Which Excel course should you do?
     
 
 
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  Tell us which of these tasks (see below) you perform.    
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Remove unwanted cells/ rows/ columns    
  You spend time cleaning up a spreadsheet by removing cells, rows or columns  
  You find yourself deleting the same information again and again  
       
  So in the spreadsheet below we need to remove all the headers and footers and only leave the red block
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
1 So how often do you remove unwanted cells, rows or columns?    
 
 
   
 
Work with Dates    
  You do any work involving dates or time in excel.    
  You have to convert dates from mm/dd/yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy or vica versa  
  You need to work out the number of working days between 2 dates  
  You need to work out the day of the week    
       
  In the spreadsheets below we have various conversion from 'strange' dates in Excel to Excel acceptable dates
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you work with dates in Excel    
2
 
   
 
Summarise/ Report Data    
  Take lots of data and turn it quickly into summarised reports    
  Take transaction data and make monthly report    
  Report by division, geo location, product etc    
       
  In the spreadsheets below, we need to take thousands of rows data and create reports that summarise or extract useful information
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to summarise lots of data or extract information out of large data sets?
3
 
   
 
Simple Graphing    
  Create simple charts and graphs to get your point across    
  Show a line chart of monthly transactions    
  Split expenses into categories    
       
  Below examples of some simple graphs that are created in Excel  
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to create simple graphs to visualise your data  
4
 
   
 
Dashboards    
  Create dashboards involving tables of data, charts and things like heat maps to get your message across  
  Allow for easy changes to the information being reported on in the dashboard  
  Allow the source data to be changed so that we can report weekly/ monthly/ quarterly etc  
       
  In the spreadsheet below, we create a dashboard based on a changeable data set with tables, graphs and heat maps. 
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to create working dashboards that provide management reports
5
 
   
 
Budgets and Forecasts    
  You need to create forward looking reports estimating what may happen in the near future based on a set of assumptions  
  Create budgets per division to be consolidated    
  Create longer term forecasts to assess future years    
  Compare actuals to budget and reforecast till the end of the year  
       
  Below a summary of a proposed budget with the actuals for comparative purposes  
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to create budgets or forecasts    
6
 
   
 
Decision Models    
  Create spreadsheets that help make a decision e.g.    
  - should we lease or buy    
  - what price should we charge    
  - which supplier should we use    
  - should we proceed with the project    
  - how much should we pay for the business    
  - how much debt do we need/ can we handle    
       
  Below we have created a decision model to decide whether a property can handle the required debt.
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to build spreadsheets to help you make a decision  
7
 
   
 
Fill in Gaps    
  You receive reports that have gaps in them but in order to be useable, you need to have the gaps fill in data.  
  You find yourself copy and pasting data again and again to make the spreadsheet useful to use in other reports
       
  So in the spreadsheet below, we need to fill in the spaces so that it shows the information from the cell above
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to fill in gaps in data?    
8
 
   
 
Remove Duplicates    
  You remove/ change data based on a criteria e.g. it is a duplicate, it contains unnecessary data  
  You want to extract the first/ last time you see the data    
       
  In the spreadsheet below we need to identify and remove the red block as it is a duplicate of the first line
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to remove duplicates    
9
 
   
 
Split/ join cells/ rows/ Columns    
  You need to split/ join cells in different columns/ rows    
  You want to extract say the first 3 characters, or    
  all the characters up to a special character like a comma or hash    
  Split full names into first name/ surname    
  Join cells together to make a sentence, unique reference, full names etc  
       
  In the spreadsheets below we need to split these columns into separate columns based on a set position or set character
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to split cells into many columns    
10
 
   
 
Transpose Data- Move data around into the order you want  
  Change the structure of a report so that the rows appear in columns, and columns appear in rows  
  Manipulate a report so that the data repeats itself    
  Change the look of a report to match the look of another report    
       
  In the spreadsheet below a simple transpose to move a row into a column  
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  In the spreadsheets below we need to pivot a report so that the rows are in columns and the columns in rows
 
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you have to move data around to get it into a specific row/ column format
11
 
   
 
Merge Data sources together    
  Join data together e.g. add client details to a sales report    
  Merge spreadsheets/ databases to create a big database    
  Consolidate databases to be able to run business intelligence queries  
       
  In the spreadsheet below, we need to get the outstanding expenses from one list and put it into a separate list based on the matching employee number.
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to merge databases/ spreadsheets    
12
 
   
 
Reconcile Lists    
  Compare lists/ databases in order to    
  - reconcile    
  - identify missing items    
  - analyse anomalies    
  - compare supplier information to our information    
       
  In the spreadsheet below, we need to compare 2 lists and identify the items that are missing, exist once or appear too many times based on the transaction ID
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to reconcile lists    
13
 
   
 
Debt Calculations    
  You do any calculations involving interest rates    
  Use functions like present value, future value, interest rate, number of periods, beginning or end period calculations.
  Need to determine what the repayments will be on a loan based on a set IRR  
       
  Below detailed debt calculations with repayments terms and interest capital splits  
       
       
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to create debt calculations    
14
 
   
 
NPV/ IRR/ Payback type calculations    
  You need to determine the returns on cash flows using NPV, IRR, payback periods etc  
  You need to compare 2 businesses/ projects and choose 1 based on a metric  
  Compare pricing options to see which one is more beneficial to you  
       
  Below a financial model with a section indicating the NPV and IRR of the proposed project.
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to create NPV, IRR or payback based spreadsheets  
15
 
   
 
Built Templates/ collect data from many users etc  
  You create templates that will be used by other people to capture/ calculate information  
  You need to aggregate all the information from many spreadsheets  
  You need to use dropdown boxes so that users can choose out of a pre defined list  
  The templates will be used to consolidate the information into a single report  
       
  Below a template to be distributed to users where they have free entry and drop down lists to capture date
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to build spreadsheets to be used by other people.   
16
 
   
   
Review others works    
  You receive spreadsheets from other people and need to check there accuracy, integrity etc  
  You often have to point out errors you find in a spreadsheet    
  You need to get your spreadsheets audited to get debt from a bank  
  You create a bankable feasibility spreadsheet    
       
  Below the results of a review of the formulas in a spreadsheet to identify an error.  
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to review spreadsheets built by others?  
17
 
   
 
Track Data- GANTT charts, Project plans, tracking information  
  You track events in a spreadsheet based on a time line e.g. project timelines, tracking documents flow  
  You itemise data e.g. fixed assets registers, sales lead lists, production scheduling etc  
  You use Microsoft Project but need to combine it with Excel    
       
  Below a spreadsheet that tracks a project over time.    
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  Below a spreadsheet that tracks the  flow of documents between departments to work out turnaround times
       
       
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to build spreadsheets to track items, events or timelines  
18
 
   
 
Running What Ifs    
  You need to run any sensitivities, what ifs or scenarios    
  You are asked to re run a calculation based on different inputs    
  You need to provide a report based on the impact of a recent event  
  You are not sure which scenario is the most likely    
       
  Below the possible repayments at different levels of interest rates and repayment periods
       
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to answer What If type questions    
19
 
   
 
Identify Trends / Opportunities    
  You need to work with data to spot problems/ trends    
  You are doing forensic work    
  You are involved with Business Intelligence    
  Data mining is one of your tasks    
  You are trying to identify clients that have stopped buying, buying more etc  
       
  Below a chart that helps identify a day when unusual amounts of transaction were processed that needs to be investigated
       
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  So how often do you need to analyse data to find trends/ risks/ opportunities (data mining)
20
 
   
 
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