Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Getting Access to Spreadsheet Models for Managers

If Spreadsheet Models for Managersyou use Excel to model businesses, business processes, or business transactions, this course will change your life. You’ll learn how to create tools for yourself that will amaze even you. Unrestricted use of this material is available in two ways.

As a stand-alone Web site
It resides on your computer, and you can use it anywhere. No need for Internet access.
At this Web site
If you have access to the Internet whenever you want to view this material, you can purchase on-line access. Unlimited usage. I’m constantly making improvements and you’ll get them as soon as they’re available.

To Order On Line

Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, one month" by credit card, for USD 69.95 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, three months" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, downloadable hyperbook edition" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.

To Order by Mail

Make your check payable to Chaco Canyon Consulting, for the amount indicated:
  • For the download: USD 199.00
  • For access online for three months: USD 199.00
  • For access online for one month: USD 69.95
And send it to:
Chaco Canyon Consulting
700 Huron Avenue, Suite 19C
Cambridge, MA 02138

To use the course software you’ll need some other applications, which you very probably already have. By placing your order, you’re confirming that you have the software you need, as described on this site.

Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Session 1
Introduction to Spreadsheet Models
Summary of Pages

What’s a spreadsheet model? What’s the role of spreadsheet modeling in a modern organization? An effective modeling capability provides a competitive edge — if an organization can quickly and effectively model its processes, markets, and finances, it can make better decisions faster.

But to be effective, models must be simple, maintainable, and faithful. In this session, we begin a survey of modeling techniques that support these three goals. Our first topics include examples of calculation techniques, development techniques, and Excel technology.

Among the most basic of calculation techniques are two common spreadsheet forms — clichés — running sums and running differences. We also look at parameters and parameter names — a development technique that provides a strong foundation for maintainability. Finally, a bit of Excel technology that is a key to modeling mastery: range, absolute references and relative references. We’ll straighten out any confusion you might have about the dollar sign, and make it your friend.

Below is a summary of pages for Session 1.

  1. The old prospector’s wisdom
  2. Contact info
  3. Course materials
  4. Software you need
  5. Your deliverables
  6. Teamwork
  7. Grades
  8. Partial credit on homework
  9. Policies
  10. Session schedule
  11. Submitting homework
  12. Formatting homework
  13. How to work
  14. About the homework problems
  15. Course project
  16. Learning
  17. Course materials
  18. Storing course files
  19. These pages
  20. The practice of business is changing
  21. How can small business units make complex decisions?
  22. Two key messages
  23. We use microsoft Excel
  24. Course objectives
  25. What is modeling?
  26. About worksheets and cells
  27. Running sums
  28. Running differences
  29. Named parameters
  30. Choosing names for parameters
  31. Name scope
  32. Relative and absolute references
  33. Advanced use of names
  34. The main points
  35. Readings and references
  36. Preview of Next Time

Links to other materials for Session 1.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-Apr-2016 04:15:26 EDT

Deciding What to Read

The first homework assignment has a fair amount of reading attached to it. Some students feel that the best approach is to read it all, and then try to do the homework. For most of us, such an approach doesn’t work very well.

Before you begin the course, read the general material, such as “Getting Started,” “Software You Need for This Course,” and “How to Work.”

Later, as you begin the homework, let the homework drive your reading choices. For instance, the first homework assignment does require that you master certain techniques. Read “Names” and “The Ripple Principle.” Then, if something confuses you, read up on it: examples are “The Basics of Recalculation” and “References.” Learning something when you need it, and only when you need it, is usually the best way to go.

Avoid Redundant Parentheses

Parentheses sometimes make a real difference. For instance A1*B1+2 is very different from A1*(B1+2). But A1*(B1*2) is exactly the same as A1*B1*2. When the parentheses don’t make any difference in the value of the result, it’s not usually a good idea to include them. They tend to make the formulas harder to read, and there’s always the chance that you’ll put them in the wrong place. More