Essential Skills

for business & data professionals

Cloud vs Local Installations: Where Should You Keep Your Data?

Cloud computing has been a major growth area in the world of technology over the last decade or so. In our personal lives, we all use cloud-based Internet services, and store data on the cloud, probably without giving it any real thought at all. Yet for many businesses, the cloud is a place they fear […]

How To Create Transaction Assumptions For Leveraged Buyouts

Modeling a Leveraged Buyout (or LBO) in Excel is a process with several steps. The first step is to create transaction assumptions. Transaction assumptions help determine the actual funds required to complete the transaction. This can be quite different to the purchase price when fees and equity rollovers are accounted for. The transaction assumptions also […]

Choosing the Right Charts for Your Dashboard

As we explained in a previous post, a dashboard consists of a collection of charts and other visuals combined into a single screen interface. The choice of charts to use can have a big impact on the effectiveness of a dashboard. In this post, we’ll learn when to use some of the most common chart […]

What’s the Difference Between Excel and Tableau?

Excel has been the dominant software for data analysis for many years. Although people like to complain about Excel, there has to be some reason why it obtained that level of popularity in the first place, and in reality it is pretty useful for most businesses.

Learn How to Make Better Business Decisions with Influence Diagrams

When you’re modeling a business problem, it’s generally tempting to start the analytics as quickly as possible. Whether you’re using Excel or another promising new tool, this can be a bad idea. You should always spend some time structuring your model in order to understand the variables and how they interact with each other. Influence models […]

How to Design Business Dashboards: Think Before You Create

Dashboards are a popular, effective tool for managers and other business people to better understand their companies through data analytics. In recent years, the development and the growing popularity of visualization tools like Tableau and Power BI has facilitated the expansion of business dashboards.

How Much Does Power BI Cost? An In-Depth Look

Microsoft’s Power BI has been shaking up the market for self-service business intelligence applications. However, it doesn’t follow the usual Microsoft pricing model. Historically, Microsoft products have been sold as a large upfront purchase, or as a monthly or yearly subscription. Power BI instead follows a freemium pricing model, where some features are available for […]

Anatomy Of A Data Scandal: Facebook – Cambridge Analytica fallout

GDPR is coming soon. The General Data Protection Regulation is being introduced by the European Union on 25th May 2018. The new law on data privacy and data protection significantly strengthens European citizen’s rights to online privacy and control of their personal data. Despite being a European initiative, GDPR will have a global impact on […]

6 Common Chart Mistakes To Avoid When Presenting Data

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Graphs and charts are wonderful things. They give you the power to explain what’s in your dataset while requiring you to write only a small amount of dreary text. However, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s all too easy to create visualizations that are confusing […]

What Makes a Good Manager?

‘Manager.’ It’s an important role.  Some people think being manager means you are the boss, but in fact what you are, for all intents and purposes, is an enabler; your job is to enable your team to do their job to the best of their ability. A recent Gallup study has shown that managers account […]

How to Construct a Sensitivity Chart in Excel

When you are modelling a business problem in Excel, you will often want to know how the output of your model is affected by changes in some of the input variables. To do this you use sensitivity analysis, which is so called because you are measuring how sensitive the output is to changes in some […]

Why Your Business Should Learn Tableau

Over the past few years, many large organizations have adopted business intelligence platforms like Tableau and are rolling them out to varying degrees of success. If your engagement has a heavy data analysis component, it’s highly likely that your clients will expect you to use toolkits like Tableau. If your competitors have already adopted these […]