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

Choosing names for parameters 1/30
Session Links
  • Make names short but understandable
  • Legal characters: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore, period
  • First character must be a letter or underscore
  • Avoid names that could be explicit cell references: A3, IV256
    • Prior to Excel 2007, the lower right corner cell is IV65536
    • In Excel 2007 (and presumably henceforward), lower right corner cell is XFD1048576
    • Avoid names that could be column names
  • Use mixed case
  • Develop a set of naming conventions and use them consistently. For example:
    • Hdct” — headcount
    • Qtr” — quarter
    • Rev” — revenue
    • Exp” — expense, etc.
    • HdctExpPQtr” — Headcount Expense per Quarter
Readings: Names

The use of names for parameters and ranges is the most significant differentiator of the serious professional. As a consultant, when I audit a workbook, it’s the first thing I look for. For a complex spreadsheet project, failure to use names is an excellent predictor of high maintenance costs, high error rates, and unreliable results.

But even if the workbook uses names, there is still plenty of room to use them incorrectly. Inconsistent naming conventions are perhaps the most common failing. Consistency and brevity make the names easy to use, to type, and to remember. So decide on some naming conventions and stick to them — the sooner you do that in this course, the easier you’ll find it.

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