This is one of the happiest days of my career. I’ve been running my own data design company for four years. And for four years, I’ve been itching to build online courses. I’ve delivered dozens of in-person workshops to thousands of people around the globe. But I haven’t taken that training online… until now!

Today, I’m launching Simple Spreadsheets: From Spreadsheet Stress to Superstardom in 12 Weeks, which is the first of several online courses. This course is all about data analysis time-savers. Spreadsheet skills are the foundation of good data visualization. You need to be able to pour through huge datasets and find the gems that are worthy of visualizing. You need to manipulate your tables, rows, and columns to get formatted juuuuuust right. And most importantly, you need to be able to analyze data quickly and without mistakes.

I’ve spent the past 10 years teaching myself all of these tricks. I took classes. I checked out books from the library. I searched through hundreds of (really bad) videos. I learned the hard way so you don’t have to. The Simple Spreadsheets course is a shortcut. This is the course I wish I took earlier in my research career. In 12 weeks, I’ll teach you what it took me a decade to learn on my own.

From spreadsheet stress to superstardom in just 12 weeks. Data analysis techniques & time-saving secrets for busy number-crunchers. Begins May 14, 2018.


What We’ll Cover: 8 Hours of Content Over 12 Weeks (The Equivalent of Taking a Two-Day Workshop)

We’ll go broad and deep. You’ll learn about everything from concatenate to sparklines to pivot tables to vlookup. There’s even an entire bonus module on data visualization!

You’ll get access to 8 hours of training, which is the equivalent of getting a two-day workshop. Or, put another way, you’ll get 30- to 60-minutes of brand new content each week, which is the equivalent of getting a webinar a week for 12 weeks.

As soon as you register, you get access to your first bonus module, The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Spreadsheets. You’ll get comfortable with the lingo. You’ll insert icons, which have been shown to make our numbers more memorable. You’ll save time with keyboard shortcuts.

Week 1 is Navigate Your Spreadsheets. You’ll learn exactly what to do when you start a new project–like building a Data Dictionary, naming your files well, and converting CSV files to Excel files. You’ll also learn the five questions I ask myself at the beginning of every project.

Week 2 is Merge Variables Together and Pull Them Apart. Most datasets come to us in pieces. You might have a few variables in one file and a few other variables in another file. You’ll combine all these disparate data sources into a single, master dataset that you can use for your analyses and for your visualizations. You’ll join tables with lookup functions and concatenation, and then peel them apart with a technique called text to columns. I wish I learned about these skills sooner! I can’t tell you how many days I wasted doing it the long (wrong) way.

Want to take a sample class? Here’s one of the Week 2 lessons about concatenation, which is a shortcut to merging variables from different cells together into a single cell. I use concatenation on a daily basis on my visualizations, e.g., to combine both numbers and percentages in my graph’s labels.

Week 3 is Format, Clean, and Recode the Data. You’ve built a master dataset. Now it’s time to clean up that messy data! You’ll learn my favorite techniques for transforming variables like dates, names, numbers, percentages, and currencies into formats you can actually use. You’ll also recategorize values with techniques =if, which are must-have skills for anyone dealing with data.

Here’s a sample class from Week 3 about text to columns, which is one of the techniques I use regularly during the data cleaning phase:

Weeks 4 and 5 are Explore the Data with Sparklines and Data Bars. These exploratory data visualization skills will change the way you look at spreadsheets! New to sparklines? You’ll create them for the first time. Familiar with sparklines? You’ll adjust the colors, axes, and data source. These might be your favorite weeks of the entire course.

Weeks 7 and 8 are Summarize the Data with Formulas. Most data courses deliver a totally random smattering of formulas. In this course, I’m focusing on the analytical techniques that you’ll need most often, especially if you’re a scientist, researcher, or evaluator. You’ll see familiar faces like average and median. You’ll also meet new friends like kurtosis, quartiles, countif, and sumif. I’ll explain what these terms are, how to create the formulas, and how to apply the techniques to your own projects. You’ll practice along with the spreadsheets provided.

Week 9 is Summarize the Data with Pivot Tables. If you’re brand new to pivot tables–prepare to have your mind blown! And if you’re familiar with pivot tables, prepare to learn some lesser-known features that you may have missed. This will probably be one of your favorite topics from the entire course because it’ll be the biggest game-changer and time-saver.

Weeks 10, 11, and 12 are Putting It All Together. These three weeks transform a good course into a great course. You’ve learned the basics. Now it’s time to apply your skills in new ways! We’ll walk through three datasets–one a week for three weeks–from start to finish. You’ll have the materials and can practice along with me. I’ve got a sense of which spreadsheets we should cover, but I’m open to your requests, too!

Bonus! Week 13 is Getting Started with Charts. After you’ve crunched your numbers, it’s time to showcase key findings with great visualizations. You’ll create, declutter, color, label, re-size, and export your chart.


Limited Openings & Limited Enrollment Window

Enrollment is limited. You deserve to have your questions answered, and you’ll get my full attention in a small setting. I’m only taking 50 students. The last time I offered this content, we sold 230 seats! I do expect Simple Spreadsheets to sell out.

And I’m only offering Simple Spreadsheets once a year. When it’s open, it’s open! But when it’s closed, it’s closed. This is your only chance all year.



Reserve your spot before they’re gone.

Teaching others is the highlight of my career. I hope you’ve enjoyed gaining new skills as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them. Thanks for being part of the journey.