You can divide your academic life into two phases. One in which you don't know how to use Microsoft Excel and the other where eventually you start discovering it. You start wondering how it could have made your life much easier. I am using the word 'discovering' here simply because to learn every feature of it will probably take an entire lifetime. But the point is that it can do wonders beyond imagination irrespective of you belonging to any discipline. Let us look at some aspects in which you can use this software.
Data and statistical analysis
In this age of Big data, excel can serve as a useful tool if not the most. Apart from data entry and creating lists, it offers you a wide variety of flexibility. Now you can even solve optimization problems, do your regression analysis and make financial models. Using two add-ins called solver and regression analysis, you can make your data analysis much easier.
This might come off as a surprise but VBA (Visual Basic Application) lets you write codes in excel. This essentially helps you create small scripts (macros), user-defined functions, add-ins, and games too. Programmers often face this problem of repeating codes that can be mitigated by clicking on the record macro button and the code writes itself in the background. You can also code games like Sudoku, monopoly and even RPG games.
Many of us go back to PowerPoints only when we think of presentations. But if your presentation slides require more data clarity, you can always come back to excel to create pie charts, Gantt charts, trends, Diagrams, Mockups, line graphs and many more. One of the most interesting features is Pivot tables which help you create dynamic summary reports from raw data.
Sajid Bin Hasnat is a 3rd Year student at BRAC University. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org