Our courses typically aim to teach the core principles in model design, to cover best practices in design and presentation, and to cover a wide set of advanced Excel functionality. Key areas of focus often include:
- To master a wide-range of Excel functions and functionality (lookup functions, date and text functions, data manipulation and database analysis, statistical analysis, Tables, sensitivity and scenario analysis, complex conditional calculations, array functions, PivotTables, filters, resolution of circular references etc.)
- To develop competence in writing and using VBA code to automate many operations, or to create models which are more flexible and robust (such as by creating user-defined functions.
- To be able to formulate and build flexible and dynamic models (e.g. flexible time axes or time-shifting, allowing models and forecasts to be repeatedly updated with actuals, creating functionality for new data sets to be incorporated or old ones deleted or the integration of database approaches with more traditional modelling techniques).
- To use these functionalities in the most effective way, following best practice principles, creating models which are as dynamic and flexible without being excessively complex, large or cumbersome to change.
- To use these functionalities fully in specific applications (e.g. sensitivity and scenario analysis, optimisation, rapid data manipulation and analysis, bespoke models and calculations, and so on).
In fact, a good knowledge of all of the technical areas of Excel/VBA is insufficient to be able to build good models: A key challenge in advanced modelling is to be able to use the most appropriate tools in the right context, to structure the data sets (model inputs) appropriately and generally to make the model as flexible as needed (but not overly flexible), yet as simple as possible. This is an “art” that is partly more natural to some individuals than others, but which can also partly be learnt by being exposed to different examples and contexts.
Below is a sample agenda from a previous more advanced level course (click on the text once and scroll to see all pages for the course; use the full screen option if desired as well):
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