Microsoft Excel is still one of many analytics and data tools used within corporations. Being it’s included in the Office 365 suite helps as there are no additional subscriptions or charges required in order to be used by the users. Its versatility, ease of use, and a lot of online learning materials assist Excel to continue to be a competitor in the data and analysis space. Having used Excel for decades for data and analysis, today I will provide a quick overview of the different calculation operators that are available within Microsoft Excel.

Before going over the calculation operators, it is good to know that Microsoft Excel adheres to standard mathematical principles for calculations, commonly known as PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally). PEMDAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction.

When writing formulas, it is a great idea to be mindful of the below best practices.

  1. Start with an Equals Sign (=)
  2. Use Cell References (e.g., A1, B1, C1)
  3. Calculation Operators (e.g., Addition (+), Subtraction (-))
  4. Common Functions (e.g., SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, and COUNT)
  5. Autocomplete Feature
  6. Formula Auditing Tools (e.g., Trace Precedents, Trace Dependents, and Evaluate Formula)

There are four different types of calculation operators which we will cover in this blog.

Arithmetic Operators

They are basic mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication as displayed in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1.  Excel Arithmetic Operators

An example of using addition, in an excel data set, as displayed in Figure 1.2, follow the below steps.

  1. Select cell A11.
  2. Type the word ‘Total.’
  3. Select cell B12.
  4. Next, type the formula ‘=B2+B3
    1. This will add cells B2 and B3. You can continue this and add cells within the same sheet/tab or from another tab or workbook as well.
Figure 1.2.  Excel Addition Operator

Comparison Operators

Comparing two values within the same operator which yield a logical outcome, either TRUE or FALSE as displayed in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3.  Excel Comparison Operators

Text Concatenation Operators

Using the ampersand (&) to concatenate (combine/join) one or more text strings to produce a single piece of text as displayed in Figure 1.4.

Figure 1.4.  Excel Text Concatenation Operators

Reference Operators

Perform calculations by combining ranges of cells using the below operators as displayed in Figure 1.5.

Figure 1.5.  Excel Reference Operators

Microsoft Excel can function just like any other data and analytics tool. It’s built in calculation operators, formulas, and functions assist users with fast and accurate data analysis and accuracy. Now that everyone is familiar with built in calculation operators within excel, try using them when performing data analysis next time.

That concludes today’s blog. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read it. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below. I appreciate your time and wish you a wonderful day!

Admira Meskic
Sr. Data Engineer, Patriot Consulting
Email: | Blogs: Patriot Consulting Blogs
LinkedIn: Personal: AdmiraMeskic | Company: Patriot Consulting

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