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Computer is an electronic device that is designed to work with Information. The term computer is derived from the Latin term ‘computare’, this means to calculate or programmable machine. Computer cannot do anything without a Program. It represents the decimal numbers through a string of binary digits. The Word 'Computer' usually refers to the Center Processor Unit plus Internal memory.
Charles Babbage is called the "Grand Father" of the computer. The First mechanical computer designed by Charles Babbage was called Analytical Engine. It uses read-only memory in the form of punch cards.
Computer is an advanced electronic device that takes raw data as input from the user and processes these data under the control of set of instructions (called program) and gives the result (output) and saves output for the future use. It can process both numerical and non-numerical (arithmetic and logical) calculations.
A computer is an electronic machine, capable of performing basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. The computer is also capable of storing information, which can be used later. It can process millions of instructions in a few seconds and at the same time with high accuracy. Hence a computer can be defined as an automatic electronic machine for performing calculations or controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms. Computers are very accurate and save time by performing the assigned task very fast. They don’t get bored.
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TABLE OF CONTENT
S. No. Topic Page No.
1. Introduction of Computer 02
2. Functional Units of a Computer System 02
3. Functions of Computer 06
4. Block Diagram of Computer 07
5. Components of a Computer: Hardware and Software 07
6. Database Management System 10
7. Data and Information 11
8. Concept of Data Processing 12
9. Data Processing Cycle 13
10. Data Processing Methods
i. Manual Data Processing
ii. Mechanical Data Processing
iii. Electronic Data Processing
iv. Real Time Processing:
v. Batch Processing
11. Electronic Data Processing
12. Introduction to MS Excel 19
Shalini Pandey- 2016 Page 2
Computer is an electronic device that is designed to work with Information. The term computer is
derived from the Latin term „computare‟, this means to calculate or programmable machine.
Computer cannot do anything without a Program. It represents the decimal numbers through a
string of binary digits. The Word 'Computer' usually refers to the Center Processor Unit plus
Charles Babbage is called the "Grand Father" of the computer. The First mechanical computer
designed by Charles Babbage was called Analytical Engine. It uses read-only memory in the form
of punch cards.
Computer is an advanced electronic device that takes raw data as input from the user and processes
these data under the control of set of instructions (called program) and gives the result (output)
and saves output for the future use. It can process both numerical and non-numerical (arithmetic
and logical) calculations.
A computer is an electronic machine, capable of performing basic operations like addition,
subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. The computer is also capable of storing information,
which can be used later. It can process millions of instructions in a few seconds and at the same
time with high accuracy. Hence a computer can be defined as an automatic electronic machine for
performing calculations or controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms.
Computers are very accurate and save time by performing the assigned task very fast. They don‟t
FUNCTIONAL UNITS OF A COMPUTER SYSTEM
Computer system is a tool for solving problems. The hardware should be designed to operate as fast
as possible. The software (system software) should be designed to minimize the amount of idle
computer time and yet provide flexibility by means of controlling the operations. Basically any
computer is supposed to carry out the following functions.
- Accept the data and program as input
- Store the data and program and retrieve as and when required.
- Process the data as per instructions given by the program and convert it into useful
- Communicate the information as output
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Based on the functionalities of the computer, the hardware components can be classified into four
main units, namely –
- Input Unit
- Output Unit
- Central Processing Unit
- Memory Unit
These units are interconnected by minute electrical wires to permit communication between them.
This allows the computer to function as a system. The block diagram is shown below.
Figure: Functional Units of a Computer System
A computer uses input devices to accept the data and program. Input devices allow communication
between the user and the computer. In modern computers keyboard, mouse, light pen, touch
screen etc, are some of the input devices.
Similar to input devices, output devices have an interface between the computer and the user.
These devices take machine coded output results from the processor and convert them into a form
that can be used by human beings. In modern computers, monitors (display screens) and printers
are the commonly used output devices
Central Processing Unit
CPU is the brain of any computer system. It is just like the human brain that takes all major
decisions, makes all sorts of calculations and directs different parts of the computer function by
activating and controlling the operation. It consists of arithmetic and logic units, control unit and
internal memory (registers). The control unit of the CPU coordinates the action of the entire
system. Programs (software) provide the CPU, a set of instruction to follow and perform a specific
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task. Between any two components of the computer system, there is a pathway called a bus which
allows for the data transfer between them.
Figure: Central Processing Unit
Control unit controls all the hardware operations, ie, those of input units, output units, memory
unit and the processor. The arithmetic and logic units in computers are capable of performing
addition, subtraction, division and multiplication as well as some logical operations. The
instructions and data are stored in the main memory so that the processor can directly fetch and
The CPU has three major components.
- Arithmetic and Logic Unit
- Control Unit
- Registers (internal memory)
The arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) is the part of CPU where actual computations take place.
It consists of circuits which perform arithmetic operations over data received from memory and are
capable of comparing two numbers.
The control unit directs and controls the activities of the computer system. It interprets the
instructions fetched from the main memory of the computer, sends the control signals to the
devices involved in the execution of the instructions.
While performing these operations the ALU takes data from the temporary storage area inside the
CPU named registers. They are high-speed memories which hold data for immediate processing
and results of the processing.
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Figure: Functions of a CPU
Memory Unit Memory units are the storage areas in a computer. The term “memory” usually refers
to the main memory of the computer, whereas, the word “storage” is used for the memory that
exists on disks, CDs, floppies or tapes. The main memory is usually called a physical memory which
refers to the „chip‟ (Integrated Circuit) capable of holding data and instruction.
There are different types of memory. They are Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory
(ROM), Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM), Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory
(EPROM), Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM).
Random Access Memory - RAM
RAM is the most common type of memory found in the modern computers. This is really the main
store and is the place where the program gets stored. When the CPU runs a program, it fetches the
program instructions from the RAM and carries them out. If the CPU needs to store the results of
the calculations it can store them in RAM. When we switch off a computer, whatever is stored in
the RAM gets erased. It is a volatile form of memory.
Read Only Memory - ROM
In ROM, the information is burnt (pre-recorded) into the ROM chip at manufacturing time. Once
data has been written into a ROM chip, it cannot be erased but you can read it. When we switch off
the computer, the contents of the ROM are not erased but remain stored permanently. ROM is a
non-volatile memory. ROM stores critical programs such as the program that boots the computer.
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FUNCTIONS OF COMPUTER
Four Functions about computer are:
accepts data Input
processes data Processing
produces output Output
stores results Storage
Input is the raw information entered into a computer from the input devices. It is the collection of
letters, numbers, images etc. it means transferring of information into the system. This may be
through a user input device - i.e. keyboard, mouse, scanner etc. Or though previously loaded
software/program, cd etc.
Output is the processed data given by computer after data processing. Output is also called as
Result. We can save these results in the storage devices for the future use. Output is the exact
opposite of input. Output is the function that allows a computer to display information, from the
system, for the user. This can be accomplished through the monitor (or other graphical display),
printer, speakers etc.
It is the operation of data as per given instruction. It is totally internal process of the computer
system. This is where the computer actually does the 'work' - manipulating and controlling data
over the entire system.
Most computers are able to store data both temporarily (in order to process), but also long-term
(i.e., permanently). Storage takes place on hard-drives or external storage devices.
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BLOCK DIAGRAM OF COMPUTER
Figure: Block diagram of computer
COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER: HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
A computer system has two major components, hardware and software. In practice, the term
hardware refers to all the physical items associated with a computer system. Software is a set of
instructions, which enables the hardware to perform a specific task. A computer system is the
integration of physical entities called hardware and non-physical entities called software. The
hardware components include input devices, processor, storage devices and output devices. The
software items are programs and operating aids (systems) so that the computer can process data.
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to accept data (input), and process it into useful
information (output). It also stores data for later reuse (storage). The processing is performed by
the hardware. The computer hardware responsible for computing are mainly classified as follows:
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Figure: Computer Hardware
Input devices allow the user to enter the program and data and send it to the processing
unit. The common input devices are keyboard, mouse and scanners.
The Processor, more formally known as the central processing unit (CPU), has the electronic
circuitry that manipulates input data into the information as required. The central
processing unit actually executes computer instructions.
Memory from which the CPU fetches the instructions and data is called main memory. It is
also called as primary memory and is volatile in nature.
Output devices show the processed data – information – the result of processing. The
devices are normally a monitor and printers. Storage usually means secondary storage,
which stores data and programs. Here the data and programs are permanently stored for
The hardware devices attached to the computer are called peripheral equipment. Peripheral
equipment includes all input, output and secondary storage devices.
Software refers to a program that makes the computer to do something meaningful. It is the
planned, step-by-step instructions required to turn data into information. Software can be
classified into two categories: System Software and Application Software.
Figure: Software Categories
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System software consists of general programs written for a computer. These programs provide the
environment to run the application programs. System software comprises programs, which interact
with the hardware at a very basic level. They are the basic necessity of a computer system for its
proper functioning. System software serves as the interface between hardware and the user. The
operating system, compilers and utility programs are examples of system software.
Figure: System Software
The most important type of system software is the operating system. An operating system is an
integrated set of specialized programs that is used to manage the overall operations of a computer.
It acts like an interface between the user, computer hardware and software. Every computer must
have an operating system to run other programs. DOS (Disk Operating System), Unix, Linux and
Windows are some of the common operating systems.
The compiler software translates the source program (user written program) into an object
program (binary form). Specific compilers are available for computer programming languages like
FORTRAN, COBOL, C, C++ etc. The utility programs support the computer for specific tasks like
file copying, sorting, linking a object program, etc.
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An Application Software consists of programs designed to solve a user problem. It is used to
accomplish specific tasks rather than just managing a computer system. Application software are
inturn, controlled by system software which manages hardware devices.
Some typical examples are : railway reservation system, game programs, word processing software,
weather forecasting programs. Among the application software some are packaged for specific
tasks. The commonly used Application Software packages are word processor, spread sheet,
database management system and graphics.
One of the most commonly used software package is word processing software. Anyone who has
used a computer as a word processor knows that it is far more than a fancy typewriter. The great
advantage of word processing over a typewriter is that you can make changes without retyping the
entire document. The entire writing process is transformed by this modern word processing
software. This software lets you create, edit, format, store and print text and graphics. Some of the
commonly used word processors are Microsoft Word, WordStar, WordPerfect, etc.
Spreadsheet software packages allow the user to manipulate numbers. Repetitive numeric
calculations, use of related formulae and creation of graphics and charts are some of the basic
tools. This capability lets business people try different combinations of numbers and obtain the
results quickly. Lotus1-2-3, Excel, etc. are some of the famous spreadsheet applications.
DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A database management system is a collection of programs that enable to store, modify and extract
information from a database. A database organizes the information internally. Computerized
banking system, Automated Teller Machine, Airlines and Railway reservation system etc., are some
of the database applications.
Type of software Functions Examples
Word Processors All personal computers are loaded with word
processing software which has the same function as a
typewriter for writing letters, preparing reports and
Spreadsheet A table containing text and figures, which is used to
calculations and draw charts
Database Used for storing, retrieval and manipulation of Microsoft Access,
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Management System Information Oracle.
DATA AND INFORMATION
Computer is a tool for solving problems. Computers accept instructions and data, perform
arithmetic and logical operations and produce information. Hence the instructions and data fed
into the computer are converted into information through processing.
Fig. 1.12 Data, Processing and Information
DATA: Basically data is a collection of facts from which information may be derived. Data is
defined as an un-processed collection of raw facts in a manner suitable for communication,
interpretation or processing.
Data The word "data" is the plural of datum, which means fact, observation, assumption or
occurrence. More precisely, data are representations of facts pertaining to people, things, ideas and
events. Data are represented by symbols such as letters of the alphabets, numerals or other special
Hence data are
- Stored facts
- Technology based
- Gathered from various sources.
On the other hand information is a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. Data
that has been interpreted, translated, or transformed to reveal the underlying meaning. This
information can be represented in textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or
Information can be defined as “data that has been transformed into a meaningful and useful form
for specific purposes”. In some cases data may not require any processing before constituting
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information. However, generally, data is not useful unless it is subjected to a process through
which it is manipulated and organised, its contents analyzed and evaluated. Only then data
Hence information is
- Processed facts
- Business based
- Transformed from data.
There is no hard and fast rule for determining when data becomes information. A set of letters and
numbers may be meaningful to one person, but may have no meaning to another. Information is
identified and defined by its users.
For example, when you purchase something in a departmental store, a number of data items are
put together, such as your name, address articles you bought, the number of items purchased, the
price, the tax and the amount you paid. Separately, these are all data items but if you put these
items together, they represent information about a business transaction.
DATA PROCESSING CONCEPT
Data processing is the act of handling or manipulating data in some fashion. Regardless of the
activities involved in it, processing tries to assign meaning to data. Thus, the ultimate goal of
processing is to transform data into information.
Data processing is the process through which facts and figures are collected, assigned meaning,
communicated to others and retained for future use. Hence we can define data processing as a
series of actions or operations that converts data into useful information. We use the term 'data
processing system' to include the resources that are used to accomplish the processing of data.
Data processing is the manipulation of data into a more useful form. Data processing includes not
only numerical calculations but also operations such as the classification of data and the
transmission of data from one place to another. In general, we assume that these operations are
performed by some type of machine or computer, although some of them could also be carried out
manually. Data processing system refers to the equipment or devices and procedures by which the
result is achieved.
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Data Processing Activities
Data processing consists of those activities which are necessary to transform data into information.
Man has in course of time devised Data Processing Concept certain tools to help him in processing
data. These include manual tools such as pencil and paper, mechanical tools such as filing cabinets,
electromechanical tools such as adding machines and typewriters, and electronic tools such as
calculators and computers. Many people immediately associate data processing with computers. As
stated above, a computer is not the only tool used for data processing; it can be done without
computers also. However, computers have outperformed people for certain tasks. But other for
tasks like human skill and intelligence, computer still is a poor substitute.
Regardless to the type of equipment used, various functions and activities which need to be
performed for data processing can be grouped under five basic categories as shown in Fig. 2.1
DATA PROCESSING CYCLE
Data processing is simply the conversion of raw data to meaningful information through a process.
Data is manipulated to produce results that lead to a resolution of a problem or improvement of an
existing situation. Similar to a production process, it follows a cycle where inputs (raw data) are fed
to a process (computer systems, software, etc.) to produce output (information and insights).
Generally, organizations employ computer systems to carry out a series of operations on the data in
order to present, interpret, or obtain information. The process includes activities like data entry,
summary, calculation, storage, etc. Useful and informative output is presented in various
appropriate forms such as diagrams, reports, graphics, etc.
Stages of the Data Processing Cycle
The Data Processing Cycle is a series of steps carried out to extract information from raw data.
Although each step must be taken in order, the order is cyclic. The output and storage stage can
Shalini Pandey- 2016 Page 14
lead to the repeat of the data collection stage, resulting in another cycle of data processing. The
cycle provides a view on how the data travels and transforms from collection to interpretation, and
ultimately, used in effective business decisions.
Figure: Data processing cycle
1) Collection is the first stage of the cycle, and is very crucial, since the quality of data collected
will impact heavily on the output. The collection process needs to ensure that the data gathered are
both defined and accurate, so that subsequent decisions based on the findings are valid. This stage
provides both the baseline from which to measure, and a target on what to improve.
Some types of data collection include census (data collection about everything in a group
or statistical population), sample survey (collection method that includes only part of the total
population), and administrative by-product (data collection is a byproduct of an organization‟s
2) Preparation is the manipulation of data into a form suitable for further analysis and
processing. Raw data cannot be processed and must be checked for accuracy. Preparation is about
constructing a dataset from one or more data sources to be used for further exploration and
processing. Analyzing data that has not been carefully screened for problems can produce highly
misleading results that are heavily dependent on the quality of data prepared.
3) Input is the task where verified data is coded or converted into machine readable form so that
it can be processed through a computer. Data entry is done through the use of a keyboard, digitizer,
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scanner, or data entry from an existing source. This time-consuming process requires speed and
accuracy. Most data need to follow a formal and strict syntax since a great deal of processing power
is required to breakdown the complex data at this stage. Due to the costs, many businesses are
resorting to outsource this stage.
4) Processing is when the data is subjected to various means and methods of manipulation, the
point where a computer program is being executed, and it contains the program code and its
current activity. The process may be made up of multiple threads of execution that simultaneously
execute instructions, depending on the operating system. While a computer program is a passive
collection of instructions, a process is the actual execution of those instructions. Many software
programs are available for processing large volumes of data within very short periods.
5) Output and interpretation is the stage where processed information is now transmitted to
the user. Output is presented to users in various report formats like printed report, audio, video, or
on monitor. Output need to be interpreted so that it can provide meaningful information that will
guide future decisions of the company.
6) Storage is the last stage in the data processing cycle, where data, instruction and information
are held for future use. The importance of this cycle is that it allows quick access and retrieval of
the processed information, allowing it to be passed on to the next stage directly, when needed.
Every computer uses storage to hold system and application software.
DATA PROCESSING METHODS
Data must be processed in order to convert it into information. For this purpose, different
operations may be performed on data. Therefore, data processing is defined as: "a sequence of
operations on data to convert it into useful information".
The important operations that can be performed on data are:
Arithmetic and logical operations.
To transfer of data from one computer to another.
Classification of data.
Arranging data into a specific order etc.
The data processing can be accomplished through following methods:
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vi. Manual Data Processing
vii. Mechanical Data Processing
viii. Electronic Data Processing
ix. Real Time Processing:
x. Batch Processing
Manual Data Processing: In manual data processing, data is processed manually without using
any machine or tool to get required results. In manual data processing, all the calculations and
logical operations are performed manually on the data. Similarly, data is -transferred manually
from one place to another. This method of data processing is very slow and errors may occur in the
output. Mostly, is processed manually in many small business firms as well as government offices &
institutions. In an educational institute, for example, marks sheets, fee receipts, and other financial
calculations (or transactions) are performed by hand.
Mechanical Data Processing: In mechanical data processing method, data is processed by
using different devices like typewriters, mechanical printers or other mechanical devices. This
method of data processing is faster and more accurate than manual data processing. Examination
boards and printing press use mechanical data processing devices frequently.
Electronic Data Processing: Electronic data processing is the modern technique to process
data. The data is processed through computer; Data and set of instructions are given to the
computer as input and the computer automatically processes the data according to the given set of
instructions. The computer is also known as electronic data processing machine. This method of
processing data is very fast and accurate. For example, in a computerized education environment
results of students are prepared through computer; in banks, accounts of customers are
maintained (or processed) through computers etc.
Real Time Processing: There is a continual input, process and output of data. Data has to be
processed in a small stipulated time period (real time), otherwise it will create problems for the
system will create problems for the system.
For example, when a bank customer withdraws a sum, when a bank customer withdraws a sum of
money from his or her account it is vital that the transaction be processed and the account balance
updated as soon as possible, allowing both the bank and customer to keep track of funds and
customer to keep track of funds.
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Batch Processing In a batch processing group of transactions collected over a period of time is
collected, entered, processed and then the batch results are produced. Batch processing requires
separate programs for input, process and output. It is an efficient way of processing high volume of
For example: Payroll system, Examination system and billing system.
ELECTRONIC DATA PRODCESSING (EDP)
EDP refers to the use of automated measures using simple, repetitive actions - and computer
technology - to organise and store documents and sometimes to transfer them from paper to a
It is the process of collecting data and processing them to produce meaningful information by
using computers, processing software and standard database tools. It is the latest technique for
processing large chunks of data. It is a fast, efficient and reliable technique.
Elements of EDP
There are five basic elements in a processing system which uses a computer for processing data.
These are hardware, software, user program, procedure and personnels.
1. Hardware: All the physical parts which makes up a computer system called hardware i.e. all
the devices or peripherals which performs the data processing operations.
2. Software: Software consists of programs and routines whose purpose is to make the computer
useable for the user. This software normally supplied by computer manufacturers or software
3. User Program: A program consists of related instructions to perform operations. A data
processing job may require a number of programs.
4. Procedure: The operation of data processing system requires procedure for use, in preparing
data, for operating the computer and distributing the output after processing.
5. Personnels: E.D.P basically needs three kinds of skilled personnels.
a) System Analyst: System Analyst studies information needs and data processing
requirements, design a data processing system and prepare specification.
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b) Programmer: A Programmer writes a programmer on specification by System Analyst
c) Operator: An Operator is a person who operates the computer system.
Advantages of EDP
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) is the digital management of databases, typically stored on a
shared server and allow simultaneous access to all parties. There are several distinct advantages to
i. Speed. Information stored and managed via EDP can be retrieved almost instantly on a
well-maintained internal network or even the Internet.
ii. Efficient. Summary documents and related materials such as invoices, reports, and
statements can be automatically and quickly generated via EDP.
iii. Economic. Once an Electronic Data Processing system is created and implemented, over
time it reduced the costs of managing data by a significant margin.
iv. Reduced Labor. Duplication of effort and repeated entries due to mistakes in manual data
entry are reduced or eliminated by EDP.
v. Automatic Operation: An electronic computer can carry out a sequence of many data
processing operations without human intervention. The various operations are executed
automatically by way of a stored computer program.
vi. Decision making capability: A computer can perform certain decision instructions
automatically. Here the decision consist of two steps.
a. Determining whether a certain statement is true or false.
b. Based on the result, choosing one or the other course of action out of of alternatives
included in the computer program.
vii. Compact Storage: Electronic data processing systems have the ability to store large
amounts of data in a compact and easily retrievable form.
viii. Accuracy: High speed processing by computers is accompanied by high-accuracy results.
The electronic circuitry of computers is such that, when the machines are programmed
correctly and when relatively assured. No other system can operate with as much accuracy
as the electronic system.
A computer can be considered as 100% accurate. Checking circuits are built directly into the
computer, so that computer errors that are undetected are extremely rare. Because of the
speed and accuracy, computer systems are capable of processing large amounts of data more
cheaply than if manual methods are used.
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Disadvantages of EDP
i. Power failure, computer viruses and hackers are the inherent problems of using
ii. Once data been input into the system, automatically the output are obtained hence the data
being input needs to be validated for accuracy and completeness, we should not forget
concept of GIGO (Garbage In (Input) Garbage out ( Output).
iii. Accounting system not properly set up to meet the requirement of the business due to badly
programmed or inappropriate software or hardware or personnel problems can caused more
iv. Danger of computer fraud if proper level of control and security whether internal and
external are not properly been instituted.
MS EXCEL OR MICROSOFT EXCEL
Microsoft Excel is a member of the spreadsheet family of software. Spreadsheets allow you to keep
track of data, create charts based from data, and perform complex calculations. Just like a book
ledger, spreadsheets store information in columns and rows. You can have up to 256 columns and
65,536 rows per worksheet.
Some of the projects that can be done in a spreadsheet include:
ƒ budgeting displays
ƒ checkbook registers
ƒ enrollment records
ƒ coded surveys
ƒ field and laboratory research data
ƒ financial and accounting
Microsoft Excel provides a grid interface to organize nearly any type of information. The power of
Excel lies in it's flexibility to define the layout and structure of the information you want to manage.
Basic tasks require no special training, and Excel allows you to work with text, numbers, and date
information in a relatively open and unstructured way. Nearly 30 years after it's initial
introduction, Excel remains the world‟s leading spreadsheet software.
Major Uses for Excel
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Excel is used widely in any financially-related activity. The ability to create new spreadsheets
where users can define custom formulas to calculate anything from a simple quarterly forecast to a
full corporate annual report makes Excel highly appealing. Excel is also used widely for common
information organization and tracking like a list of sales leads, project status reports, contact lists,
and invoicing. Finally, Excel is a useful tool for scientific and statistical analysis with large data
sets. Excel's statistical formulas and graphing can help researches perform variance analysis, chi-
square testing, and chart complex data.
How Excel Works
An Excel document is called a Workbook. A workbook always has at least one Worksheet.
Worksheet is the grid where you can store and calculate data. You can have many worksheets
stored inside a workbook, each with a unique worksheet name.
Worksheets are laid out in columns (vertical) and rows (horizontal). The intersection of any given
row and column is a cell. Cells are really where you enter any information. A cell will accept a
large amount of text, or you can enter a date, number, or formula. Each cell can be formatted
individually with distinct border, background color, and font color/size/type.
Some basic concepts and terminology
A Cell is an individual data box which will have a corresponding Column and Row heading. This
gives the cell a name, referred to as the Cell Reference. When referencing a cell, the column
heading comes before the row heading. For instance, the first cell is A1 (Column A, Row 1).
The data in a spreadsheet are often referred to as Values.
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Excel refers to each file as a Workbook. There can be multiple pages in each workbook. Each page,
or sheet, is called a Worksheet. When you open a new Excel file, it automatically starts you with
three worksheets, but you can add more.
Formula & Function Management
Formulas enable you to enter calculations in a worksheet. Using Excel for calculations gives you the
ability to change the data (or values) of the cells, and have the program automatically update the
recalculate the value of the output based on the new numbers. To enter a formula, type the formula
directly in the cell starting with a = (an equal sign tells Excel that you are not entering data). For
instance, to add the value in cell A1 with the value in B1, you could click in cell C1 (where you want
your calculated result to appear) and type =A1+B1. Press the Enter key to see the result. Functions
are predefined formulas that perform a specific operation, such as determining loan payments or
calculating investment returns. Functions accept information, called arguments, and return a
result. In most cases, the result is a calculation, but functions also return results that are text,
references, logical values, arrays, or information about the worksheet.