Do you ‘excel’ with Excel? Can you remember BODMAS from school. Do you know why it has an importance in Excel?

I met a lovely client today and we were looking initially at excel. With a few tips and tricks (and their vision of what they wanted to achieve) we developed a nice functional spread sheet hopefully saving them time effort and manual paper tracking.

As we started on some formulas I mentioned that when you build a formula you need to apply the principal of BODMAS

What is BODMAS?

BODMAS is an acronym that shows you the correct order in which to preform a mathematical calculation

  • Brackets
  • Order
  • Divide
  • Multiply
  • Add
  • Subtract

If you want to know more on BODMAS there is a nice guide from the University of East Anglia.

Ask yourself this…

  • When you build a formula in Excel do you apply the BODMAS principal?
  • Do you use a series of brackets to keep each part of your formula separate?
  • Should you apply this logic or do you rely on Excel sorting it for you?

I have to hold my hand up and be honest that I do sometimes create a ‘dirty formula’ and rely on Excel putting my brackets in correctly at the end of the formula and doing what I want.

Should I rely on Excel? Of course not – I should practice what I preach and put the formula in nice and neatly with the brackets in the correct place. That way I ensure excel does the formula I want with the calculations in the correct order.

And that is one way you can ‘excel’ with Excel!

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