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

Guidelines for Homework Success

Most people do pretty well on homework, but there are some errors and misconceptions that appear with some frequency. This page contains brief descriptions of best practices for your homework, written as a set of guidelines. It isn’t complete — our goal is to give you a high-level sense of what are some best practices. Certainly there are many more.

Respect the Ripple Principle
When a problem solution respects the Ripple Principle, and when we change the value of any of the numeric data the problem set provides, then following recalculation, the solution updates to account for this change. The changes required in the solution are restricted to changing only the values of the input data.
Avoid parameter sprinkling
The practice we call parameter sprinkling entails inserting the values of parameters in several places — in cells, in formulas, or both — in the worksheet. When this is done, and when we need to update the value of a parameter that has been sprinkled, we have to chase down all instances and correct them. This process is a source of expense and error. We want you to avoid parameter sprinkling by ensuring that each item of input data resides in one and only one place on your worksheet.
Use only recommended worksheet functions
Some problem sets are designed to give you practice using particular worksheet functions, which are listed in the reading on worksheet functions. Although it’s possible to use other functions (or no functions) to compute some of these results, we require that you demonstrate mastery of the functions we recommend.
Use our recommended clichés
We’ve described several standard clichés for computing commonly needed results, such as the running sum and running difference. It’s possible to compute these results in dozens of alternative ways, but the methods we show you have decided advantages. In this course, we want you to use the methods we describe.
Define names for ranges
The practice of naming ranges, rather than referring to them by explicit cell references, reduces maintenance costs and error rates. We expect you to name ranges and to refer to them by name.
Avoid using AnswerA, AnswerB, etc., in formulas
Although we do require you to assign names to your results, we also require that these names not be used in any of your formulas. The whole point of using names is to exploit their expressiveness, to make your models more readily understandable. Using the Answer names doesn’t accomplish that goal. We want you to demonstrate an understanding of the value of well-chosen names.

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