Excel for Beginners – A Skill Development Workshop

A workshop titled ‘Excel for Beginners’ was held on 9 February 2021. It was jointly organised by the School of Contemporary Knowledge Systems and the IQAC. The resource person for the event was Mr. Abraham Joseph, Assistant Professor at the Rajagiri Business School. The event was coordinated by Sarang Narayan (third-year B.Com.) and Avani Prakash (first-year BBA). A prayer and introduction of the guest by Avani set the event in motion.

Mr. Abraham began with the history of spreadsheets and how they have evolved from large columns and rows on blackboards and papers where every calculation had to be performed with a paper, pen, eraser and calculator, to VisiCalc, a brainchild of a few frustrated students – which is considered the first spreadsheet computer programme and said to have ignited the PC revolution across the world – and finally to Excel. He went on to say that even though spreadsheets like Excel have made our lives a lot easier, careless use of Excel has a chance of making our lives equally difficult.

The speaker also touched upon the influence of artificial intelligence in the features of Excel such as Flash fill, Chart recommendations etc. He proceeded with the technical part of the session where the students, under his guidance, were introduced to numerous tips and tricks in using Excel with the help of a case study which was shared with the students beforehand.

The passion which Mr. Abraham had for teaching the subject was unmatchable and was evident in the wide range of knowledge that he displayed during the session. His recommendations on podcasts and skill-building portals like ‘50 inventions that shaped the modern economy’ and ‘typing web.com’ respectively, made the session altogether more interesting.

A striking point that he mentioned was about following etiquette while using Excel like preparing a documentation sheet with the basic information about the user of the worksheet, date, and purpose of the sheet. Another etiquette that he stressed was to always use references instead of raw numbers when using data which has been primarily mentioned. The workshop concluded with a vote of thanks by Sarang and the chanting of a shanti mantra by Avani.