Financial models sometimes don’t start out life intended to be a full-fledged financial model. You might start fiddling in Excel, and go from there. In its most basic form, a model might start its life as a rough calculation or a “back of an envelope” scribble – something that can help you make the most basic of financial decisions such as; how much money do I have left when the bills have been paid? Those useful little calculations that help you plan whether you can afford to renovate your house.
Last week Danielle Stein Fairhurst was interviewed by John Michaloudis for his very popular MyExcelOnline Podcast. During the interview they chat about what it means to be a financial modeller, Danielle’s upcoming book “Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies”, ModelOff Financial Modelling Championships, and online training.
Excel is the backbone to any custom built financial model, and one of the core attributes of a financial modeller is to have good technical Excel skills. When struggling with their financial models, some managers’ first reaction is to send their staff on an advanced Excel course to improve their modelling skills. However, with training budgets under constant scrutiny you really need to make sure that you get the best value out of your training options.
Happy Halloween! I have been meaning to write about phantom links for a while, and Halloween is a good time to talk about hunting down and exorcise this ghoulishly annoying phenomenon from your financial models.
Heat maps have evolved considerably in recent versions of Excel from a matrix of colours to become a powerful graphical representation of data displayed in a dashboard. Excel has the capacity to add conditional colour to images based on an agreed set of parameters or key performance indicators. With a little corralling, a heat map nestled inside a dashboard can add a powerful visual element to an otherwise plain and simple report.
You will hear from Dashboards and VBA expert, Marcus Small who leads us in this highly practical and hands-on workshop session. This 60-minute presentation covers:
- The creation of an Excel heat map from scratch. Generates the scalable vector file (SVG) from Wiki Commons and passes it through Inkscape to Excel.
- Builds in the formulation and creates the VBA which will generate a predetermined colour scheme for a dashboard where the heat map will form the centre piece.
- Layout and design when creating a dashboard, maximising design with very little effort.
By the end of the session you will know how you can create an interactive heat map using just about any imaginable image and include it in your own Excel Dashboards.
Marcus Small holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from ANU and has worked in the Big 4, Investment Banking and within industry both here and overseas. He is the founder of www.thesmallman.com, a website dedicated to Excel and VBA development with an acute focus on dashboard design and financial modelling. Additionally, Marcus moderates both Ozgrid and Chandoo forums, which are amongst the web’s largest online Excel resources.
We know that a well-designed financial model contains in-built, automatically calculating error checks and a good financial modeller is always looking for opportunities to build error checks into their model.
Join financial modeller, Danielle Stein Fairhurst for this free live webinar filled with practical tips and tricks for creating simple as well as more complex error checks in your everyday financial models.
Throughout the webinar we cover:
- Which errors need checking?
- Which Excel error values not to use.
- Why you should love your error values!
- Types of model error.
- Excel Horror Stories.
- Strategies for reducing error.
- Sense-checking cognitive bias.
- Using error checks.
- Circular References.
- Tips for finding errors.
This webinar was held on Thursday 15th September. The webinar has now ended but replay and files are now available.
I am very excited to announce that I’ve just signed with my existing publisher, Wiley to start work on a new book Financial Modeling in Excel For Dummies. Yes, that’s not how I normally spell “modelling” I know, but they tell me a large part of the world spells it that way. And apparently that’s a pretty big market 🙂
This month our subscriber numbers have just hit 10,000, (wow!) and in this edition, it’s all about webinars! We’ve got several great webinars you can register for, and learn with, all from the comfort of your home or office. (And don’t forget you can always use them towards your CPD). It’s mid-winter here in Sydney and I must say, I’m enjoying the opportunity to stay snug and warm in my home office and I’ve even been keeping my ugg boots on (shhh!).
Nothing conveys complex information more quickly and effectively than a well-built and visually appealing infographic. They are designed to entertain as well as inform, and the popularity of the infographic in social media has made them an effective way to distill complex information and draw attention to issues that may have otherwise been overlooked.
One of the most frustrating things about using other peoples’ spreadsheets is that there is no obvious architecture or roadmap. How do you “drive” it and how does the logic get us from A to B?