What does it take to succeed in business today? Increasingly, one of the most important skills you can have is digital literacy.
According to Cornell University, digital literacy is defined as: "the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet."
Nearly 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs now require digital skills, according to recent research by Burning Glass. What's more, those jobs requiring digital skills pay an average of 18% more than those that don't.
If you read my blog posts regularly, you'll know I'm a HUGE fan of coding as the most important skill an entrepreneur or employee can have today. Learning to code offers so many valuable benefits, including allowing you to save money on marketing and web design functions, and giving you better perspective when hiring out coding tasks.
But when it comes to specific programs, one of the most important ones to master is that old Microsoft standby: Excel.
In fact, 67% of jobs that require digital literacy also require proficiency in both Word and Excel. Maybe you used Excel in college but haven't touched it since, or perhaps it's something you struggle with (and despise) on a regular basis. It's not really known as a program people love working in, but you can't deny the sheer power of Microsoft Excel.
In fact, WordStream was born out of my own need to automate a lot of the functions I was doing regularly as a search marketing consultant. I spent entire days (and nights) wrangling Excel and making it do backflips in the mid-2000s. Conditional formatting, pivot tables, forecasting and other functions can be crazy difficult to learn, but are so important to know.
So I get it. I feel your pain... I understand that knot in your gut when you hear the word "Excel." It can be super complicated, there's no question.
But Microsoft Excel can also help you save time, make better business decisions, and ultimately be a more valuable asset in the office, whether it's your own company or someone else's.
That's why this infographic I came across is so good. UK training company STL compiled their top seven Excel tricks in a visual guide called 7 Essential Excel Tricks Every Office Worker Needs to Know.
In it, they offer super simple shortcuts to powerful Excel functions like VLOOKUP, Quick Analysis, Power View and more.
Check it out:
Image credit: STL
This blog post originally appeared at Inc.com. It is republished here with permission.