Excel to Excel

By: Dr. K. Balanagarajan

Assistant Professor, School of Management, Presidency University

In a data-driven world of the modern day, managers require to understand concepts relating to data-management in decision making.. A Business-Intelligence market-study by Pringle and Company found that business intelligence services are expected to grow globally at 15 percent annually, through 2016. Moreover, it was found that, people with skills in this area will be highly sought after. Finding people with the knowledge and skills in this area will be an issue. The McKinsey Global Institute [2013] has predicted that by 2018, there could be shortage of around 0.19 million people-resource, with deep analytical skills and around 1.5 million data-savvy managers as well. As a result Business Intelligence is taking on a positive allure as a career-path.

Are our Management Students prepared enough to make a career in Business Intelligence? How good are the students in understanding and handling data? How does one become a data savvy manager? Hands-on expertise on MS Excel is one of the prerequisite to pursue a career in Business Intelligence. MS Excel is perhaps the most familiar basic software used in workplace for managing data. It’s tools are useful to create and build charts, pivot tables, use formulae, identify patterns and trends in data and so on. There are numerous ways in which MS Excel is useful for business operations like, forecasting sales, maintaining accounts, preparing budgets, keeping track of expenses, planning for a meeting, organizing client sales list etc. The advanced features and tools in MS Excel make it as a valuable Decision Support System [DSS].

Not only in the workplace, but even in other facets of life strong MS Excel skills are essential for a student to resolve day to day operational issues. Hence there arises a need to enhance the competency of MBA students in using MS Excel. A sound working knowledge of MS Excel will supplement the theoretical and conceptual classroom knowledge gained by Management students with pragmatic decision-making skills.

The onus is on the B-Schools to prepare Management Students in honing their MS Excel skills. It is important to provide to Management Students, a solution-based Microsoft Excel training Module, tailored to data analysis & Data-Management, that would be relevant for Business Analysis and Reporting. The training programmes can be conducted based on business case studies.