To help your business thrive as the economy dips you will need to carry out a large amount of number crunching and this can be easily achieved by using Microsoft Excel.

This software is an invaluable programme that can provide you with the information you need to turn your business around and keep trade booming while the recession deepens. Input data, such as sales figures, can help clarify what areas of your company are growing and identify the sections that need attention.

For example, through spreadsheets you can build up a picture of the daily turnover of your departments, or you can keep track of workloads by using the documents to calculate the progress of tasks. In addition, documents can be sent to colleagues to alert them to possible problems that may crop up regarding sales.

Spreadsheets formed using MS Excel can be extremely beneficial to both fledgling and established businesses and many entrepreneurs spend valuable time learning about the software on training courses. As well as carrying out calculations using data entered into documents, the programme is a diagnostic and analytical tool that means information can be easily shared among staff.

For instance control over the formatting of spreadsheets and data allows you to highlight particular trends that appear to be forming in your business. So if a particular department was regularly failing to thrive you may be able to pinpoint problems before they damage your business.

Microsoft's newest Excel programme, released in 2007, provides a range of filtering options so you can enter complex data quickly. A range of information can be entered and analysed by the software so you get an accurate picture of exactly how well your business is doing.

In order to prevent spreadsheet viewers from becoming overwhelmed with too much information, MS Excel 2007 allows you to construct a PivotTable. This tool provides a summary of information within spreadsheets that can reveal further information when you requested it.

Keeping colleagues updated on the progress of your company is imperative to keep it running smoothly. The software allows you to save your spreadsheet in a number of forms so it is as accessible as possible to those you work with and for. For instance you can save your document in a PDF and XPS form so it is viewable by others and can be updated by them.

This can ensure that information is collected across your business and passed on to all concerned, which can greatly aid communication. Colleagues can instantly update spreadsheets via their web browsers and keep you informed on the day-to-day running of your company. In addition, data can be collected via business dashboards integrated into MS Excel which provides live figures and up-to-date snapshots of information.

The software gives you the freedom to create dashboards so you can link them to any number of processes requiring statistical analysis. Each spreadsheet can hold thousands of columns of data and up to a million rows of information.

However, despite the vast amount of figures that can be entered into one document you can save space thanks to the option of storing it via the Excel XML Format, which is a new addition. This helps to cut time spent waiting for spreadsheets to load but can still provide you with the important information needed to ensure the success of your company.