Business Analysis

Successful people make the most out of numbers available to them. This course presents a wide range of practical skills in managing these numbers.

This course will take you through a proven, structured process to improve your ability to collect, analyse and forecast business and financial data in order to generate valuable insights from business data.

It will also teach you how to report on business data and present information and analysis to clients and stakeholders. It is aimed particularly, but not exclusively, at financial and business analysts, managers, planners, customer-service staff, operations staff and information-management personnel.

This course will take you on a structured and thorough journey that will teach you how to turn ‘buckets of data’ into sound, well-supported business decisions, create stunning charts to communicate these business decisions and make you one the most valuable people in your business.


  • Over 20 hours of learning material
  • 60 professional spreadsheet models that can be adapted for your work.
  • Hours of video content including video summaries and screencasts
  • Techniques and Tricks from an expert
  • Practical exercises
  • Multiple-choice testing to benchmark progress


Course Content

Course Content

Course Content

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Syllabus Explorer

Course Certificate


Section 1: Introduction


Unit 1.1 - Turning Numbers into Better Business Decisions

Outlines the course contents, the background to business analysis and the tasks required in a Business Analyst’s day-to-day work.

Section 2: The Business Analyst's Excel Toolbox


Unit 2.1 - Essential Excel for Business Analysis

Introduces four essential Excel techniques that differentiate good spreadsheets from average ones: using range names, conditional formatting, data validation and matching and ranking data.


Unit 2.2 - Professional Tools for Business Analysts

Introduces the professional tools in spreadsheets for managing the operation of worksheets by: using ‘controls’ to cycle through valid inputs, testing spreadsheets with a statistically derived range of random inputs, using formulas that detect error conditions and stop them affecting other parts of the worksheet, and protecting parts of the worksheet from deliberate or inadvertent change by other users.

Section 3: Collecting and Managing Business Data


Unit 3.1 - Importing and Exporting Data

Provides the skills to import, organise and pre-process data from a range of sources - databases, spreadsheets, documents and the web - and then export it in a controlled way to reporting and presentation programs.


Unit 3.2 - Power Functions for Managing Business Data

Teaches you how to use dynamic ranges, select data according to criteria and view data as an aggregate (i.e. distribution) to make it easier to re-use worksheets and formulas for further analysis, forecasting and comparison even after the underlying data has changed.

Section 4: Communicating Your Message


Unit 4.1 - Your Stakeholders and Their Needs

Discusses the requirements of your stakeholders and communicating your findings to them in the clearest and most appropriate way: text, table, chart or a mix? 


Unit 4.2 - Data Presentation Formats That Work

Explores what makes tables, charts and presentation media effective, and how to use them to communicate with your stakeholders. Examines the best chart types for the seven key data relationship types, as well as some new charting techniques that bridge text and conventional chart types: in-cell charting, sparklines and in-cell images.

Section 5: Winning Charts for Business Communication


Unit 5.1 - Professional Charting

Explains how to create effective charts, including the re-use of chart formats and the use of conditional formatting


Unit 5.2 - Dynamic Charts

Teaches you how to make a number of dynamic, robust and error-resistant charts that select data from large datasets and present it in a controlled manner for professional, engaging presentations.


Unit 5.3 - Some Special Charts for Business Analysis

Explains how to use charts - waterfall, quadrant and ranking charts - not included in the Excel charting toolbox. 

Section 6: Looking Inside Your Data (Analysis)


Unit 6.1 - Analysing Data with Pivot Tables

Teaches you how to use Pivot Tables to reduce, collate, analyse and compare data.


Unit 6.2 - Managing Pivot Tables Output

Provides grounding the output aspects of Pivot Tables, ensuring that they are displayed in a user-friendly manner, are easy to control, can ‘crunch’ and group numbers effectively and are refreshed appropriately when the underlying data changes. 

Section 7: Comparing Business Scenarios


Unit 7.1 - Decision Making with Compared Scenarios

Explains how to use Data Tables to compare scenarios for decision-making.


Unit 7.2 - The Scenario Manager

Introduces two ways of comparing scenarios, and builds skills in using the Excel Scenario Manager for presentations and reporting. 

Section 8: Looking Outside Your Data (Forecasting)


Unit 8.1 - Time Series and Forecasting

Gives you the competency required to be able to forecast future values based on past experience. Topics include fitting trendline curves to real-life data and selecting the right kind of trendline to use as the basis for forecasting. Linear forecasting techniques are also developed using charting methods as well as analytic methods on the worksheet. 


Unit 8.2 - Working with Moving Averages

Introduces data smoothing through the use of moving averages, and provides several methods for using moving averages with business data. Also investigates seasonal impacts on time series data and teaches you techniques for decomposing data so that its seasonal factors can be identified and forecast. 


Unit 8.3 - Introduction to Regression

Explains multiple regression to identify which individual business inputs are most strongly represented in the measured and forecast data, and teaches you how to use regression to examine data so that its key characteristics can be used in forecasts. 

Section 9: Ending


Unit 9.1 - Ending

Concludes the course.


Pricing is for 12 months access.

*The AUD price shown above is an estimate. Actual charges are based on the current exchange rate from GBP



  • Required: A good working knowledge of Microsoft Excel


  • Required: Microsoft Excel

Completion Time: 20 hours (average)

About the Author

Harold Graycar

Harold Graycar is an experienced executive with a broad background in information technology, business development and general management.

His degrees are in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney, Australia. In addition to his numerate and analytic skills, Harold's ability to communicate and work with personnel from non-technical backgrounds makes him a valuable contributor to multi-disciplinary projects, and an effective business trainer.

He has over 25 years’ experience in technical, commercial and general management roles: advising corporate and government clients on project funding, models and strategies for business development, procurement of equipment and services and outsourcing of systems and operations -- all based around business analysis and numerate skills.

Harold has been a “power user” and developer of Excel applications since the product was launched, and has developed a number of Excel modelling tools for financial applications, workforce planning, HR profile analysis and transaction logging.

Harold has presented executive-level Financial Analysis, Forecasting and Business Modelling sessions for public groups and individual client organisations in Australia, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Macao, Philippines and Singapore. The focus is always on how to increase productivity with better hands-on numerate and information presentation skills.