As a researcher I use Excel on a daily basis. Here are some of my favorite and most useful features!!
  1. Vlookup
    I am the BIGGEST fan of the vlookup. It lets you move large amounts of data from one place to another AND match it to other data. Need to put phone numbers next to names? It would take forever to copy paste each number by hand next to the correct name...but with vlookup it takes seconds!
  2. Conditional formatting
    This is one of my favorite things to do when I'm working on a budget spreadsheet. You can make it so that the cells become highlighted certain colors under certain conditions. So when I'm working on a budget, I can make surplus amounts turn green and deficits turn red. It makes a complicated spreadsheet much easier to understand!
  3. Filter
    Filters!!! They let you navigate huge amounts of data super easily. Don't bother scrolling through your data to find one person. Just filter everybody else out and tada there's the information you need.
  4. Pivot tables
    When I did my honors thesis, I calculated all my means by hand. It was a NIGHTMARE. Then I learned how to use a pivot table to succinctly and neatly summarize my data and it has improved my quality of life significantly.
  5. Custom sort
    I loooove being able to sort with multiple levels. I keep my data super organized so being able to sort by subject number, then time point, then task trial is amazing.