# Actuarial Science: Introduction To MS Excel

No crime is so great as daring to excel. – Winston Churchill

Microsoft Excel plays a key role in many sectors among the computer programs which exist. It is the most extensively used spreadsheet program in several business activities, personal data organization, and class work. In this article, we will go through Introduction To MS Excel in Actuarial Science perspective.

It was first uncanned in the year 1985. Since then, this software has come a long way in performing comprehensive formula based arithmetic and calculations and other operations that require mathematical interpretation.

Almost all the businesses, personal enterprises, and educational institutions have embraced the pertinence of MS Excel for its utility and the potential to serve as a visual basic for a wide range of applications. And the same goes for our actuarial community. MS Excel is our oxygen that fuels our interpretation and valuation using mathematical & statistical techniques and economics approach to solve our real-life actuarial based problems.

Seeing this spunk liveliness of MS Excel in our actuarial profession at work, our institutional bodies, IFoA and IAI have come up with the updated actuarial science curriculum in 2019 which comprises MS Excel-based practical exams lodged on the theory and application of the actuarial techniques to the real data sets. What a remarkable move to ensure the fit of the actuarial science coursework and overcoming challenges in today’s evolving world!

The significance of MS Excel can be seen in the distinctive units it is used as follows:

• Graphical Interpretation
• Data Organization
• Programming

And these distinctive units can be learned to use and apply at three different levels:

Microsoft Excel- BASIC (or BEGINNER) LEVEL
You will perform simple arithmetic operations on the data whose formulae are already there in Excel. Additionally, you will be able to use a few keyboard shortcuts of various key features to help you get around the sheet.

The content briefly includes:

• Understanding Workbooks and Worksheets
• Selecting Cells
• Auto-Sum and Auto-Fill Function
• Arithmetic Operations
• Formatting Cells
• Cells, Rows and Columns Adjustment
• Placing Cell Alignment
• Edit, Copy and Move Cells
• Basic Options, Ribbons, and Toolbar
• Cell Referencing
• Proofing Workbooks

Microsoft Excel- INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
You can apply efficient ways to manipulate and draw inferences from the data. You can effortlessly write your own complex formulae, construct graphs and will eventually land up working on MS Excel more with the keyboard than the mouse.

The content briefly includes:

• Define Names and Sort Data
• Insert Table
• Filter Data
• Insert Charts
• Chart Design Options and Format Tools
• Combo Charts
• Insert Date and Time Functions
• Information, Logical and Financial Functions
• Find and Replace
• Conditional Formatting

You will actively try to automate user experience using Macros to create your own function and will come across various functions and graphics to master data design of tables, pivot tables, and charts. Advanced techniques include super-functions, array formulae, advanced range names and problem-solving.

The content briefly includes:

• Use Text to Columns
• Paste Special Function
• Data Validation
• Subtotals and Grouping
• Scenario Analysis
• What-if Analysis
• Text Functions
• Lookup Functions
• Statistical Functions
• Insert Pivot Tables
• Protecting and Sharing Worksheets
• Understanding and using Macros
• Data Encrypting and Finalizing Workbooks
• Working with Templates

Being an actuarial aspirant, if you have decided to learn software skills then trying your hands on MS Excel is the best head start to aspire for. It is a versatile software and universally used spreadsheet. The sooner you learn, the better for you. You will now not just be using it in the corporate sector but will also be giving MS Excel-based exams too. So, working on your proficiency in MS Excel will be a sure shot leverage to your actuarial jaunt.

This is all from my side and most certainly I would like to end this article highlighting the importance of MS Excel as it is the most vital preliminary software in most of the traditional as well as the modern actuarial organizations for the purpose of efficiency and problem-solving. Organizations aim to keep the systematic and up-to-date records of their products, the order of affairs and activities so that Actuaries are able to predict the future and risks involved on the basis of the data available. In addition to that, individuals who are skillful in creating Excel programming i.e. VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) are considered assets to an organization.

To know more on how to solve actuarial problems based on real data sets in MS Excel, stay tuned with StepUp Analytics website.