EXCELLING AT EXCEL

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A run-through of a beginner-level short online course on Excel skills for business.


 

Spreadsheet software, a digital workhorse in today’s professional landscape, is like a secret sauce that adds efficiency to tasks across all industries. Whether employed for financial modelling, project management, or statistical analysis, spreadsheet software provides a flexible and efficient platform for users to translate raw data into meaningful insights. As a cornerstone for data analysis and visualisation, Excel has become a go-to tool, revolutionising information management in various industrial sectors. Recognising the increasing demand for Excel skills in today’s job market, Macquarie University introduces an online course that could be a game-changer – Excel Skills for Business: Essentials.

The course covers everything from the basics of Excel operation to calculations, formatting, data manipulation, and even creating visually appealing charts. What sets this course apart is its hands-on approach. It even spills the beans on how to make final printouts look as sharp as digital creations. With downloadable Excel workbooks, real-world data sets, and practical challenges, learners are not just processing theories, but challenging their skills to solve actual business problems.

MODULE 1: CRITICAL CORE OF EXCEL

The course begins by acquainting learners with the fundamental basic features of Excel encompassing the user interface, basic terminologies, and guidance on operating the essential navigational controls in Excel. It also provides insights into efficient data entry techniques using Excel spreadsheets. Complementing these lessons are practice videos covering various foundational aspects, simplifying the comprehension of the applications of Excel’s features. Furthermore, the module’s readings section includes concise notes on Excel’s keyboard shortcuts, terminology, and expert tips – serving as an invaluable resource for learners seeking to master Excel efficiently.

Duration: 5 hours

Videos: 10

Readings: 8

Quizzes: 8

MODULE 2: PERFORMING CALCULATIONS

Once learners have acquired a foundational understanding of Excel’s basic elements, the subsequent module guides them through the syntax of formulas, a key functionality within Excel.  Learners understand how to write and apply formulas and functions to perform calculations and the utility of different cell references in Excel spreadsheets. Moreover, this module features two comprehensive quizzes, each lasting 30 minutes, out of a total of 7 quizzes throughout the course. These quizzes specifically aim to assess learners’ comprehension of formulas in context and evaluate their proficiency in applying these skills to perform calculations.

Duration: 4 hours

Videos: 11

Readings: 5

Quizzes: 7

MODULE 3: FORMATTING

The third module offers insights about formatting which is crucial in accentuating key messages and facilitating data arrangement and visualisation to make it presentable. Some of the formatting tools apart from Excel styles and themes, included in this segment are font formatting, borders, alignment and number formatting. These tools collectively empower learners to refine their skills in creating visually appealing and well-organised spreadsheets.

Duration: 2 hours

Videos: 10

Readings: 4

Quizzes: 7

MODULE 4: WORKING WITH DATA

As learners reach the midway mark of this course, they develop the expertise to seamlessly handle data and optimise spreadsheet management using a diverse set of functionality tools. Notable skills acquired include the adept use of filter and sort functions to pinpoint data, employing find and replace features for quick data retrieval and modification, and harnessing the power of conditional formatting to accentuate specific information. This well-rounded knowledge equips learners with the tools needed for efficient data manipulation and organisation within Excel.

Duration: 3 hours

Videos: 9

Readings: 3

Quizzes: 6

MODULE 5: PRINTING

The fifth module of this course engages learners to explore how to optimise their spreadsheets for printing by mastering the management of margins, orientation, headers and footers, and more. It is essential to understand how to edit the spreadsheet in a way that enhances its overall presentation before proceeding to the final printing stage. This knowledge ensures that learners can effectively tailor their spreadsheets for an optimal, visually appealing and professional-looking output of the data.

Duration: 4 hours

Videos: 9

Readings: 5

Quizzes: 6

MODULE 6: CHARTS

As learners approach the conclusion of this course, they encounter the exploration of charts, a fundamental method for visually representing data. This module serves as a guidebook, detailing the steps to create and modify various types of charts in Excel. It provides assistance in harnessing the power of visual elements to effectively communicate and analyse data, adding a valuable skill set to learners’ repertoire.

Duration: 4 hours

Videos: 8

Readings: 4

Quizzes:

MODULE 7: FINAL ASSESSMENT

The concluding module of this course is exclusively designed for administering learners’ final assessment, evaluating their comprehensive understanding and application skills in using Microsoft Excel. The final assessment spans a duration of 1 hour, providing a thorough measure of the knowledge and proficiency acquired throughout the course.

Duration: 1 hour

Videos: None

Readings: None

Quiz: 1

Course Overview

Platform: Coursera

Duration: 26 hours

Difficulty: Beginner

Rating: 4.9/5

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