Welcome to week 2.

Sean's task for this week is that

his manager has given him some calculations to do an Excel.

Nicky, do you think that will end up scaring Sean?

Probably no.

The whole point of starting with the calculations is to put Sean's fears behind him.

There's nothing to be scared of.

We're going to start very slowly nice small steps,

building up getting quite comfortable with how calculations work.

The other thing is, I want our learners to get

as much practice as possible because really anything that comes easy,

if you've had enough practice.

Yeah. Also while some people might be thinking,

"Oh, calculations. I don't need those.".

Really to be a competent Excel user,

you have to know the basics.

Once you've mastered those basics,

once you've got the critical call of how it actually works,

the rest becomes easy.

You can build on that knowledge and start doing some

of the more complicated things if your job demands it.

For our learners, how will we break it down this week?

Good questions. So, what we're going to do is we're going to start

with a very basic video on working with formulas.

The idea is to just to get used to the language of Excel.

So, simple numbers, simple calculations.

Once we're good with that,

we're going to move on to the next step which is

applying those skills to real business problems.

So, slightly more complicated but not difficult.

Then once everybody is feeling good about formulas,

we're going to start looking at functions,

and we're going to start with the sum function.

Okay. You mentioned two things, formulas and functions.

They sound the same to me.

Yeah, absolutely. I am the worst for getting those terms interchanged.

But actually, there is a little bit of a difference.

So, a formula is a calculation.

It always starts with an equal sign.

When we want to use really simple calculations in Excel,

it's much like we would do on a calculator.

You can just say this times that,

or this subtract that.

The problem is when you want to start working with very complex calculations

or thousands of numbers to sit there typing it all in, isn't feasible.

So instead, Excel has given us an option to use something called a function.

A function is like a little miniature program that does the work for you.

So, it actually makes life easier.

So, whenever we want Excel to perform a calculation for us,

we need to use the equal sign.

A basic formula would be like adding four cells,

equals B4 plus C4 plus D4 plus E4.

That's a simple calculation.

But if we wanted to add up 400 cells,

that's going to be quite inefficient.

So, Excel has functions that it will help us.

An equal sign followed by a few captal letters,

such as SUM for the sum function,

open brackets followed by a cell reference.

In this case, the cell reference would be B4:E4 and then we close the brackets.

The colon tells Excel that this is a range of data all the way from B4 to E4.

Absolutely spot on. You've described it perfectly.

Okay. But the problem is,

there are about 500 of those,

Nicky. What are we going to do next?

Well, we're not going to do all of them.

But we are going to look at three of the ones that are most useful.

Once you start working with three or four,

the rest all become a lot easier because they all follow a very similar pattern.

Okay. Does that include that dollar thingy that

we have to put in sometimes when we have specific functions and formulas?

Dollar thingy, a good technical term.

What you mean is absolute cell references.

Absolutely, we do definitely need to look at that.

But that's getting a little bit trickier.

So, I think what we should do is given alone as

a chance to work through videos one through four,

and then we'll come back and explain the dollar thingy in a bit more detail.

So, you've heard it now.

Nicky suggests there are four practice videos for you to work through.

Make sure you download the Excel files,

and you're going to work alongside Nicky with those four practice videos.

Then you're going to practice them by yourself as well.

Then we'll come back to you and break down the dollar thingy,

absolute cell referencing for you.

So, we'll get back to you soon.

But now, it's over to you to practice.