A spreadsheet is a sheet of paper or digital file that's divided into rows and columns that allows you to store and analyze data in an organized format. Paper spreadsheets allow you to physically enter data into the rows and columns, but you have to manage your own calculations. Computer spreadsheets can take care of the calculations for you, but you have to enter the formulas into the spreadsheet. Popular computer and web-based spreadsheet applications include Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and Google Sheets.
Spreadsheets are useful tools in the business world, and many companies rely on them, and even if you don't use numbers or formulas, spreadsheets come in handy if you're making charts and organizing information. Spreadsheets are helpful for organizing data of any kind, so it's worth your time to gain familiarity with how to use them. If you work with numbers—from complex formulas to simple budgeting—learning how to use spreadsheets will help you become more productive at work and at home.
There was a time when spreadsheets were only common in the financial sector, but because they're so versatile, they're increasingly prevalent everywhere. If you have a working knowledge of spreadsheets, you can make good use of them in your workplace. If you can gain a deeper knowledge of how spreadsheets work, you'll possess a skill that can make you more productive in your career or help you advance in your career. Some employers look for candidates with extensive spreadsheet knowledge when they're hiring or promoting employees, so the more you know about using spreadsheets, the more value you have as an employee.
Taking online courses on Coursera can help you learn the various features and formulas of spreadsheets at a pace and schedule that fits your needs. The courses are led by some of the best instructors in the academic and business world, from organizations like IBM and the University of Pennsylvania. You can be confident that whether you're learning the basics or gaining more advanced knowledge, you won't only know about how spreadsheets work, but you can apply that knowledge with ease.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.