9 Advanced Excel Skills You Need to Succeed Today

Excel proficiency is highly in-demand in today’s workforce. Advanced Excel skills make you confident in working with spreadsheets and performing functions such as creating graphs and charts, calculating and automating large volumes of data, and much more.

There is always room for improvement, and you can upgrade your Excel skills by attending bootcamps and enrolling in learning programs specializing in excel courses. This article lists the 9 advanced Excel skills you need to succeed today. Read on!

Excel Skill Levels

Excel users can be differentiated by three skill levels – basic, intermediate, and advanced Excel users. If you are wondering what level you are in, below is the comparison between these three Excel skill levels.

Basic Excel Skills

A basic Excel skill user knows what Microsoft Excel is and what it is used for. They are familiar with the program’s interface and know the three ribbon tabs – Home tab, Page Layout tab, and View tab.

They know how to encode data and use basic computations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They can save and print their spreadsheets.

Intermediate Excel Skills

Intermediate Excel skill users can distinguish Excel functions from Excel formulas. They know how to manipulate encoded data and how these can affect the cells across the spreadsheet.

They can comfortably use functions such as VLOOKUP, MID, and CHOOSE. They can also create data tables, charts, and graphs.

Advanced Excel Skills

An advanced Excel skill user is familiar with almost all the advanced Excel functions. They can also comfortably teach others how to maximize the use of Excel.

They can encode large amounts of data and do in-depth data analysis. They can easily create spreadsheet templates and models.

Here are some of the advanced excel functions they can perform:

  • Modify and record macros
  • Use AutoFilter
  • Can build pivot tables
  • Can install add-ins
  • Use advanced Excel formulas like INDEX MATCH, OFFSET, and SUMPRODUCT

How can you use Microsoft Excel Skills?

Excel is a versatile and powerful tool. It can be used for a range of applications, such as:

  • Budgeting
  • Data visualization
  • Balance sheets
  • Inventory tracking
  • Templates and forms creation
  • Project management
  • Forecasting

Microsoft Excel is easier to navigate when you use professionally made templates from Simple Sheets. The templates are highly customizable to make them suitable for your work. You can also take advantage of the Excel courses they offer.

9 Advanced Excel Skills

Here are the nine advanced and the most important Excel skills you need to succeed in your career.

1.      Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis is an essential Excel skill. You can perform data analytics and produce statistical models in an Excel spreadsheet.

You can create histograms, perform regression analysis, and assess sampling in a spreadsheet. You can also generate random numbers, measure rank and percentile, and correlate data sets.

2.      Pivot Tables

Creating pivot tables in a spreadsheet is a powerful and essential Excel skill. You can conveniently sort, count, sum up, and average data stored in a large spreadsheet that can be displayed and analyzed in a new table.

A pivot table can provide automatic data summaries by group matching data. You can do data analysis from different perspectives.

A pivot table can graph sales data and financial performance. Using pivot tables creates specific fields in the table, can remove duplicate data, count stored entries, and assess data.

3.      Macros and VBA

VBA or Visual Basic for Applications, is a programming language made by Microsoft to enhance and automate MS Excel capabilities. VBA is used to automate Excel functions and to save it as a macro for repeated use.

With the help of this advanced Excel function, spreadsheet work becomes more efficient, especially when working on repetitive tasks. Financial analysts can use macros to create weekly, monthly, or yearly sales reports.

4.      Forecasts and Predictions

You can forecast and make predictions using spreadsheets if you have a large amount of historical data. This skill helps predict stock trends and trajectories, forecast sales data growth, as well as any changes in the economy and market.

There are several tools you can use in Excel’s Data tab. Suppose you have two data series, by inserting a forecast sheet under the data tab, you can create a line or column chart with forecasting.

5. Using Advanced Excel Formulas

Excel is much more than data encoding and visualization. With Excel, you can perform advanced functions by using advanced formulas. The advanced functions include enhanced search capabilities and facilitate automation for time-saving and efficient workflow.
Here are some of the advanced Excel functions that use advanced formulas:

●       Conditional Formatting

You can highlight key cells or data points in your spreadsheet using conditional formatting. Conditional formatting can change the color or appearance of a cell. Conditional formatting helps convey visual information better.

●       SUMIF Function

When data cells contain similar properties, you can combine them using the SUMIF formula. This formula helps gather different types of information from large data sets.

●       COUNTIF Function

The COUNTIF function checks all the data in the spreadsheet and counts them. This function is useful when you want to know how many items on the spreadsheet are labeled in a certain way. This function is easy to learn, and once you understand how it works, you will use it frequently.

●       Index Match

Index match function is an advanced Excel skill where you can efficiently look for and assess information in Excel. This function allows you to look for a particular type of data and connect this information to other data in the row. If you are familiar with the VLOOKUP function, the Index match is the flexible and dynamic function version.

6. Control Data Input

Incorrect data input can cause a lot of errors in your worksheet. This can cause a negative domino effect on your entire spreadsheet, making the application of formulas challenging. Data validation is one way to control data input. It can control the type of information encoded in the cells.

7. Creation of Charts and Graphs

A chart is an effective visual aid for data analysis and representation. Using charts and graphs allows you to compare data sets to other data in the spreadsheet. You can use several types of charts, such as pie, line, bar, scatter, and column charts.

8. Grouping and Outlining

Grouping and outlining is an advanced skill that helps you expand and collapse your spreadsheet’s rows or columns. You don’t have to scroll around your spreadsheet to get to where you want to be. This function does the work for you.

9. Data Importation

Data importation is a very helpful skill when you want data from a particular site to be converted into a spreadsheet. You can access this function by clicking the Data tab and choosing From Web (Get External Data).

Learning Excel Skills and Excel Training

There are several ways you can learn advanced Excel skills. You may join an analytics bootcamp or enroll in an independent learning program for Excel training. College programs such as business administration offer course programs for learning Excel skills.


There is always a big demand for Excel proficiency in the workforce. Fast-growing industries, such as those in the technology sector, prefer employees with advanced Excel skills.

If you still need to gain advanced Excel skills, you may join a data bootcamp or enroll in an independent learning program for Excel. You can surely succeed in your career by working on your Excel skill sets.