Predict to Win in Business with Excel and Numbers
3.5 (3 ratings)
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Predict to Win in Business with Excel and Numbers

Don't just "keep the books," see the future, know what to do and when, using every day data from existing reports
3.5 (3 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.
1,217 students enrolled
Created by Dan Strongin
Last updated 9/2013
Current price: $10 Original price: $65 Discount: 85% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course you will be able to take available data, and in a few minutes a day, squeeze the meaning out of it creating real, actionable knowledge for your business, while at the same time eliminating wasted time and effort spent on chasing things that in the end don't make a difference.
  • For those more well versed in Corporate MBA Accounting Speak, or anyone else who prefers bulletpoints to step by step practice, jumping around is recommended.
View Curriculum
  • Some familiarity with the Profit and Loss report in particular, though there is a primer on the fundamental business reports so someone with focus could dominate the course from scratch with dedication, a pencil and eraser, some paper, preferably graph paper, a copy of either Excel® or Numbers® (or OpenOffice®), a computer, some time for practice and your UNcomputer... your mind!

If you use spreadsheets in your work, this course will revolutionize the way you look at data. If you "were" a startup, and are finding that Run is not the same as Start Up when money now has to come from cash flow, not investors, take this course!

Working hard in your business, there can be precious little time to work ON it, to make things better. When you do find time, trying to see what matters in columns and rows packed with too much data but too little meaning bites!

Do I have the cure? Not just how to keep the books, but how to know their meaning: everything you need to know to know when, whether, and where to act, and predict what will happen in the near future with confidence, so you can anticipate problems before they happen.

Starting with an overview of what will be learned, the course includes:

  • An entertaining Primer on Financial Reports and Accounting Principles, if that is possible...
  • In depth look at the problems of these reports as tools for operating a business
    • The Flaw of Averages
    • The Foibles of Percentages
    • And the Dangers in Limited Comparisons
  • Then how to create reports that do work, quickly and easily using the same data, only transforming it visually to allow you to see the real context, what the data means and what is mostly likely to happen, so you manage it with your eyes on the road in front of you, not stuck in the rear view mirror.
  • Many examples from real people like you.
  • Lots of working together, in virtual real time, like the Khan Academy
  • Independent exercises and study to help you nail how to do them.

Based on a proven system with more than 80 years of successful application in a wide variety of businesses, packed with examples from sports, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and more, and step by step hands on practice, guided by a Master, you will learn to transform data from your existing reports in a few minutes with a flick of a pen or a mouse.

If Simon Sinek helps with the why, this course helps with the how. How to know with precision what you need to make things not bite, as in earn more, be more productive and have more time in your life and enjoy it.

You will need a pencil, an eraser, some graph paper preferably, a straight edge, a calculator, a computer and spreadsheet software would be nice, but most of all, your uncomputer... your mind.

The course is made up of 45 classes, with over 6 hours of video, plus pdf's for study, supplementary materials, and an hour or two of independent practice to move you from first exposure to mastering the art of making wonderfully useful reports and how to apply them for breakthrough, magical results.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who uses spreadsheets and/or report data in their work
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Curriculum For This Course
45 Lectures
2 Lectures 04:59

A more detailed overview of the course and what will be covered.

Preview 02:40
Introductions, Expectations and What Will Be Covered
2 Lectures 18:19
An Introduction to me, what I need from you and what you can expect from me.
The Search

Demystifying with humor the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet (if accounting can be humorous), a short primer on the basics of two of the three main reports in GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Great for those who want to bone up on the subject, or those who have used it for years, perhaps, secretly, wondering why.

Preview 16:23
A Review of Financial Reports: What they were really designed for and why
5 Lectures 29:15

It's not you! Why the common reports like the P&L do not provide context, are hard to connect with what really happened, or in other words, how can you know without enough context.

Preview 05:27

Why the flaws of averages and "apples and orange" percentage comparisons muddle understanding.

The Tragicomic Effects of Flawed Averages and Percents

Why single datapoints and limited comparisons are so dangerous.

Single Points in Time and Limited Comparison Tell You Nothing

Review of Single Datapoints and Limited Comparisons

A short inspirational...

Fourth Dimensional Visual Reporting
2 Lectures 21:05

Moving from 2D to 4D reporting using the age old controversy, who is the greatest home run hitter of all time. (Thank you, Dr. Wheeler)

The National Pastime

Another example from Football, (the one played with the feet, known as Soccer in the US), comparing Pele and ...

The Rest of the World's Pastime
Nature and Human Nature
4 Lectures 21:22

What science explains about why we so easily find connections in data that may not be real, and other revolutionary tidbits.

Preview 06:06

The little known but utterly important law of nature they didn't teach you in school, and how it profoundly effects everything we do. Knowing it can provide a leg up on the competition; mastering it lead to almost magical success.

Natural Variation

Short but sweet, including my priceless impression of white noise.

Preview 00:48

Dr. Shewharts'rules for the visual presentation of data with meaning.
Preview 5 pages
The Pragmatic Approach
3 Lectures 20:43

From driving looking in the rear view mirror (the common management reports) focused by what happened, not what is or will, to looking at the road in front of you.

First Steps Into a More Rewarding Future


A short but sweet call to action.

Changing your Glasses
Practice Doing Them
5 Lectures 01:08:54

"All you need is 30 minutes and a pencil and paper to get what you need from the data..." We begin DOING, using the UNcomputer...

Charts by Hand

Turning our eyes from the past to looking forward from the present to the near future, so you can manage it.

By Hand Looking into the Future: The Power of Prediction

Only after doing by hand, we move do doing in Excel: (I can't stop you, but thorougly encourage you to learn to do them by hand first. It will lead to a greater depth of understanding before you enlist the computer power that can multiply mistakes at the speed of light. What we learn by doing with our hands with pencil and paper, sticks with us, even if it feels a bit "heavy metal" sometimes.

Charts by Excel® (Only after doing by hand)

The second part of the lecture before.

Charts by Excel® Continued

A look at more advanced work using a simple, affordable program from the Deming Collaboration Website, allowing you to look at seasonal and other effects without having to create a new chart every time. A great tool for understanding businesses like retail, agriculture, or any other business that changes seasonally.

A bit of Software to Streamline Your Work and help with Seasonal Fluctuations
Putting it Together and Making it Work for You in a Few Minutes a Day
7 Lectures 32:15

Another important allegory... burn it into your mind, it is elegant, simple and profound!

Preview 01:21

Short, sweet and will lead to breakthrough improvement, if you take it to heart. Why objectives fail.

The Problem with Targets and Objectives: A Better Way!

A fable about managing with and without targets.

Preview 04:01

Creating the charts needed for a more or less universal report that measures how well your whole business is running, and lets you get a clear picture, practically in real time, of the health of your business, and how well you are managing your TRUE costs, the overall costs of the system.

Setting up an Integrated Report: The Charts

What Matters: Settting up the Integrated Report

The application of the report created in the last lecture, to create instant, relevant, effective understanding in a way you could never dream of doing when seeing only in two dimensions as in the common financial reports.

Instant Visual Understanding: Doing It!

What to do with your newly found time from your newly acquired knowledge: build a better system... in this case an ordering system as an example.

With Your New Free Time: An Improvement Project
More Practice Exercises
7 Lectures 01:35:35

An age old technique from the days of apprenticeship for ensuring you burn the basics in... working alongside me. "Pedagogical" power technique.

Charts by Hand "Workalong"

An Uncomputer vs Computer smack down!

By Hand vs. By Machine

More hands on practice in Excel

Another Excel® Example

An example for the "rest of us." (those using Macs) For Linux you are on your own, sorry, but I don't have a Linux computer.

An Examples in Apple iWork Numbers®

hands on practice


More practice!

More Exercises

Even more practice

Even More Exercises
The Home Stretch and the Heavy Stuff!
8 Lectures 53:22

The importance of how things inter-relate.


How to really learn if something is useful and true. The missing link in most of today's management system: a good theory and reality testing, some say, the application of science to everyday life, I say making it relevant to every day life for profound breakthroughs in productivity and quality of production and personal life: introducing PDSA, a simple tool for profound learning and improvement. (enough superlatives?)

Pragmatism aka Reality Testing

Cost cutting vs. True Cost continued...

Cut Costs, Down the Drain You Go Continued...

A Selective Timeline of Management History

Recommendations for awesome books on which much of this course was based, with supplementary pdf written by Dr. Donald Wheeler, Mr. Process Behavior himself, on why the charts work (Process Behavior Charts are officially called XmR charts.)

Further Reading and Study

An inspirational slap on the back... just for you...

Congratulations! You Made It!

Some suggestions for next steps, if I succeeded in helping you change your glasses and you are thirsty for more!

Next Steps
About the Instructor
Dan Strongin
3.3 Average rating
21 Reviews
1,956 Students
4 Courses
Past President of the American Cheese Society-Chef and Coach

I bring many years of experience along every step of the food chain from farm to table, sharing my experiences, making people smile, helping people enjoy life more, and make great products profitably. My life's work has been about enjoying, nurturing, collaborating and cultivating in harmony with Nature.

A former 5 Star Chef, including 8 years with the prestigious Ritz Carlton Corporation, in the 1980's I pioneered the introduction of restaurant quality food to the Supermarket Industry in Northern California.

I was President and Chairman of the Board of the American Cheese Society, and am a founding member of the Deming Collaboration. In the 1990's I worked behind the scenes helping to plant the seed and cultivate the renaissance of high quality, local foods, from family farms in the US, working with, among others, the California Milk Advisory Board, The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Alliance (EVA), and the Dairy Business Innovation Center.

He blogs on productivity in harmony with Nature and is a monthly columnist for the Cheese Reporter.