Previews of what a Pivot table looks like. Vlookups with nested functions. Subtotaling made easy.
Goal Seek is used when you need calculated backwards. You know the answer you need, what will a value need to change to for you to get that result. I can afford $400 p/mth how much can I borrow.
Solver is an extension of the goal see feature allowing multiple cell values to be changed, where as goal seek will only allow you to change one value.
Scenarios is when you need to create the same spread sheet model multiple times but change eg: the interest rate, no of students and the course qualification. This has a knock-on effect on the rest of the formulas in the sheet. Good for predictions, forecasting, estimates, theories.
Data Table is when you want to create a table of variables like getting a loan and the interest rate changes can you still afford it when it gets to xx rate. Showing you how it will impact on your monthly repayment, interest at the end of the period.
Pivot Table When you are given a list and you want to summarize by eg State and get a total of the amount column - even break it up by the last 3 yrs. Great for statistics, Sum, average, count.....
Vlookup Its a cross checking tool, glorified copy and paste to make a new list. eg: Find invoice no xx in a master list and return data from column xxx.