The flexibility of Excel is renowned - no matter how much data you have, there are a thousand different ways of presenting it. Problems arise when each individual person then has their personal pet ways of doing so. Where some people prefer bar charts, some like pie graphs. Where some colleagues might prefer to be handed raw data, others might want a very specific Pivot Chat to browse through. If you're sharing your data often with different people, you should learn tips to make it more navigable. After all, it's no use having excellent data when only you can interpret it!

Break it down

It's very tempting to slap all your data in one worksheet - especially if you're the one working on it. However most people want to see patterns and results of formulas in the data - not the data itself.

Let's say you're trying to present your boss with sales at a car factory. He or she wouldn't necessarily want to look at every single sale to every single person - they just want a quick way of seeing the results for each car model, or each colour. Remember that you can keep the master document and then create a copy to split up into more worksheets for distribution. The easier you make it for your boss, the more impressed they'll be.

Watch the formatting

It sounds simple, but a little colour goes a long way, as does correct formatting in your Excel document. Remember to use line breaks in cells, so the content of them doesn't stretch across into other columns, obscuring their contents.

Colour, when used sparingly and thoughtfully, can be effective in getting your data across. Going back to the car example - if your boss has asked for the profit margin on each car, this column can be in red or another eye-catching colour so he/she can differentiate it from other data. Or - use the stock market colours that are instantly recognisable - blue for a positive number, red for a negative, and green for unchanged. That means you can get an overall picture of the results, just by scanning the prevalence of each colour.

Think in website mode

Most people are proficient in surfing the web, less so when navigating an Excel spreadsheet. Many people forget that you can create certain features of your workbooks - like hyperlinks - to let someone 'surf' your data in an easier fashion. You could even create a basic webpage with all the data "behind" it and being called up on demand, with a database. Even if it's not this complex, you can still use web-related features to enhance the viewing experience of your data.

Remember, the most important person who will read your data is you, the creator. Some of these tips will make it easier on yourself to come back to a worksheet that you don't use very often. Bear in mind the correct audience when you're changing your navigation. Is it someone who is well-versed in Excel, and who can manipulate your data themselves? Or is it someone who needs a quick, less detailed summary to see what your results are, fast? Depending on where your data ends up - keep the user in mind, and remember - data can be good, but it's not always accessible to its audience!