This page contains definitions of the terminology used across the website to help your understanding.

Microsoft Excel

A spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft. It consists of rows and columns that form a grid, enabling users to input, organise, and analyse data. The program has a wide range of uses that span many industries and professions, but it’s commonly associated with finance and accounting activities.

Power Query

A tool for transforming and preparing data in Microsoft Excel and Power BI. Users can construct automated routines through a set of steps, which may include tasks such as filtering, creating custom columns, or changing data types.

Power Pivot

An optional Microsoft Excel add-in and integrated feature in Power BI, which is used to carry out advanced data analysis and build complex data models. The formula expression language DAX can perform calculations on large volumes of data that worksheets can’t due to their one million-row limitation.

Power BI

An interactive data visualisation and business intelligence tool developed by Microsoft. It’s used to build dashboards that showcase powerful insights, helping drive better business decisions.

Financial Modelling

The process of summarising a company’s financial situation and using historical data to predict future performance. Common model types include 3-statement, discounted cash flow (DCF), and dividend discount.


A Microsoft Excel feature that allows users to summarise large amounts of data by aggregating the values, making it easier to analyse. PivotTables are customisable so the chosen fields can be arranged to return the desired layout. Like regular tables, they also have sort and filter capabilities.


A Microsoft Excel feature that provides a visual representation of data. PivotCharts are similar to regular charts, except they are linked to a PivotTable instead of worksheet cells. They also don't support scatter, stock, or bubble charts.

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

A programming language for automating repetitive tasks in Microsoft Excel and other Office applications. The macro recorder generates VBA code based on a user's actions, which is saved for the user to run when desired. Alternatively, manual code can be written to construct more complex procedures.

Office Scripts

A programming language for automating repetitive tasks in Excel for the web. Scripts are written in TypeScript, which is based on JavaScript. The built-in Action Recorder generates a script by interpreting a user's actions, such as editing cells, changing formatting or creating tables. Scripts can also be written manually for greater flexibility.


An additional feature that extends Microsoft Excel's functionality. Add-ins like Solver and Analysis ToolPak are built in but must be activated first. Other official and third-party ones can be downloaded from the Office Add-ins Store.


A graphical user interface (GUI) that uses visual elements to summarise the most important details and display key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.