Spreadsheets are an extremely powerful tool for collecting, processing and analysing data, but for some people they may as well be an alien technology. If Excel is your personal hell, Guardian data journalist Mona Chalabi can cure your spreadsheet illiteracy in a day, showing you how to extrapolate and interpret information from spreadsheets and turn it into compelling stories.
By the end of the course, you'll be able to use spreadsheets to compare data, spot trends, and analyse patterns with ease. You'll also learn how to create and collate your own spreadsheets, and use simple formulas to unlock the hidden swathes of information on a spreadsheet. The grid will never have looked so interesting.
This one-day course covers everything you need to know about interpreting existing spreadsheets, and creating and filling in your own. The course is designed for beginners and those who may enter values into cells and can't do much else. No previous knowledge of spreadsheet use is required. The topics covered include:
- When spreadsheets can be useful
- Basic spreadsheet functions
- How can spreadsheets go wrong?
- How can you spot a trend in your numbers?
- Where can you look for spreadsheets of data you want but don't have?
- How can you compare one data set to another in the same spreadsheet and how can you see how something has changed over time?
- How can you adapt Excel or Google spreadsheets to fit your needs?
This course is for you if...
You need to use spreadsheets for your work, but lack confidence or experience. This is aimed at beginners and will be taught at an appropriate pace for that audience, so if you're already comfortable using spreadsheets you may want to look at one of our other data visualisation masterclasses. This course will give you the necessary grounding in using spreadsheets to enable you to take the Data visualisation using online tools masterclass (and you'll get a 10% discount for signing up for both).
Mona Chalabi is a data journalist at the Guardian. She is used to analysing very diverse datasets, having previously worked at the Bank of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Transparency International and as a UN permanent observer. She has also exhibited 'Photographs by Numbers' - works which take spreadsheets and convey them in digitally altered photographs. Mona will soon be leaving the Guardian to join Nate Silver's team at ESPN in the US. You can see her work for the Guardian here.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.