If you're like most business leaders, you're always looking for ways to automate processes and save time. Excel has a powerful programming language called VBA that can help you do that. This highly flexible tool can be used to automate tasks and processes in all areas of your business, saving you time and eliminating errors caused by manual input.
In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most useful ones and show you how to use them. Whether you're automating simple tasks or complex workflows, Excel's VBA language can help get the job done quickly and efficiently. So let's get started!
Here are 10 ways to use VBA to automate processes:
Develop Dynamic Dashboards
Dashboards are very popular; however, they can be difficult to configure. After that comes the challenge of keeping them current and ensuring that the data is accurate. Verifying that the data is correct can easily take hours each time. A dynamic dashboard, on the other hand, will automatically refresh as new data is added, saving time and frustration. A report that looks good enough to transmit to management for them to evaluate and edit is the final result of this process.
Edward Mellett, Wikijob
Simplify Data Entry with Formulas
Hard-coding calculations in spreadsheets are one of the most frustrating aspects of using spreadsheets. It can be practically impossible to discern how a hard-coded calculation was done (especially if you are not the person who entered the value) if you don't reference any cells and just put the result in the cell. Trying to figure out the computation could take a long time if you have to recalculate or update it. When you don't have to manually enter data, you'll save a lot of time in the long run. You should try to reduce the number of areas where you manually enter data. With that, you'll have a far more sophisticated template that will reduce the need for data entry and automatically update your other calculated variables. There is no technical code required for this type of automation, and all that is needed is an Excel spreadsheet that is meticulously built to make the most of all its formulas.
Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel
Use Conditional Formatting
I think you'll often want to colour-code your data to make things stand out that you should pay attention to. Highlighting accounts that are more than 90 days past due can be helpful if you have an aged accounts receivable calendar. Using conditional formatting instead of manually filtering the data and highlighting all the red cells or rows that are past due can save you time.
With conditional formatting, you can specify whether a cell or row should be red or yellow or simply hidden so that you can easily skip over the content when working with it. Zero values can be hidden to help focus on more important numbers, for example. Despite its complexity, conditional formatting can save you a lot of time by allowing you to focus on the things that matter most to you. In addition to that, you no longer have to worry about making modifications whenever new data is added.
Kenny Kline, BarBend
Link Workbooks and Sheets
The best way to prevent re-entering data if you utilize numerous workbooks is to link them together. You can achieve this in a variety of ways. Alternatively, you may just copy and paste the data from another table into a new worksheet. To reference another spreadsheet or workbook, use the INDIRECT function. After setting up these formulas and relationships, you don't have to worry about having to manually update them again.
Max Whiteside, Breaking Muscle
Create Quotes and Invoices
Businesses can use Excel to automate quote and invoice creation. Excel can connect to Xero and Airtable APIs, reduce data entry, and perform calculations. Things like currency, markup, and costs are calculated automatically. This makes the whole process easier and quicker, starting from creating a quote all the way to receiving the payments for invoices.
Luke Smoothy, Get It Made Ltd
Track Changes in the Audit Log
In my opinion, one of the useful features of many Office applications is the ability to track changes. This is typically the case when a worksheet is made available to several users. If you're using macros, you can have a separate sheet that tells you which values were updated at what time and who made the changes. Automating the process of documenting these changes is easier than manually recording them or depending on other people to do it.
David Janssen, VPNOverview
Track the Use of Visuals
Excel and VBA are essential in automating visual-use tracking in digital marketing and social media management. As a brand, we have a database of visuals used in our marketing content. Automating the tracking process ensures that each new post uses a different visual and that there are no instances of repeated use. Automating this function also allows us to add the visuals to our database when we download them online.
Mehtab Ahmed, LoansJury
Clean and Correct Data
One of the more challenging things when you are dealing with huge datasets is that they are hard to manipulate. If you mix up texts with numbers or dates that are not in the right format, it can be hard trying to trace the error and fix it. Excel interprets or recognizes the data that is input improperly and corrects it. The program has many formulas that can help you with that rather than manually fixing the data. You can use functions like TRIM, CLEAN, LEFT, MID and RIGHT to extract what you need while also getting rid of extra unnecessary spaces and other characters.
Leah Wanjiku Gathoni, NearbyMovers
Excel's ability to send automated emails is a tool that many users appreciate. This task can also be done using macros. For example, you can set up a macro to enter the recipient's email address, attach a file, and type out the message itself. If you'd like to send out invoices to dozens or hundreds of customers, you can automate this procedure, saving yourself countless hours of labor.
Vincent Amodio, Icon Medical Centers
With Excel and VBA, you can automate simple tasks which may be easy but are mandatory – for example, a straightforward sales report that you need to prepare every month. You can develop a macro for the task and automate the reporting cycle. By doing so, you can simply forget about this task, as the code automatically does it for you every single month. You can only imagine the time and hassle it will save you.
Robert Warner, Virtual Valley
VBA is a powerful tool that can automate processes and save your business time and money. By eliminating the potential for human error, you can also improve the accuracy of your data. VBA is highly flexible and can be used by all departments in your company to streamline their work.
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