I found this week’s discussion very useful, although I have used some of these functions before by just experimenting on Excel. I like the time function in Excel. The explanation of how to generate time slots and intervals and then dragging the selection of times down the spreadsheet is accurate and straightforward (Winston, 2013). “The Microsoft Excel TIME function returns a decimal number between 0 and 0.999988426 given an hour, minute and second value” (MS Excel: How to use the Time Function, 2021). It is less of a headache and less time-consuming when Excel can automatically generate numbers and execute actions without plugging in every piece of information. The count function on Excel has multiple uses such as countif, countifs, countblank, and counta functions and is new information to me. So, if I understand correctly with the countif function, one can count the number of cells and columns (Winston, 2013). With the countifs function, you can count the number of rows aligned with specific ranges and criteria. The countblank function provides the number of blank cells in a spreadsheet; lastly, the counta function does the opposite of countblank by providing the number of cells that are not blank (Winston, 2013). The paste special function has many different uses, according to our book. For instance, with the paste special function, one can “Paste only the values in cells (not the formulas) in a different part of a worksheet. Transpose data in columns to rows and vice versa. Transform a range of numbers by adding, subtracting, dividing, or multiplying each number in the range by a given constant” (Winston, 2013).
I see the benefit of using all of these functions for someone who works with Excel spreadsheets regularly. Although I do not use Excel for my work regularly, I do use the time function and the paste special command often. I create physical training plans for our students, and we are required to reserve the field we will be using, including workouts, times, dates, and equipment needed for each event. As far as pros to these functions, I would have to say they save time for users and are accurate as long as the user understands how to use them. The con would be one becoming complacent and not checking the information or plugging in the wrong information, which can result in errors.
Excel has been used in most places I have worked since I began my first job on a bee farm. Even then, excel provided great capabilities for data structuring and entry. Three functions talked about in this weeks lesson are the time function, the count function, and the past special function. The time function allows a person to create specific times and time intervals in a spreadsheet, which can be useful to calculate the difference between two times, or create a schedule. The count function allows a user to count cells based on predefined criteria. The paste special function allows for more flexibility and options when pasting copied information into an excel spreadsheet, such as transpose, which can change a copied row into a column, or vice versa.
In my current work life, I could use the time function to create quick and easy schedules for training courses and their offered times. The count function is one that I have used very extensively in my work, as most of our training records and trackers are created in excel. Some times I will need to count the amount of tasks that have been completed for a given individual or team, and using the count function has proved to be the most effective method to accomplish that. The paste special command I could use when formatting a sign in sheet for any courses I may be instructing, in order to manipulate and structure the information I input into the most desirable format. The pros for each of these functions is it can make otherwise tedious tasks very easy. I would say one of the biggest cons however is the time it might take to learn and apply the functions in order to properly utilize them.