likely to be astounded by what you learn about VBA for Excel and how you can use it to make Excel work harder for you.

What is VBA?
VBA is a scripting language and is short for Visual Basic for Applications. You don't need to be a programmer to learn how to use VBA with Excel, but after about a week of MS Excel training courses you'll be able to create intuitive processes like a programmer and will be able to use VBA to make your Excel databases work harder for you.

Why use VBA with Excel?
Automation and the ability to accomplish more in less time with greater accuracy are the same reasons why people use VBA with Excel and get so excited about MS Excel training courses. An Excel spreadsheet requires data in order to take on any meaning. Even then, once data fills the cells, the information inside still essentially meaningless until you compare or apply it somehow.

As you'll learn in MS Excel training, VBA allows you to automate just about any function you can imagine that involves importing data, comparing data, analyzing data, or extracting data from the spreadsheet. When you spend less time doing the manual work of manipulating data, you have more time to become innovative with your data. Without restriction to the amount of data you have the capacity to work with, you may discover new ways to process and analyze data from new sources.

How VBA can help you work smarter
The process of manipulating data entails inherent inefficiencies that can bog down projects, lead to error, and waste time. The first of these inefficiencies is the problem of collecting the data itself. If you're currently spending too much time entering and validating data, then you will almost certainly find a more efficient and effective way to load your data after an MS Excel training course with VBA.

For example, let's assume that Jim, a sales manager, tallies a variety of different statistics collected from his sales team on an Excel spreadsheet. Each day, he copies and pastes data from each sales person's sheet into his master sheet, then verifies the data to ensure that there are no invalid characters that will skew his equations. This requires a significant portion of his morning, but the process works and he's not aware of any other way to accomplish the task.

However, after a few MS Excel training courses with VBA, Jim learns how to create forms for each of the sales people that automatically validate the information they enter. Better yet, the information they enter into their own personal Excel sheets instantly and automatically updates in his master sheet.

Jim's example only scratches the surface of the time and energy savings potential you can discover after learning about VBA in MS Excel training classes. The possibilities of what can be done with VBA and Excel are virtually as unique and limitless as the goals you would like to accomplish. That's the beauty of gaining a greater understanding of a scripting language like VBA. The more you understand, the less the interpretation of your data will ever be confined by a pre-packaged software program. The more mastery you have over your data, the more likely you are to discover ways to see the hidden potential lying within your data.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter for a Microsoft software training company, the UK industry leader in its sector. For more information on MS Excel training, please visit www.MicrosoftTraining.net.
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