MS Excel for Managers: The Advantages, Legalities and Ethics

MS Excel for Managers: The Advantages, Legalities and Ethics

MS Excel (formally known as Microsoft Office Excel) is a widely-used spreadsheet-format application created by Microsoft Corporation. It is a dynamic tool that features the capacity to build data tables, do calculations using formula, and create charts and graphs. Managers of organizations greatly profit from the ease and versatility of this program in dealing with the management of business and employee data. MS Excel is a highly efficient tool for companies, as it is able to process data in multiple steps and modes: collection, auditing/editing, storage, analysis, interpretation and sharing (Resnik, 2008).

The program’s format makes data organization fast and efficient for managers. They can evaluate and interpret information so much more easily than doing it by hand. Reports using charts, graphs and the like may also be generated easily, imported to presentations, or shared with other users. Managers can maximize the use of this powerful tool by doing the following: 1.) Import and arrange data into a spreadsheet; 2.) Create a brief summary of data using a table or chart; 3.) Set a data filter to “sieve” data pertaining to a particular category; 4.) Create a data chart; 5.) Create formula that will be used to measure and calculate data; 6.) Organize final data by performing a basic sort (Crowder, n.d.).

Changes brought about by new technology make data management a very complex and delicate issue. Almost always, data is subject to various legal and ethical issues, the majority of which concern privacy, availability and ownership of data. Managers have to be constantly aware that the availability of data does not make it always readily open and usable to and for the public. Most employers take precautionary nondisclosure agreements that restrict employees’ ability to share information with others. Measures also have to be taken to ensure that data on file is accurate and current. Organizations can protect themselves from corporate liability and scandal by conducting regular data checks and surveys (Relkin, 2006).


Crowder, C.D. (n.d.). How to Use MS Excel as a Tool for Interpreting Data. Retrieved from the web site: data.html.

Relkin, J. (2006). 10 Ethical Issues Confronting I.T. Managers. Retrieved June 16, 2009 from the web site:

Resnik, D.B. (2008) Who Owns Your Data? Ethical Issues in Data Management. [Powerpoint Presentation]. Retrieved from web site: future-leaders/docs/Ethical_Issues_in_Data_Management_Handout.pdf

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