We use spreadsheets to enter data on a grid which has rows and columns. Number are normally used for the rows and letters for the columns, which allows us to name each cell – for example A1, D4.
Using a spreadsheet allows us to enter data into each cell, and as it is structured we can then use the different formulas that are available, and we can then make different calculations.
Each row can represent a different item and each column can contain information about that item. For example, my car could be the row, and each column could represent mileage, fuel used, dates, services and other useful information. We could add other cars and build up a database of information which can then be used for comparisons.
Because spreadsheets are effective at numerical operations, they are often used in the collection of both scientific and financial data. Once the information has been entered, you can use the addition calculation to reach a total, which can then be multiplied by another rate, allowing you to forecast future values. Once you have done this, you can change the rate that was used in just one cell, and reach another calculation.
Although Microsoft Excel is the most popular, there are others available for Windows (IBM Lotus 1-2-3) and for the Mac (Appleworks and Numbers).