Excel for Business Professionals and Managers
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Excel for Business Professionals and Managers

How to Use Microsoft Excel to Advance your Career, Make Better Decisions, and Manage Money Better
4.2 (9 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.
129 students enrolled
Created by Justin Ren
Last updated 11/2015
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Build your ability to think logically
  • Construct managerial decision problems in Excel spreadsheets
  • Improve decision making
View Curriculum
  • You need to have a copy of Microsoft Excel on your computer (PC or Mac).

UPDATE 11/7/2015: Another Bonus material posted! - Flashfill! Check out the new Bonus section.

UPDATE 6/13/2015: Bonus material posted! - Online survey/event sign-up/quiz made easy with Excel online! Check out the new Bonus section.

UPDATE 5/20/2015: Lecture 1 and 2 combined, and video updated.

UPDATE 4/16/2015: Lecture 8 video updated.


Have you ever received an Excel spreadsheet from your colleagues and wondered: What on earth is this doing?

Have you ever wondered if you should re-finance your mortgage or car loan but do not know how much money you can save?

Have you ever thought about keeping tracking your stock portfolio by building an Excel spreadsheet?

Hi, I am Professor Justin Ren. I have taught thousands of students over the years, and I have consulted Fortune 500 companies as well as small start-ups. Two things continues to amazes me to this day:

(1) How prevalent Excel is in the workplace. In fact, many of the biggest corporations in the world run many of the most important strategic analysis and decisions based on Excel spreadsheets. The same is true for small businesses. Or even in managing our own daily lives. In my humble opinion, Excel is here to stay despite the fact that there are more and more alternative spreadsheets programs. Excel remains the indisputable go-to choice for serious spreadsheet modelers.

(2) How common it is for people to use Excel improperly or 'dangerously'. Let me give you an example. In my consulting and teaching career over the years, I have seen too many instances where people do 'copy and paste' in a rather haphazard manner: ignoring formula when they should be kept, or keeping formula in when they should be thrown away. The consequence of such bad practices can sometimes be devastating: Do you know that bad Excel practices played a role in the 2009 financial crisis (Just google “London whale Excel")? It is those mispractices that motivated me to write a training course to teach how to do Excel analytics in a safe and proper way.

This introductory series is designed for readers who are interested in building business analytics skills and applying them into business situations such as:

● Meeting budgets,

● Predicting demand,

● Selecting mortgages,

● Managing cash flows,

● Picking stock portfolios,

● Identifying trends and patterns,

● Making purchase decisions to minimize cost…

When it comes to analytics with Excel, my view is that there is a set of essential skills to be acquired. Such skills include:

● Finding information efficiently;

● Using commonly used math, statistical, and financial functions;

● Building a correct and clear model to analyze a problem;

● Scenario analysis to make decision under uncertainty;

● Summarizing information (e.g., with pivot tables);

● Finding patterns among data;

●Simulation and analyzing risks;

● Optimization for better decision making.

Those skill sets are taught through an extensive set of examples in this series. There are seven modules in this course:

1: Basic Skills

2. Model Building

3. Power Analytics with Data Tables and Pivot Tables

4. Visualizing data

5. Pattern Finding, Curve Fitting, and Regression

6. Problem Solving and Optimization

7. Simulation

Each section will be taught with real-life examples. There are videos to watch, files to download, and problems to practice.

I trust you will enjoy this learning journey. It is my goal that by taking this course, you will become a better business person, a better manager, and a better decision maker.

Who is the target audience?
  • Any who desires to make better decisions, whether professional or personal, with Excel can benefit from this course
  • This course is NOT for those who just wants to learn Excel functions. Instead, this course is about solving real problems with Excel.
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Curriculum For This Course
52 Lectures
Fundamental Skills
9 Lectures 16:48

For Mac users, go to: goo.gl/hTo8ei

Use Ctrl (or ⌘) key to select multiple items

Download Excel File: goo.gl/rsNp4O

(For PC) Copy and Paste Value Only (Do not Paste Formula!)

Download Excel File: goo.gl/rsNp4O

(For Mac) Copy and Paste Value Only (Do not Paste Formula!)

Download Excel File: goo.gl/HP9b82

(For PC) Transpose a Table

Download Excel File: goo.gl/HP9b82

(For Mac) Transpose a Table

Download Excel File: goo.gl/HvdalB

Preview 02:17

Download Excel File: goo.gl/HvdalB

(For Mac) Use Range names

Download Excel File: goo.gl/uf76nu

Reference Cells Smartly: Absolute and relative reference with '$'
Organizing Data
9 Lectures 26:42

Download Excel File: goo.gl/9GF19p

Use lF, AND, OR

Download Excel File: goo.gl/PnXt8w

Preview 02:39

Download Excel File: goo.gl/MKb5tb

Use VOOKUP (Part 2): Find Approximate Match

Download Excel File: goo.gl/Uuj8NK

Use MATCH and INDEX to Locate and Reference a Cell

Download Excel File: goo.gl/UepOhv


Download Excel File: goo.gl/VgfQz9


Download Excel File: goo.gl/fbrVY4

Investigate Correlations in data

Download Excel File: goo.gl/cBUV5x

Identify Top Performers with RANK

Download Excel File: goo.gl/gNEHYc

Set Cutoff Values in Performance using QUARTILE and PERCENTILE
7 Lectures 18:29

Download Excel Function: goo.gl/HfWLvS

Calculate Loan Payment with PMT Function

Download Excel Function: goo.gl/QddO4U

Calcualte Project Internal Rate of Return with IRR Function

Download Excel Function: goo.gl/4WnPIi

Calculate Future Value of Investment with FV Function

Download Excel Function: goo.gl/lfKsiS

Projected Rate of Return for Projects and Investments

Number of Payment for Investment or Loan

Working with Texts
Build Models!
3 Lectures 20:27


Rule #1: Have a Clear Layout - List ALL your inputs and assumptions

Rule #2: Progress Logically step by step

Rule #3: Think Hard and Clever
6 Lectures 21:49
(For PC) Visualize Data with Conditional Formatting

(For Mac) Visualize Data with Conditional Formatting

Download Excel File: goo.gl/wnZ33V

(For PC) Line Plot vs. Bar Chart

Download Excel File: goo.gl/wnZ33V

(For Mac) Line Chart vs. Bar Chart

Visualize Interaction with 3-D plot

Manage Projects with Gantt Chart
5 Lectures 21:11

Download Excel File: goo.gl/WLCNYd

What-ifs with One-way DataTable (Part 2): Mortgage Payments

What-ifs with One-way DataTable (Part 3): Select Selling Channels

3-D Scenario Analysis with Two-way DataTable (I): Drivers of Mortgage Payment

3-D Scenario Analysis with Two-way DataTable (II): Drivers of Drug Demand
3 Lectures 20:09

Download Excel File: goo.gl/FpzURZ

Slice and Dice with PivotTable

Use PivotTable to Visualize Data Distribution
Find Patterns!
4 Lectures 17:49

Prediction and Regression with LINEST

Predicting Yes/No Type of Outcomes

Forecast Future with Data Smoothing
4 Lectures 17:02
Optimize Linear Problems (1): Advertising Spending

Optimize Linear Problems (2): Schedule Interns

Optimize Linear Problems (3): Decide Order Quantities

2 Lectures 06:05
Online survey/event sign-up/quiz made easy with Excel online!

Bonus: Flashfill (Windows only) is a Godsend
About the Instructor
Justin Ren
4.1 Average rating
161 Reviews
2,321 Students
6 Courses

Dr. Justin Ren is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Operations and Technology Management Department, Dean's Research Fellow, and Senior Fellow of Health Policy Institute at Boston University School of Management. He was also a Visiting Scholar and Research Affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management from 2009-2013.

For almost ten years, Professor Ren has been teaching analytics courses which focuses on tools and frameworks that help managers gain market intelligence and make strategic decisions. He also teaches in executive education in financial risk management. He is a certified teacher by the Harvard Business School Case Method Discussion Leadership Program.

Professor Ren has consulted for Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups. His work has been mentioned in Sloan Management Review, China Daily, and the World Financial Review. He has been invited to give lectures and presentations around the world at institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, Duke, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Emory, INSEAD (France), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Peking University (China), and Tsinghua University (China).

Professor Ren received his M.S. in Operations Research and Ph.D. in Operations and Information Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.