Our New Online Course: Digital Transformation with Excel

This announces a foray into online training with launch of our Digital Transformation with Excel or DTE course. I partnered with Toronto-based Predictum Consulting LLC and CEO Wayne Levin on this. It brings together my data and modeling mentoring insights from decades of P&G R&D work as well as from recent consulting work. DTE recognizes the pervasiveness and unabashed usefulness of Microsoft Excel in organizations. The result is something I’m proud of and something that is uniquely beneficial among the soup of trainings out there.

Please reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter (@data_delve or @Predictum_Inc) if you want to discuss setting up a preview call, live training options or group discounts. DTE’s target audience is broad. I hope a wide range of folks will experience it:

  • Modeling experts, Finance experts and Analysts can expect to learn a rather surprising “hidden layer” of features for authoring models in a way that is relatable to less technical customers. This audience bullet point is my tribe too. Elegant use of Excel connects models to the business in a relevant way since the downstream world runs on it. Learning how to structure and curate data and models can often be new even to many experts versus a standard practice of constructing non-structured, spreadsheet model “dashboards.”
  • Multi-functional leaders can expect to gain personal, working-with-data skills but also to get cultural insights on what to emphasize and encourage as “this is how we do things around here” for digital transformation
  • Administrators, project managers and anyone else who works collaboratively on teams can expect to learn skills for combining “business process” data in new ways that calm the constant barrage of chat messages and emails on topics ranging from budget questions to project lists, product designs, project status and so on.

DTE is more than just a collection of skill tidbits such as you can find for free on YouTube. It is built on four, higher-level themes that, when combined together, create data and modeling magic:

  1. How to be fluent to work well with large and small data sets and models (Example skill: 50+% speedup via practical use of built-in shortcuts for navigation and for issuing commands)
  2. How to structure data for extensibility and portability (Example skills: How to include “keys” in data for filtering and sorting; building multi-table models with the XLOOKUP function)
  3. How to curate data to maximize personal and collaborator useful life of data (Example skill: Cell and Range naming to curate formulas)
  4. Designing excellent spreadsheet user interfaces to encourage use of data and calculation models for collaboration (Example skills: Column Outlines and unique Conditional Formatting techniques for working comfortably with large models)

Besides Excel’s pervasiveness, I will add an additional word on “why Excel?” as a training topic in 2022. We know that company software ecosystems are complex. People work with multiple tools as I do in my consulting practice. However, Excel’s wide-open, grid structure makes it ideal for teaching how to make data and models collaborative and portable across software. It is also true that Excel can be used for both the good of constructing great models or for the evil of making hard-to-decipher, spreadsheet scraps that die on individuals’ hard drives. To bring about true digital transformation, we teach how to bend towards the good and how to steer clear of spreadsheet evil.

DTE practical details:

  • It consists of 3 hours of short videos combined with case study examples. When taught live, it is a “one-day” course.
  • DTE is cross-platform for Mac and Windows versions. We discuss relative strengths and weaknesses of Excel variants but make the teaching fluid and relevant regardless of preferred operating system
  • DTE is hosted on Predictum’s Thinkific “academy.” Here is a link to Predictum’s LinkedIn announcement of DTE and intro of me as lead trainer.