Tricks & Tips for Spreadsheets: Must-Have Excel Skills for Experts

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how to get better at Excel

Microsoft Excel is more than a spreadsheet. It’s a powerful tool for both analyzing and manipulating data. That’s why experts who have advanced Excel skills are highly coveted by employers in any industry. Some are so good at it, that they replace entire transportation and logistics management software with Excel. So, what are the advanced skills you should have?

If you’re wondering how to get better at Excel, this post is tailored for you. We will cover crucial advanced skills that help you not just enter data and use formulas in a spreadsheet, but visualize and modify it in several ways to make out important insights at a glance.

Excel skills you must master:

Before you go on to learn complicated concepts, it’s important to have basic Excel skills in your arsenal. Otherwise, those advanced skills would confuse you more instead of sparking your curiosity and inspiring you to use them in your projects. Make sure that you have basic Excel skills like:

  • Using formulas in rows and columns
  • Conditional formatting that lets you highlight skills when they meet your predetermined conditions
  • Keyboard shortcuts that help you stay productive and efficient, etc.

With that out of the way, let’s learn how you can improve Excel skills to an advanced level.

Quick Tip: If you’re looking for advanced PowerPoint presentation tips, click on this link.

Advanced Excel skills you need to learn:


Excel gurus in their comfort zone have a hard time looking beyond VLOOKUP. However, INDEX/MATCH is a much better alternative and a worthy addition to your arsenal. This formula allows you to find the exact data point you need in a large data set. Moreover, unlike VLOOKUP, it is highly flexible as it can search for data in any direction and doesn’t break down with multiple criteria. You aren’t an expert if you don’t have this advanced Excel skill in your armory.

2. Filters

Intermediary Excel experts know about sorting data. This function allows you to sort data depending on several criteria. However, sorting may undo some important work as it reorders the positions of different cells. That’s where the filter comes out as the savior. You can set multiple filtering parameters and highlight the data set you need. Filtering counts among indispensable Excel tricks and tips since it increases the efficiency of your workflow.

3. Pivot tables

Pivot tables are amazing data analysis tools in Excel. They allow you to group, analyze, and even summarize exceptionally large data sets. With pivot tables sales managers can switch seamlessly between analyzing sales by:

  • A particular product SKU (stock-keeping unit)
  • Region, or
  • Performance of different salespeople under the manager.

These tables also allow you to identify trends in your datasets.


Experts make mistakes! Experts have those days! Fortunately, IFERROR stands as a safety net for those days. It acts as a safety net that allows you to dodge an unending array of error messages when something goes wrong. Instead of drawing under error messages, you can choose to display custom messages during those situations. As you keep using IFERROR, your formulas get refined and more robust over time.  

When you master these advanced Excel skills, you can unlock more opportunities and move your career in a better direction. You’ll appreciate the possibilities that these skills provide and start seeing spreadsheets as more than mere data entry tools. Did we miss out on something on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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