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Excel For Top MBAs (And Wannabes)

MS Excel cases walked through by a top 10 MBA instructor
4.5 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
27 students enrolled
Created by Bruce Vann
Last updated 10/2015
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Organize, analyze, and present thoughts to solve a myriad of common business problems
Use statistics to add value to processes in your current and/or dream job
Leverage lookups and pivot tables to merge and manipulate data into valuable information that builds competitive advantage
Create strategies to get out of personal debt
Master the finances of real estate deals to build for a better retirement
Optimize your business through linear programming models
Build the analytical skills that employers want
View Curriculum
  • Before starting this course you'll need a computer with a monitor, mouse and speakers. The computer will need MS Excel 2007 or later installed. If you don't have access to MS Excel, then you can use Google Sheets for all of the material covered here except for the one case about Ali. In MS Excel, you'll need Solver and the statistical add-ins but don't worry. I'll show you how to install and manipulate that.
  • You will need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. You may also find it useful to understand basic algebra.

Excel For Top MBAs (And Wannabes) is for anyone who wants to learn the key lessons of Microsoft Excel, finance, wealth building, and business planning/analysis. In this course you'll learn everything from the basics of what a spreadsheet is to how to manipulate it to solve common problems in life and business. You will learn many techniques but they'll all be in the contest of solving a problem so that when you encounter questions like "what should I plan for my retirement?" or "how might I think about pricing this new product?" or "can I really afford this house?" or "how do I get out of this debt I'm drowning in?" so that you will have an advantage in attacking this problems going forward with analytical skills that would impress any employer and improve just about any business. You'll be an expert before you know it.

Who is the target audience?
  • Do you remember learning math in grade school and asking your teacher "When in life am I ever gonna use sine, cosine, and tangent? What the heck is the point of all of this?" If you felt that way, you are not alone and you don't need to worry. This course involves the science of the excel formulas and computing but it's a general walk-through for how to use the tools to solve business and life problems. It uses cases to tell the stories of characters with common problems like buying a home or paying down debt to make the use of MS Excel second nature to the learner. There are too many functions and uses for MS Excel (and other spreadsheet softwares) to name; matter of fact you can even create ones of your own. This course is for those who want to learn how businesses, markets, and the "nuts and bolts" of finance work through using MS Excel to improve profitability and make good decisions. It is not for learners who want to master one specific skill set within Excel. Subjects like macros, engineering functions, power query, and monte carlo simulations won't be covered here.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 64 Lectures Collapse All 64 Lectures 05:04:19
Course/Instructor Intro
1 Lecture 01:33
Buddy's Hotel Bill
5 Lectures 23:46

Spreadsheets are such a funny buzzword and sometimes they can be intimidating. Learn how they can help us solve problems as simple as 1+1=? or as difficult as Black-Scholes Options Pricing.

What is a spreadsheet and why do I care?

You'll make order of the rows, columns, and cells in order to help our good friend, Buddy, solve his problem. Tables are the most basic form of data ordering and I'll yet make an metaphorical carpenter out of you!

Building A Table

Once you have learned the substance of the data table we create (the formulas and all such things), we will polish it through number formatting, understanding the print options, and emphasizing the cells most important to us.

Polishing the Table

A model is only as good as the assumptions you put in it. "Garbage in garbage out" is a common saying among analysts who build models. Here you'll find out why.

Adjusting Assumptions
Samantha's Decision
8 Lectures 31:59

Samantha has a problem. It's a good problem and it'll help you figure out how to discount future values of cash flows.

Preview 03:34

This quiz ensures that you understand the very basics of navigating Excel's spreadsheets.

If you were Samantha, which job would you take?
1 question

Here we use a table to restate the pertinent facts of the case. I find it easier to remember things when I write them down. You may too.

Write the Vision and Make It Plain

Here we build a table examining the key components of Samantha's Rhino job offer.

Rhino Setup 1

We set up a table for Rhino here and set up the frame for discounted cash flow analysis.

Preview 03:02

We will finish setting up the table of facts for Rhino and discounting the cash flows of future years.

Rhino Discounted Cash Flow

Having taken out the time to finish Rhino, we can copy it, change the facts, and say "B-I-N-G-O!!"

Bingo Discounted Cash Flow

Here we compare the two options. You will learn to span formulas across multiple worksheets and compare the two choices.


This is an introduction to using graphs in analysis.

Preview 02:46
Financial Planning Quiz
7 Lectures 39:40

This is an extended quiz in finance. It tests what you know so far about calculating present value and extends that knowledge to future values. Then you draw key lessons about retirement and wealth building. But try to answer the question on your own first. Then compare it to what is shown.

Four Ladies In Retirement

Here you'll understand a strategy for how to tackle this retirement problem.

Retirement Problem

Here, were outline monthly incomes for the four ladies.

Start of Monthly Incomes

You'll calculate the monthly contributions to the retirement accounts in the value of the time they were paid.

Monthly Incomes and Contributions

Find a new way to apply the difference between present value and future value of an asset.

PV vs FV

Here you'll figure out who does the best in retirement and by how much.

Who Comes Out Ahead?

You'll see your conclusion in pretty colors.

Preview 07:25
Rajiv and Chemeka
9 Lectures 52:27

Should they buy the house, invest in the market, pay down student loan debt? Find out on the next episode of Dragonba... no wait!

Rajiv and Chemeka

When you have too many facts, it's usually good to write them down so that you can make sense of it all. That's what you'll do here.

Background Info

How much does Rajiv have to pay every month currently?

Rajiv's Debt Payments

Amortization schedules are the crux of this section and here is where you'll build Rajiv's. You can change the assumptions and create your own for yourself.

Rajiv's Amortization Schedule

What if we changed a few things in Rajiv's Amortization Schedule?

Rajiv's Debt Management

What does Chemeka's debt picture look like?

Also, I like to sing songs sometimes.

We Can't Forget About Chemeka

Let's build a mortgage to examine new debt from the house and explore each of the options.

Building the Mortgage

What is a tax shield? If you are taxed at 30% and you make $100. Ordinarily, you'd pay $30. But if you paid $15 in interest expense then you'll only be taxed on $85. You essentially get back 30% of $15, which is $4.50.

Tax Shields

Leverage makes the world economy go around but it also causes it to slow down whenever people can't make payments on loans. You'll help our favorite couple figure out what level of debt and leverage they'd feel comfortable with.

Leverage and Final Decision
The Stats of Bubble Jones
13 Lectures 01:04:21

Download this spreadsheet and use it as a basis to build your analysis of the Stats and Figures of Bubble Jones.

Bubble Jones

Learn to combine two (or more) tables of data into one integrated source.


Let's begin to build a pivot table.

Pivot Table

Pivot Table 2

Pivot Table 3

Let's see what you can figure out.

Testing Understanding of Pivot Tables
2 questions


Setup for Regression 1

Setup for Regression 2

Setup for Regression 3

Regression Output

Trim the Fat

Business Analysis Using Regression

Final Answer
The Bakery
6 Lectures 18:05

Download the attached spreadsheet and let's get to work.

Betty's Bakery

Install the Solver Add-In.

Solver Add In

Put the facts into a table and learn more facts. Facts on, facts on facts!!

Quantity Used

This is pretty straight forward.

Gross Margin

Make Solver do all the hard work for you.

Preview 03:46

This is pretty self explanatory. You'll learn to interpret the solver reports you just had Excel create for you.

Interpreting Solver Reports
Ali's Factory
7 Lectures 38:02

Learn graphing, EOQ, more on the Solver Add In.

Ali's Complication


Count Up the Cost

The Long Way Widgets

The Long Way Gadgets

Data Filter (Still the Long Way)

Let's use Solver one more time but in a different way.

The Easy Way
Ostrich Motor Company
8 Lectures 34:26
Ostrich Motor Company

You'll use algebra to derive a demand curve for the new product.

Ostrich Slope Intercept

How do you know if it's worth it if we don't yet know profit at any given level of production/price?

Ostrich Profit

Ostrich Long Way

Long Way Graph

Easy Way

Calculus Way

Thank You
About the Instructor
4.5 Average rating
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27 Students
1 Course
Darden MBA
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