Excel can be a powerful tool for nonprofits looking to do more with their data. While Excel has been used for decades as a great tool for data collection, sorting, and exporting, many nonprofits don't realize the array of capabilities that Excel offers when it comes to gleaning data insights, analyzing trends, and extracting key information to use for grant reports, funding requests, program evaluations, and more. Read on to learn some awesome capabilities of today's Excel, and start integrating these functions into your nonprofit's data management system today!
Selected Highlights of Excel for Nonprofits
The latest versions of Excel contain dozens of tools to better understand your nonprofit's data. Here are a few select tools to start trying out this year to bring your organization into the 21st century:
- Map Charts. Quickly envision your nonprofit's connections across a map by using map charts to analyze your database of contacts by zip code, city, state, or region.
- Recommended Pivot Tables. A great starting place for someone new to Excel's new functionality, these recommendations will let you start seeing what's possible when you select different data points and fields to create rich information ripe for finding meaningful insights into your nonprofit's performance and goals.
- Get & Transform. This new, powerful Excel tool allows you to quickly collect and shape data from a variety of sources. Use Excel to assist you with leveraging the power of social media and additional data providers, including vendors like SalesForce and Exchange.
- One-click forecasting. Like something out of a science fiction flick, this cool tool allows Excel to interpret your historical data, and make predictions about the data to come. This can be used to forecast sales and inventory in traditional for-profit businesses, but can also be used to make predictions about donations, volunteer engagement, units of service provision, and other key data points to measure the impact and reach of your nonprofit.
- Flash Fill. A supercharged version of Excel's existing auto fill feature, flash fill will make entering and "cleaning up" data simpler and faster than ever before, which means your staff will have more time at their disposal to do the work that matters most to your nonprofit.
Taking advantage of all the features of Excel can be intimidating, but with practice and guidance, you can transform your old database tool into a suite of powerful data analysis features all with just a few clicks. Need help getting started? Tech Impact offers support and services to nonprofits looking to better integrate technological solutions into their work. Contact us today, and learn more about how to make the most of Excel to better serve your community!