course brochure

An essential course for those building advanced charts
and dashboards
Charting Master Class
Using Excel
A unique and practical one-day hands-on master class designed to improve the reporting and presentation of key
performance and financial information in reports, including dashboards. It appeals to those in finance or management who
need to increase the effectiveness and accuracy of the reports they generate and reduce the amount of effort required to
generate them. This course delivers:
 practical guidance on the layout and structuring of data to facilitate and vastly simplify charting;
 methods to save on chart building time and to allow for re-use of regularly created charts;
 techniques that allow for the automatic changing of chart settings without resorting to VBA;
 techniques to facilitate the re-use of charts with minimal editing, and creating templates;
 a thorough grounding in the features of the Excel charting interface;
 techniques to design and construct reporting dashboards, using the chart types presented;
 a wealth of practical information on the design and creation of advanced chart types; and
 measurable improvements in the accuracy and productivity of attendees.
Who will benefit?
The target audience for the master class is advanced users of Microsoft Excel who have a need to enhance their
presentation of performance and financial information through the use of charts.
The course provides a thorough grounding in the use of charts, appropriate chart types and the structuring of data to make
charting as easy as possible and facilitate the re-use of charts in other applications and for regular reporting cycles.
Much of the content involves the construction of formulas which enable the calculation of data to be displayed in the
charts, and also canvasses the use of dynamic source ranges.
Ideally, students will have attended the Financial Analysis Certificate. If not, they should be proficient in the use of Exc el,
have an understanding of named ranges and formulas, including such functions as VLOOKUP(), SUMIF(), MATCH() and
INDEX(). Students should be familiar with basic Excel charting techniques.
What can this course do for an employer?
For the employer, the techniques learned in this course offer the student greater confidence and effectiveness in us ing an
essential presentation tool, as well as guidance on how best to implement charting in a reporting or forecasting workbook.
There should be a measurable improvement in the student’s ability to more accurately present a chart within specific
formatting and presentational guidelines and a significant reduction in the effort required to generate more advanced chart
Corporations that have regularly used either the public or private in-house offerings of our courses over many years include:
Telstra, Macquarie Bank, UBS, CCA, Procter & Gamble, Ernst & Young, AMP, McDonalds, BNP Paribas, NAB,
PricewaterhouseCoopers , Westpac, Caltex, Deutsche Bank, Lend Lease, Optus, KPMG, St George, ASX, Ferrier Hodgson,
CBA, Rothschild Australia, BankWest, ANZ, Johnson & Johnson, Colonial First State, and many more…
Course Content
The following outline touches on many of the chart related items covered in the course. However, the material is not only
about charts themselves, but also how best to layout the data, which functions to select and some of the statistical
functions required to present the data in an appropriate fashion. Dashboards and the use of charts and graphical elements
in dashboards and the use of linked pictures is canvassed in some detail.
Creating charts
Chart Gallery
 Creating a chart sheet
 Creating and storing custom chart types
 Creating an embedded chart
 Selecting the appropriate chart type
 Working with embedded charts
 Setting default chart styles
 Repositioning Charts
 Controlling default colour allocations in charts
 Useful keyboard shortcuts for editing charts
 Understanding the chart modes of operation and
chart drag and drop
The basics for working with charts
Dynamic Chart Elements
 Increasing automation by making chart data change
 Functions and techniques to assist in the
development of dynamic charts
 Changing chart types
 Linking chart headings, sub-headings and data labels
to worksheet cells
 Selecting chart items
 Moving and sizing chart items
 Using invisible data series to provide extra
information on a chart
 Modifying axial scales
 Scale types
 Using a single Excel chart to graph data for more
than one reporting entity
 Automating the update of fixed scales
 Adjusting scales
 Controlling the axial intercepts
 Formatting data series
 Modifying standard colour assignments and
understanding the new Office Themes
"I can’t believe how much simpler all my reporting can
be made! If I had done this course years ago, I’d have
saved hours and hours every month-end.
Do this course, take some pressure off."
 Histograms with pictures
 Adding and deleting data series
Special Chart Types
 Techniques to add data to a series
 Techniques to easily add data to charts
 Simple techniques to set series to dynamically chart
 Formatting chart text
 Formatting chart numbers
 Waterfall charts, including how best to structure
data to simplify their creation
 Tornado charts, including worksheet-only solutions
to present tornado charts without using a chart
 Thermometer and Speedometer charts for progress
 Including useful custom formats
 Petrol pump charts, with series behind series to
measure progress against goals
 Linking to source format
 Graphical formatting of data series
 Frequency distributions
 Using a secondary Y-axis
 Charts with linked tables of source data
 Working with data labels
 Charts that allow the user to select series colour
from drop-down boxes
 Formatting data labels
 Mixing chart types for different data series
 Exploding pie charts
 Charts that allow the user to select the range of
values to be charted from drop-down boxes
 PivotCharts linked to PivotTables
 Creating Pie of Pie and Bar of Pie charts
Data Layout & Function Selection
 Techniques for structuring data to simplify updating
chart data series
 Selecting functions and return values to assist in
chart layout and update
 Anticipating changes in periods
 Anticipating variable periods to report
 Using hidden data ranges
 Dashboards will be built and their layout and design
 Charts and other layout elements built in the course
will be used to complete dashboard reports
 Use of sparklines (Excel 2010+) as dashboard
elements and navigational elements will be
 Using error values to manage chart series
Working with Other Applications
Chart VBA (Optional)
 Using the charts created in Excel in other
applications, such as Word and PowerPoint
 Linking the other documents to automatically
 Adding the tables of data from the chart to the
 Sizing and aligning charts to use in side-by-side and
over & under layouts in PowerPoint
 Labelling XY Charts
 Chart pop-up window to display a chart from
anywhere in a workbook. Includes a demonstration,
standard code and instructions on their use
 Sparklines, added in Excel 2010 will be introduced
 Powerful techniques to usefully integrate sparklines
into reports and dashboards will be canvassed
Excel Version
The course materials are fully compatible with all versions of Excel from Excel 97 to Excel 2011. Version specific instructions
are given where necessary.
Public courses are conducted using Excel 2007 or 2010, but with Excel 2003 installed and available for comparison where
appropriate, and guidance is given to those who are still using the older versions.
Some keyboard shortcuts taught are not available in the Macintosh versions of Excel (2008 and 2011).
Course Materials
The course materials include a 70+ page course text and a
CD‐ROM which includes the sample versions and worked
versions of the course files in formats to support all versions
of Excel since Excel 2000, as well as a number of reference
documents, and a set of links to other useful resources.
"James has a passion for his subject which he
effectively communicates to his students. This course
has the potential to be very dry but James keeps it
interesting and relevant."
Access to online support materials is also available to the students enrolled in the Charting Master Class.
About the Presenter
Following an early career in both public and commercial accounting, James Clarkson has more
than twenty years’ experience as a presenter of professional programs and more than twenty five
consulting and model-building for blue chip clients.
He has gained wide experience in model and analytical report design and development and also
has wide experience in application development using Microsoft Office (especially Excel), Visual
Basic and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
He is an outstanding educator, demonstrating the ability to clearly explain difficult and technical
subjects and consistently rates above 90% for satisfaction across a number of measures on
student evaluations.
Public Courses
Public offerings of the Charting Master Class are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin,
Canberra, Hobart and Newcastle. They are taught in professional presentation labs with a computer for each student, and
meals and refreshments are provided. For details, visit our web site or call +61 (0) 417-777-750.
Private Courses
In-house offerings of the Charting Master Class can be arranged anywhere in Australia and we can assist with the hire of
suitable training facilities if they are not available in-house. Requirements for in-house facilities are discussed on our web
site. For a quotation or to discuss your particular needs, call +61 (0) 417-777-750.
Other Courses
Clarkson ITT offers a range of courses that covers the full spectrum of Excel knowledge, including modelling,
VBA programming and the Key Topic Lecture Series. Full details of the range of courses and the calendar of
upcoming public offerings can be found on our web site. All courses are also available for private as well as
public classes.