Software

Google Apps – A powerful Suite of Free Tools

Unfortunately Paul - Google Apps Utility

Over the past couple of months, I have been exploring the different tools in the Google Apps Suite.

And I must say I am quite impressed with the way these tools have been developed and improved over the years.

For those of you who don’t know what Google Apps is, it is a free set of tools that you get when you create a Google account. Now I am sure you have heard about Gmail, and when you create a Gmail account, you also get access to a set of additional (FREE) tools. These additional tools are called Google Apps.

Now I am sure you have heard about Gmail, and when you create a Gmail account, you also get access to a set of additional (FREE) tools. These additional tools are called Google Apps.

The Rising Popularity of Google Apps

Now you don’t need to use all the apps in the G Suite, but if you’re a working professional like me, you may find it worthwhile to check out the ones listed below:

Google Docs

Google Docs is a web-based word processor and have similar functionalities as Microsoft Word.

In my opinion, this even goes a step further when it comes to features and flexibility of a word processor. The fact that multiple people can collaborate and work on the same Google Docs document is amazing.

It’s immensely helpful when creating project proposals and plans. All I need to do is share the link with my team and my manager and they can leave their comments in the same document. It saves time as there is no hassle to attach and send these in emails and worry about the version control of the document.

Google Slides

I find Google Slides useful but Google needs to do some catching up here if you compare it with PowerPoint.

The basic functionalities are all there and the ability to collaborate with other people in the same document is great. However, there are numerous minor functionalities where PowerPoint excels.

The big advantage of Google Slides is that it’s free (just like all the other Google Apps). So if you’re a freelancer or a teacher, and don’t want to get a hole in your pocket, Google Slides is a great way to make presentations. You can also convert existing PowerPoint slides to the Google Slide format and use these.

Google Sheets

Just like Google Slides, Google Sheets lags considerably in functionalities when compared with MS Excel. And in my opinion, I don’t see Google Sheets catching up with Excel anytime soon (especially with Microsoft Excel team coming up with so many new features such as Power Pivot and BI).

However, there are two reasons that work for Google Sheets and has led to an increasing level of adoption by freelancers, educators, and small businesses.

The first reason is the price. Since Google Sheets is free of cost, it makes sense to use it for simple stuff such as data entry and management. To use MS Excel, you need to purchase a license and that may not be worth it if you only need to get basic stuff done.

The second reason is that Google Sheets have done a great job in having almost all the function that Excel has, and in some cases, even have some additional functions.

You can create simple templates in Google Sheets and share these with your team members or employees. Creating such templates that can be accessed from anywhere by a fixed set of people can drastically improve the productivity and streamline operations.

One area where Google Sheets lags is the online support. You may not find many forums of blogs on Google Sheets Tips and tutorials (while the internet is full of the Excel ones).

Google Forms

Now this one is where Google is far superior to others.

There is a form option available by Microsoft as well, but Google Forms is easier to the user and more advanced in functionalities. A big benefit of Google forms is that you can connect it to Google Sheets easily. This allows you to quickly collect responses from other people in minutes and then compile these in Google Sheets. It’s extremely popular among small and mid sized business and I have seen many big marketers use it to reach out to their audience and get their response.

It’s extremely popular among small and mid sized business and I have seen many big marketers use it to reach out to their audience and get their response.

Google Drive

Another great product from the Google stable.

It’s very popular and used by millions, however, still lacks behind Dropbox in popularity.

The best part of Google Drive is that you get 15 GB of free space with each Google account. As an individual, it’s more than sufficient, but if you are looking for paid options, you may consider Dropbox. I have used both Google Drive and Dropbox and prefer the latter. One benefit of Google Drive is that you can easily store your Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs documents in Google Drive. Also, if you take the Google Apps subscription, you get more space in Google Drive.

One benefit of Google Drive is that you can easily store your Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs documents in Google Drive. Also, if you take the Google Apps subscription, you get more space in Google Drive.

As I continue to work with Google Apps, I am convinced of its utility. As a package, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes more popular than its counterparts.

7 Common MS Excel Questions Interviewer Asks

Excel questions for Interviews

MS Excel is the most popular Microsoft spreadsheet app all over the world, with billions of users using it to perform several functions. Most offices hence rely on the application for many day-to-day tasks.

Consequently, every job nowadays requires you to have functional knowledge of Excel.

Anytime you are applying for any job that needs any form of data entry, analysis, or calculations; chances are you will be required to have, at least, a basic knowledge of MS Excel.

Below are 7 Common MS Excel Questions Interviewer Asks, and which you should expect at an interview.

  1. What is MS Excel and what core functions does it perform?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet app which you can use to record, manipulate, analyze and store data. The sections in which data is stored are called cells. Each cell is uniquely identified, depending on its column and row value. The cells can be manipulated arithmetically using core and complex functions and operations. Besides its standard spreadsheet feature, MS Excel provides programming support through VBA (Visual Basic Applications), as well as extensive charting and graphic capabilities.

  1. What do you know about Excel Pivot table?

Pivot tables are Excel’s powerful features that allow a user to extract the significant from a large detailed data set. It provides an excellent way of summarizing, analyzing, exploring and presenting data. It is also very simple to create. However, when you add either a new row or new column to any of the source data, the pivot table is not updated because the lately added data lies outside the range of the underlying data of the Pivot table. You can overcome this limitation by either manually refreshing the source data or providing a dynamic range to the pivot table. To provide a dynamic range create a Named range by use of Offset function, and use the Named range to base the pivot table.

  1. What role do Dashboards play in MS Excel?

Dashboards track metrics, KPIs, among other data points in a single visual, central place. Therefore, besides giving you a high-level view of work, dashboards help you make fast decisions while at the same time helping you keep everyone updated. Its visual nature gives you an at-a-glance view of performance in real-time and simplifies complex data. They are composed of charts, tables, numbers, and gauges. You can use dashboards in spreadsheets for a variety of purposes in a wide range of industries including making marketing dashboards, financial dashboards, project dashboards, and much more.

  1. How can you add cells, rows, and columns in Excel?

To insert a row, column or cell in Excel, right click on what you would like to add to and select Insert from the menu. The insert menu enables you to add a cell, row or column, and shifts the cell affected down or right. You can add a comment to the newly added cell to clarify any formula used, its purpose, or leave notes for other users by right-clicking on the cell and, choosing insert comment from the resulting menu.

  1. Explain some data formats in MS Excel

The most common data formats are currency, numbers, and dates. The currency format is a specialized number presentation that stores data in a particular currency form. Number format stores info as a number, and can include decimal values as well as separators for big numbers exceeding 999. Date format, on the other hand, allows you to store data as dates for purposes of calculations and formulas.

  1. What is the Ribbon as used in MS Excel?

A Ribbon refers to a section that runs along the top of the app containing toolbars and menu items available in the Excel. It has various tabs that in turn include groups of commands to be used in the application. You can maximize or minimize the Ribbon by just pressing CTRL F1.

  1. How can you use MS Excel to analyze a group of data?

MS Excel allows us to create various types of charts, such as column and line charts, or even adding a small graph. You can also create a Pivot Table, insert totals quickly, apply table styles or even use conditional formatting to come up with useful features of the data you are analyzing. For instance, you can quickly label all values less than a particular value, say average, in your data by using the IF function. This feature enables you to perform analysis of information in the shortest time possible.