LN: Excel Formulas Explained

As a marketer, I spend most of my workday staring at spreadsheets, trying to make sense of data to inform my decisions. Excel has been my reliable companion for years. It’s a powerful tool that can crunch numbers, create charts, and solve complex problems. But, with so many formulas to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the most common Excel formulas and save you time and frustration.

1. SUM Function

The SUM function is one of the most basic and commonly used formulas in Excel. If you need to add up a column of numbers quickly, just use the SUM function. Here’s how:


This formula will add up the numbers in the cells A1 to A10. Easy peasy, right?

2. AVERAGE Function

The AVERAGE function is another simple but valuable tool. This formula will give you the average value of a range of cells. Let’s say you have a list of daily client visits, and you want to know the average visits per week. Here’s how to use the AVERAGE function:


This formula will calculate the average of the numbers in cells B1 to B7. The result will show you the average number of client visits per day for the week.

3. MAX and MIN Functions

The MAX and MIN functions are helpful when you need to find the highest or lowest value in a range of cells. For example, you might want to find the highest sales amount from a list of sales transactions. To do this, you can use the MAX function:


This formula will give you the highest value in the range C1 to C10. The MIN function works the same way but gives you the lowest value.

4. IF Function

The IF function is a powerful tool that allows you to set conditions that Excel will follow. This formula will evaluate a condition and return one value if the condition is true and a different value if it’s false. For example, let’s say you want to know if a client has placed an order worth more than $500. You can create an IF statement like this:

=IF(B2>500,”Order is above $500”,”Order is below $500”)

This formula will tell you if the order amount in cell B2 is above or below $500. It’s that simple!


The CONCATENATE function is used to combine text from two or more cells into one cell. This formula is especially useful when you need to merge data from different columns into one. For example, you might want to create a list of client names with their phone numbers. Here’s how to use CONCATENATE:


This formula will combine the text in cell B2 with a space and the text in C2. The result will be the client’s name and phone number in one cell.

6. VLOOKUP Function

The VLOOKUP function is one of the most commonly used formulas to look up data in a table. This formula searches for a value in the leftmost column of a table and returns a corresponding value in the same row from another column. For example, let’s say you have a list of clients and you want to know the sales reps assigned to each client. You can create a VLOOKUP formula like this:


This formula will search for the value in B2 in the leftmost column of the table, A2 to D10. Once it finds a match, it will return the value in the fourth column of the same row. In this example, it will return the sales rep assigned to the client.

7. Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are an essential tool for marketers who need to analyze and summarize large amounts of data. Pivot tables let you quickly see trends and patterns in your data, making it easier to draw insights and inform your marketing strategies. Here’s how to create a pivot table:

  1. Select the data you want to analyze.
  2. Click Insert > Pivot Table.
  3. Drag and drop the columns you want to analyze into the “Rows,” “Values,” and “Columns” fields.
  4. Use the “Filters” area to drill down into specific data points.
  5. Experiment with different configurations to see trends and patterns.

Final Thoughts

Excel is a powerful tool that can save marketers time and frustration. By mastering these basic formulas and pivot table skills, you’ll be able to draw insights from your data and make better marketing decisions. So go forth and crunch some numbers!

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