Frequently Asked Questions
When does the course start and finish?
This course is only open once a year. The 2019 cohort will begin in spring 2019. Join the interest list to be the first to hear about registration details (and to get special early bird pricing!). Every week, I'll email you with encouraging messages to make sure you keep progressing.
How long do I have access to the course?
You'll have access to this course for an entire year, and there will be opportunities to gain access beyond that, too.
Can't I just find this information on the internet or in books?!
Sure. It onnnnnly took me a decade to teach myself all these tricks. I took classes. I checked out books from the library. I searched through hundreds of (really bad) videos. I took classes. I learned the hard way so you don't have to. This course is a shortcut. In 12 weeks, I'll teach you what it took me a decade to learn on my own.
Can I get the same information from your blog?
No. I freshly-recorded 150 lessons just for this course. I used to post tutorials on YouTube, but that was back in 2012, and I posted the videos as the mood struck me, not in a logical, cohesive course.
What makes this course's focus unique?
The vast majority of Excel courses are taught by people with finance and accounting backgrounds. If you're working on Wall Street, then this course isn't for you. This course is designed for people in applied research and program evaluation settings. Want to know whether your program, policy, or initiative is effective? These are the formulas you need to know--and the order you need to learn them.
What if I have questions about my individual dataset?
Enroll in the Gold Tier and you'll get an hour of one-on-one consulting time with me. We'll share screens and work through your individual questions together. Together, we can tackle what it would take you all day to fiddle with on your own.
Which software program are we using?
The videos use Excel, but this isn't strictly an Excel course. It's a spreadsheet course. If you join the Silver Tier, you'll get access to three additional 60-minute webinars. During these group Q&A sessions, we'll review common questions that have popped up AND you'll learn how to apply these skills in other programs like Google Sheets and Apple Numbers. It's like learning three software programs in one! There are slight differences between each software program, but for the most part, spreadsheets are spreadsheets, and you need them for every project on the planet.
Which version of Excel will we use?
I'm demonstrating all the skills on a PC with Excel 2016. It's okay if you have another version of Excel. It's okay if you have a Mac. I've been using spreadsheets since the 1990s--my Ph.D. economist dad starting teaching me Lotus 123 when I was in first grade!--so I've used virtually every version of spreadsheets imaginable. I can help you find the right buttons on your computer.
How do I know if your teaching style is right for me?
Enroll in my free course called Beyond the Dusty Shelf Report. You'll see examples of before/after makeovers from real reports, dashboards, and slideshows. The spreadsheet techniques covered in this Simple Spreadsheets course are the foundation of those data visualization techniques.
I don't read from scripts. I sound like a human. If you want a dry, robotic teacher reading from a script, then this course isn't for you.
I'm an absolute beginner when it comes to data analysis. Can I still enroll?
I start at the beginning so you get a confidence boost early on. As soon as you register, you'll get access to the first bonus module, The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Spreadsheets. You'll reinforce the basics like changing font colors and inserting logos. When you're learning a new skill, half the battle is affirming that you're on the right track. I'll tell you when you're doing it right (and when you're not).
How did you choose which skills to include?
I teach skills in a verrrrry intentional sequence, from merging datasets together... to cleaning data... to exploratory visualizations... to calculating summary statistics... to graphing key patterns. In other courses I've taken, the instructors just cover a random set of skills with no cohesion between them. I've always felt lost and frustrated in those settings. I carefully crafted this syllabus just for you.
I need help figuring out what to do first, second, and third in my dataset. Can you help with that?
We start with the basics--just one formula or technique per video. Then, we go through "Putting It All Together" skills, in which we'll approach a real-life dataset from start to finish. The lessons are easy at first, and then we put the skills together in increasingly advanced ways. You'll master the basics first so that you'll be ready to roll later on. But wait, there's more! There's also some bonus content on data visualization.
I took some data analysis and research methods back in grad school, but I need a refresher. Is this course right for me?
YES. I designed this course with YOU in mind. You probably learned about concepts like data cleaning back in college or in graduate school. We'll spend an entire week on data cleaning strategies so that you have a refresher on the critical thinking skills AND practical how-to lessons.
I learned SPSS/STATA/SAS/Mplus in school but now I only have access to Excel. Is this course right for me?
YES. I designed this course with YOU in mind. I learned SPSS and STATA as a college student, and I taught myself SAS during my honors thesis and while working in research labs. We touched on SPSS in my graduate program too. Then, I left academia and went into the real world. I worked for a huge consulting firm with a huge budget. Despite the huge budget, we didn't have SPSS! It was deemed too expensive. We were expected to learn Excel on our own and adapt, fast! I checked out books from the library, took seminars, and learned everything I could from coworkers. It was a long, arduous process. There was no one to guide me along the way. This is the course I wish I could've taken! This course is your fast track to transitioning from other programs into Excel.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.