May 25, 2023

Excel & Google Sheets: Formula Guides

When I began using Google Sheets for work, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was how to enter data and create a simple graph. I didn't know how to perform calculations, much less use complex formulas.

But as I continued to use Google Sheets, I discovered formulas that blew my mind. One of these formulas is the POWER function. In this article, I'll explain what the POWER function does and provide a few examples so that you can start using it in your own spreadsheets.

The POWER function is used to raise a number to a specified power. In simpler terms, it multiplies a number by itself a certain number of times. For example, if you want to raise the number 2 to the 3rd power (2 x 2 x 2), you would use the POWER function.

The syntax for the POWER function is:

`=POWER(number, power)`

The number argument is the base number you want to raise, while the power argument is the exponent or the number of times you want to multiply the base number by itself.

Here are a few examples of how to use the POWER function in Google Sheets:

Let's say you want to calculate the square of a number. You could do this by using the POWER function. Simply enter the number you want to square in cell A1, and then enter the following formula in cell B1:

`=POWER(A1,2)`

This formula raises the number in cell A1 to the 2nd power, which is the same as squaring it. The result will appear in cell B1.

Another use for the POWER function is to calculate exponential growth. Let's say you have an initial investment of $10,000 that grows at a rate of 5% per year. You can use the POWER function to calculate how much your investment will be worth after a certain number of years. Here's how:

- Enter the initial investment amount in cell A1
- Enter the growth rate as a decimal in cell A2 (0.05 for 5%)
- Enter the number of years you want to calculate in cell A3
- Enter the following formula in cell A4:

`=A1*POWER(1+A2,A3)`

This formula multiplies the initial investment by the growth rate raised to the power of the number of years. The result will appear in cell A4.

Similar to exponential growth, you can use the POWER function to calculate compound interest. Let's say you have a savings account with an initial balance of $1,000 that earns 3% interest per year. You can use the POWER function to calculate the balance after a certain number of years. Here's how:

- Enter the initial balance in cell A1
- Enter the interest rate as a decimal in cell A2 (0.03 for 3%)
- Enter the number of years you want to calculate in cell A3
- Enter the following formula in cell A4:

`=A1*POWER(1+A2/12,12*A3)`

This formula multiplies the initial balance by the monthly interest rate raised to the power of the number of months (12 times the number of years). Note that we divide the interest rate by 12 to get the monthly rate and then multiply the number of years by 12 to get the number of months. The result will appear in cell A4.

The POWER function is a powerful tool in Google Sheets that can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you're calculating simple squares or complex compound interest, the POWER function can help you save time and avoid errors. Give it a try in your own spreadsheets and see how it can work for you!