Top 30 Excel Formulas That Every Business Analyst Should Know!


Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and manipulation, and being proficient in using Excel formulas is essential for any business analyst. Let’s explore the top 30 Excel formulas that every business analyst should know. From basic formulas for calculations to advanced formulas for data analysis, this comprehensive guide will help you enhance your Excel skills and boost your productivity.

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What are Excel formulas?

Excel formulas are mathematical expressions that perform calculations, manipulate data, and automate tasks within Excel. They enable users to efficiently analyse and make sense of large datasets, saving time and effort. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, understanding and utilising these formulas will greatly enhance your analytical capabilities.

Basics of Excel Formula

Before diving into the specific formulas, let’s briefly cover the basics of Excel formulas to ensure a solid foundation.

Understanding Formula

In Excel, a formula starts with an equals sign (=) followed by the expression or function. Formulas can consist of mathematical operators, cell references, values, and functions. They can be simple calculations or complex combinations of functions and operators.

Common Operators

Excel provides various operators for performing calculations. The commonly used operators include addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (/), and exponentiation (^). Understanding how these operators work is crucial for building formulas.

Essential Excel Formulae for Business Analysts

Let’s explore the essential Excel formulas that every business analyst should be familiar with. These formulas are fundamental for performing basic calculations and data analysis tasks.

1. SUM Formula

The SUM formula is used to add up a range of cells. It allows you to quickly calculate the total of multiple values without manually adding them one by one.

2. AVERAGE Formula

The AVERAGE formula calculates the average of a range of cells. It is useful for determining the mean value of a set of numbers.

3. COUNT Formula

The COUNT formula counts the number of cells that contain numeric values within a specified range. It helps in counting data points or identifying missing values.

4. IF Formula

The IF formula allows you to perform conditional calculations based on a specified condition. It helps in making decisions and performing different actions depending on the outcome of the condition.

5. VLOOKUP Formula

The VLOOKUP formula is used to search for a value in a table and return a corresponding value from another column. It is commonly used for data retrieval and lookup tasks.

6. INDEX-MATCH Formula

The INDEX-MATCH formula is an alternative to VLOOKUP and offers more flexibility in searching and retrieving data. It is particularly useful when dealing with large datasets and complex lookup scenarios.


The CONCATENATE formula combines multiple text strings into a single cell. It helps in creating meaningful labels or combining data from different cells.

8. TEXT Formula

The TEXT formula converts a numeric value to a specific text format. It allows you to customise the appearance of numbers, dates, and times in a cell.

9. DATE Formula

The DATE formula returns the date value based on the provided year, month, and day. It enables you to perform date-related calculations and manipulate dates within Excel.

10. ROUND Formula

The ROUND formula rounds a number to a specified number of decimal places. It is useful for presenting data with a desired level of precision.

11. MAX and MIN Formulas

The MAX and MIN formulas determine the highest and lowest values in a range, respectively. They are helpful in identifying the maximum and minimum values within a dataset.

12. PMT Formula

The PMT formula calculates the periodic payment for a loan or investment based on a constant interest rate and a number of periods. It is commonly used in financial analysis and planning.

13. NPV Formula

The NPV formula calculates the net present value of an investment or project based on a series of cash flows and a discount rate. It helps in evaluating the profitability of investments.

14. IRR Formula

The IRR formula calculates the internal rate of return, which represents the annualised rate of return for an investment or project. It is useful for comparing different investment opportunities.

15. COUNTIF and SUMIF Formula

The COUNTIF and SUMIF formulas allow you to count or sum values based on specified criteria. They are helpful for analysing data that meets specific conditions.


This formula helps in calculating the number of working days between two dates. 

Advanced Excel Formulae for Business Analysts

In addition to the essential formulas, there are advanced formulas that can further enhance your data analysis capabilities as a business analyst. Let’s explore some of these advanced formulas.

1. OFFSET Formula

The OFFSET formula returns a reference to a range of cells based on starting cell and offset values. It enables dynamic range selection and data manipulation.

2. CHOOSE Formula

The CHOOSE formula selects a value from a list based on a specified index number. It is useful for creating dynamic dropdown menus and making selections from predefined lists.

3. INDIRECT Formula

The INDIRECT formula allows you to indirectly reference a cell or range based on a text string. It is helpful in building dynamic formulas that refer to changing cell addresses.

4. TRANSPOSE Formula

The TRANSPOSE formula transposes a range of cells, converting rows into columns and vice versa. It is handy when you need to reorganise data for analysis or presentation.

5. TEXTJOIN Formula

The TEXTJOIN formula concatenates multiple text strings with a specified delimiter. It is an improved version of CONCATENATE and enables more flexible text manipulation.

6. XNPV Formula

The XNPV formula calculates the net present value of cash flows that occur at irregular intervals. It is especially useful for financial analysis involving non-periodic cash flows.

7. XIRR Formula

The XIRR formula calculates the internal rate of return for a series of cash flows that occur at irregular intervals. It is an extension of the IRR formula for non-periodic cash flows.

8. RANK Formula

The RANK formula assigns a rank to a value within a range. It helps in analysing data relative to other values and identifying the position of a value within a dataset.

9. LOOKUP Formula

The LOOKUP formula searches for a value in a range and returns a corresponding value from another column. It is similar to VLOOKUP but offers more flexibility in specifying the lookup criteria.

10. MATCH Formula

The MATCH formula searches for a specified value in a range and returns the relative position of that value. It is often used in conjunction with other functions for advanced data analysis.

11. IFERROR Formula

This formula checks if a formula returns an error value besides returning a specific value if true. 

12. SUMPRODUCT Formula

With this formula, you can multiply corresponding components in arrays and return the sum of those products. 


This is used to capitalise the first letter of each word in a provided text string. 

14. AND

This is a logical function that enables users to test various conditions on a given data. If the variable input meets every condition, then the return value will be TRUE, or else it will return a FALSE value.


Mastering Excel formulas is crucial for business analysts to analyse data and derive valuable insights efficiently. The top 30 Excel formulas covered in this blog are something every business analyst should know. From basic calculations to advanced data analysis, these formulas will empower you to manipulate data, make informed decisions, and improve your overall productivity. Keep practising and exploring the vast capabilities of Excel formulas to become a proficient business analyst.

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