One of the core pieces of Excel’s functionality is its ability to make calculations from the data stored in sheets. Through calculations you can begin to interpret and understand your data better. The keys to this functionality are formulas and functions. Formulas are equations that automatically calculate results based on the data in your spreadsheet, while functions are in-built calculations.
Excel has over 500

available functions!


Every formula begins with an equals sign followed by the relevant cells and operators (type of calculation). When writing a formula you can either select or type out the cells you’d like to draw the data from. Once complete simply hit the enter key to make the calculation! When a formula is entered into a cell, it also appears in the Formula bar. Any data created by the formulas or functions you use will automatically update as or if the raw data you are drawing it from changes.

These are the operators that define what type of calculation you make in a formula:

  • + = addition
  • - = subtraction
  • * = multiplication
  • / = division
  • % = percentage
  • ^ = exponentiation

This example formula will calculate the value of cells A1 plus the value of cell A2 multiplied by the value of cell A3:

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