Excel - The Foundations for Great Analysis

Do your team members possess the essential Excel skills for basic tasks?

Excel stands as a crucial tool for analysts, sales professionals, category managers, and business individuals at large. While it might seem that everyone is familiar with Excel, the reality is different. Without foundational Excel skills, sales teams and category managers struggle to analyze their business effectively, administrators face challenges in creating comprehensive worksheets, and analysts may find fundamental concepts difficult to grasp. Additionally, there's the risk of errors and incorrect conclusions stemming from poorly constructed formulas and PivotTables.

You might wonder, with automated reports available, why is Excel training necessary for organizations? The answer lies in the limitations of automated reports—they can't meet all needs. Meaningful analysis often requires data manipulation, cutting, formatting, and customization, necessitating strong foundational Excel skills.

Consider a recent scenario where a client approached me about providing Excel skills training for their sales team. A sales manager had expressed concern about the team's inability to perform essential Excel tasks like formula writing, building PivotTables, and creating charts. Despite the assumption that everyone knows Excel, this proficiency was lacking.

In response, I crafted a virtual training session covering Excel basics, including spreadsheet navigation, data sorting, formula writing (SUM, COUNT, RANK, UNIQUE), and creating charts and PivotTables. The session was optional, allowing those with existing proficiency to choose whether to attend.


Due to high interest, I conducted two 3-hour sessions. The hands-on exercises focused on relevant scenarios for the sales team, incorporating data and item rank reports. Participants not only learned to create formulas but also gained insights into interpreting different KPIs. We used one of their extensive automated reports to build a practical PivotTable, bridging the gap between learning and application.

Feedback from the sessions speaks volumes:

  • "Best 3-hour lecture/class I’ve attended."
  • "Time went by way too quickly!"
  • "I learned many new things, i.e., formula building, shortcuts, and the importance of being clear on what I’m trying to say."
  • "Handouts were helpful, and I will go back to reference them."


Ask your team if they need Excel basics training! 

The response might surprise you.


Learn more about CMKG's Virtual Training Solutions


Virtual training seamlessly integrates the advantages of online learning (accessible from anywhere, cost-effective with no travel expenses, and minimizes business disruptions) with the personalized approach of instructor-led education (customized content, relevance, and the ability to address students' questions). Explore additional benefits specific to CMKG virtual training for Excel:

  1. Utilizes the Latest Excel Software:

    • In contrast to online alternatives with outdated options, our virtual training uses the most recent version of Excel software.
  2. Comprehensive Learning Materials:

    • Access student notes, Excel workshops, and customizable XLS files tailored to your data and examples.
  3. Engaging Pre-Work:

    • Prepare participants mentally for the course with carefully curated pre-work assignments.
  4. Optional Online Assessment:

    • Take an (optional) online test before the course to assess current understanding, allowing us to prioritize and tailor the virtual session based on individual needs.

Download CMKG's Virtual Training Brochure


Looking for a quick online accredited course?

Check out our online accredited course on “Building Excel Skills” or watch a video preview of the course by clicking the graphic below. 



Link to Purchase “Building Excel Skills” Category Management Training Course

$125 USD

30-day Access



Reference Guide

Knowledge Checks

Course Test


Topics: Excel, Analytics Work, Category Management

Written by Sue Nicholls, Founder & President CMKG

Embracing the Joy of Learning and Teaching. Hi there! I'm deeply passionate about training and learning. Since the pioneering days of category management at P&G in the '80s, I've been fortunate to embark on a journey of teaching and inspiring others. My career has been a delightful tapestry woven with long-term collaborations with major retailers and CPG executives, contributing to industry standards, and sharing insights at numerous conferences. I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to shape minds as an Adjunct Professor in Marketing, focusing on consumer behavior.

150 Hours of Knowledge and Countless Moments of Insight. Creating over 150 hours of online curriculum and leading hundreds of instructor-led sessions has been an enriching experience. I've had the honor of collaborating with diverse professionals across the globe, adapting to an ever-evolving industry. The goal? To forecast the future and equip our learners with the skills to thrive and stay relevant.

Learning: A Collective Adventure. I believe learning is a dynamic journey that encompasses individuals, teams, organizations, and yes, even us training professionals. It's not about rigid methods but nurturing a continuous, evolving process. My aim through this blog and other platforms is to share my wealth of experience and encourage open, ongoing dialogues. Together, we can enhance any team's ability to implement effective business strategies and realize their strategic goals. Let's embark on this learning adventure together, growing and evolving with every shared experience! Happy learning!