Excel is a great tool to start data analysis and modeling. Increase your earning potential by learning VBA, SQL Python, and Tableau. This article will explore some of the benefits of each of these tools and languages for going beyond Excel.
Excel is a great tool to start data analysis and modeling. It’s more affordable than other data analytics options and includes most basic analytic functions and a few extras. However, in some cases, you may find that the time spent programming customizing Excel outweighs the benefits and it’s more useful to use another program.
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a slightly altered version of Microsoft’s Visual Basic programming language. If you perform Excel tasks that require repetitive actions, it may be worth learning. Excel users can write and debug VBA code in the Visual Basic code editor to perform calculations that are communicated and recorded within the spreadsheet. Using the Macro Recorder within Excel, users can record everyday tasks as VBA code. Experienced VBA programmers can alter the code in the Visual Basic editor and save it to run as a Macro.
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SQL is a database programming language used to store multiple tables of data. When you find that you’re managing thousands of data records in just as many tables, SQL may be a better option. With SQL you can store, retrieve, and analyze data without viewing and sorting through an entire table. SQL also interacts well with other programming languages to store data for websites like e-commerce stores, search engines, or news websites. See more in this article comparing SQL vs Excel.
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Tableau is a data visualization tool that creates illustrated representations of your analysis, making it easier to draw conclusions. Excel can create basic graphs include pie charts, bar charts, and stem and leaf plots, but when you want high-quality graphics to engage the reader, Tableau is a better option. Tableau’s powerful visuals make it easier for non-technical audiences to interact with data and view what’s most important to them.
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Python is a general-purpose programming language used for data science, software development, automation, machine learning, and much more. It is one of the fastest-growing programming languages due to its versatility, easy syntax, and expansive libraries and frameworks. Python can handle larger data sets than Excel while allowing for the quick reuse of code to analyze your data. See more on Python vs Excel.