In Plum Solutions Financial Analysis training courses, we don’t teach Excel as such, rather we focus on the use of Excel in the context of Financial Modelling, Budgeting & Forecasting, or Data Analysis. We focus on things like model structure, best practice, error prevention and other practical topics that are critical for a good modeller to know. However, it’s very hard to be a good modeller without having good Excel skills!
That’s why we recommend a reasonable level of Excel as a pre-requisite for coming on one of our courses. You should know your way around Excel; at mimimum you should know how to use formulas and link between workbooks, as you’ll get a lot more out of the course. If you aren’t sure that your Excel skills are quite up to scratch, there are a few options:
- Work your way through the free Excel Tutorials that Microsoft provides. To save you digging around, we’ve gone through and selected the best ones in this handy list of links to the Excel Tutorials.
- Take a look at some of the online resources the web has to offer. There are lots of blogs and newsletters you can subscribe to for free which have a wealth of information.
- Sign up for Chandoo’s Excel School.
Chandoo offers a few online options which can be purchased alone, or as combination packages:
- Excel School where you learn basic to advanced Excel
- 50 Ways to Analyze Your Data is for Analysts to improve their data analysis skills in Excel
- Power Pivot if you want to learn Power Pivot for Excel
Problem: Too much data, too little action
This is the age of big data. Alas, what we need is big insights, not big data. Unfortunately, finding even small insights buried in heaps of data is hard. And as analysts & managers, we are expected to spot trends before they are obvious, raise red flags early on and prompt action backed by solid insights. But how?
The challenge is complicated due to:
- we have too much data
- too many buzz words (big data, data science, business intelligence, predictive analytics etc.) but no instruction on how to do
- everyone (customers, bosses, regulatory authorities etc.) expect us rely on data to take actions
- the results are expected NOW, not after 6 weeks of analysis
Answer: Analyze data to make better decisions
The answer is obvious. We need to analyze data in agile fashion and derive results that prompt us towards better decisions.
What we need is not the answer. We need the solution.
A solution to help you take any raw data and uncover the story it is hiding. This is where 50 ways to analyze data course can help you.
Reality: 80% of highest paying business jobs require advanced Excel & analysis skills