An Introduction to Microsoft Office for Local Government Users

| Gavin Sullivan

Microsoft Office For Government

This is the first installment in a three-part series on the role of Microsoft Office in local government.

There is no shortage of evidence that we live in an increasingly digital world. You might find directions to dinner on your phone, track your workout on a fitness band, and turn to Bing for the day’s news. Technological developments have touched all of us, from the elementary school student who uses a tablet for his homework to the stock broker who turns to Excel for data analytics. The public sector is no exception.

Microsoft’s products have been vital resources for local governments across the United States. As part of our efforts to show more cities how these tools can work for their employees and citizens, I’ve created a series of orientation presentations geared towards public sector workers.

My presentations focus on the powerful role that Microsoft Office can play in cities of any size. Through my research, I’ve found that many city employees are familiar with the basic functions of the Office suite. Perhaps they’ve drafted documents on Word or created a spreadsheet with Excel. But they might not know about some of the latest features of Office—features which can help their city run more smoothly without burdening their budget:

Create an interactive 3D map of city data.

Power Map, a plugin for Excel, allows anybody to easily visualize data on an interactive 3D map. With just a few clicks, a city can gain new insights from its information and share these findings with citizens.

Ask your data a question—in natural English.

Microsoft Power BI, an extension of the Office 365 service, can make any employee a master of the city’s data. Forget about complex formulas: a Power BI user can type a question in natural English about any Excel spreadsheet. Ask, “What was the average police department salary in 2014?” and Power BI can return with an answer.

Collaborate seamlessly and securely.

Office 365 provides a secure platform for city employees to instantly collaborate on projects. Rest assured that your city’s sensitive data remains safe: Microsoft does not sell your private information to advertisers.

All of these features and more are available through Microsoft Office. No programming experience is required for cities to start harnessing these tools.

I invite you to view the first of my three presentations. This one offers an introduction to Microsoft Office and a few of its applications for municipal governments. Please stay tuned for future presentations on Excel and Power BI.

Download the full PDF here: Office 365 for Government

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