Calculating data correlation

Posted on Dec 12, 2016 by Alan Gurney



Are you often asked to study and find trends in data?

When two quantities are highly correlated the value of one tells you a lot about the value of the other. The opposite can be said when they're uncorrelated.

Being able to calculate the degree of correlation between a series of statistics allows you to identify trends and make predictions. You can achieve this by calculating the correlation coefficient, a figure between 0 and +/-1 that shows the degree to which variables are correlated.

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Topics: Analysis, Microsoft Excel

Three special charts for analysing data

Posted on Oct 07, 2016 by Alan Gurney



Do you often have to present the findings of your analysis to colleagues or senior management? Choosing the most appropriate graph can be tough but is imperative for a successful meeting.

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Topics: Microsoft Excel, Analysis, Business

Financial planning using forecasts

Posted on Aug 03, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Do you ever have to prepare business cases to get funding for your projects? Including forecasts is essential to show the potential benefits of your proposal.

A forecast is an estimate of financial performance, typically for sales and costs, leading to estimated profit over a certain period of time (month / quarter / year).

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Topics: Analysis, Financial Business Analysis

Segmenting your data

Posted on Jul 27, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Are you looking to improve the success of your email campaigns? Making them more targeted by using data segmentation could be the solution.

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Topics: Analysis, Productivity

The principles of modelling

Posted on Jul 12, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Do you ever use Excel to run simulations of business situations?

Excel Models are representations of a real-world financial scenarios. This could be anything from a calculation to estimate the costs for an event you're attending to a spreadsheet with macros that forecasts financial performance.

Models can be pretty complex, but there are some simple principles to bear in mind when creating them:

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Topics: Microsoft Excel, Productivity, Analysis

Is Investment Modelling necessary?

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 by Adit Ruparel

A good financial plan is a road map that shows us exactly how the choices we make today will affect our future. Alexa Von Tobel

For any long term investment it is necessary to model the potential returns. Having a model that is easy-to-understand, accurate and comprehensive, and will show the expected return from an investment using some basic inputs is invaluable.

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Topics: Business, Analysis

What’s More Important for Business Success, Numerate or Presentation Skills?

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 by Harold Graycar

Working with business professionals from a number of different types of organisations, I’m often asked about what’s more important for business success:  numerate skills or presentation skills?

If you take a look at this, you can broadly classify the types of skills needed in different business areas:

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Topics: Business, Analysis

Filtered Learning Effectiveness

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 by Chris Littlewood

Our training courses are based on what we call ‘filtered learning’. This is the idea that our students will learn best if their training consists only of material they need to learn – skills that will be valuable in their work, and which they currently lack.  Our online platform asks each user simple questions that enable us to select content for them, giving them just what they need to learn.


We think there are some obvious reasons that this is an effective approach to training:  time isn’t wasted on material that isn’t valuable, and our students are more engaged in the content because of its relevance.  To put it another way, the most significant cost of training is often the time for which employees are diverted away from their work; focusing only on what staff need to learn, and delivering the training efficiently online, means this time and cost is minimised. We also hoped that this focused training would be more effective than following an unselected course – that it would make a bigger (as well as faster) difference to the learner.

We have been working hard on making the Filtered approach really robust – we’ll be launching our new Filter algorithm this November.  But before we embarked on this project we wanted to be sure that our hunch was right – that Filtering content really did make the training more effective for students.  So earlier this year we conducted an analysis of 3000 of our real-word users who had signed up for our Excel course on our old (pre-Filtered) platform.  The study measured student performance in tests before and after training, and found those users training using filtered material improved their test performance by 26% more than users training using unfiltered material.  With our sample size, we are more than 95% confident that learning filtered material has a greater learning impact than following an unfiltered course.

Our new platform allows us to monitor the relationship between our users’ learning patterns and the improvement they show.  So we intend to carry on measuring the effect of filtering content, in particular to understand how it affects adoption of and engagement with training, as well as ultimate impact. 

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Topics: Learning & Development, Online Learning, Analysis, Algorithms

How to Create a PivotTable in Excel

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 by Adam Lacey

The PivotTable is one of the simplest yet most effective tools available in Microsoft Excel. It is by far the quickest and easiest way to analyse a dataset. It is a function that sounds complex but in actual fact is very simple if you follow a few simple steps. In this blog post I will show you how to conduct some basic analysis on a dataset by creating a PivotTable. For the purposes of this example I will be using Excel 2013.

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Topics: Microsoft Excel, Analysis