Data visualisation for finance - Workshop SG 2020

This workshop introduces the core ideas and principles of data visualisation for finance and business professionals. Gain insights on the importance of visualisation in the context of the changing role of finance and gain valuable skills to make better use of visualisation in their organisations.

My Offerings


Produce actionable information, generate insights and tell the “story in the data”; these are now some of the most requested skills for finance professionals.  With increasing automation of routine reporting - the need for Finance to deliver added value reporting and analysis will continue to grow. Good visualisation can go a long way to meeting these expectations without the need to develop technical skills in statistics and programming.  Powerful and readily available tools like Excel Power Pivot charts and Power BI make these skills more accessible than ever. Creating and using visualisation techniques and tools well is more than just knowing how to create different charts:

● Learn to design and structure visual reports and exploratory models and choose the right techniques
● Understand how information is processed visually and interpreted to know what will work and why
● Tackle new opportunities using Excel Power Pivot and Power BI, that have overcome some of the limitations of traditional Excel, such as analysis across millions of rows of data and the ability to drill down into data

The workshop will be based around a number of case studies and exercises, with around 2 hours hands on practice developing analytical dashboards using Excel Pivot Charts and demonstrating the potential to extend this using Power Pivot, Power BI and more advanced techniques.

Key Topics Covered:

● Data visualisation:  what can it do, why do I need it?

● Data visualisation design:
○ “Actionable information”
○ How to make visualisation effective; how we interpret visuals, choice of techniques, static reports and dashboards, models for exploratory analysis / “self-service”
○ Pre-requisites - data sources, model structure, data quality

● Building visual reports, dashboards and exploratory models:
○ Pointers and techniques for using traditional Excel for static and dynamic data models
○ Case study and hands-on practice (around 2hours) - transaction analysis using Excel Pivot/ Power Pivot charts
○ Data analysis and report sharing, demonstration using pre-built Power BI desktop models, service and mobile apps

●The course will conclude with some ideas for post course projects and suggestions for where/ how participants can learn more and expand their analytics skills.

This workshop is part of the Digital Finance Strategist Program and is eligible for funding support of more than 40%* off the workshop fees. Eligibility conditions apply. Enter code DSG2020 at checkout. To apply the promotional code, you must complete separate payment for each workshop.

*Discount based on member price


Trainer Profile

Simon Lindley

Simon is a specialist in business and finance function transformation including Excel and enterprise based solutions for business intelligence and reporting. He has over 20 years’ experience in this area including programme managing ERP, CRM and Business Intelligence (BI) programmes, implementing shared services, process re-engineering and outsourcing solutions. Simon is a UK Chartered Accountant, MBA, a Chartered Engineer and IT Professional with a Masters level Diploma in Corporate Governance. He also has training and qualifications in Data Science and Statistics.


    • The foundations of good visualisation: answering questions, providing insights, telling stories with data
    • The changing role of data visualisation - from static reports and dashboards to “Self service analytics” and user driven “Exploratory Data Analysis”
    • Self service vs pre-built models, what can end users do/ where do they need support?
    • Visualisation and the changing role of finance - from report production to analytics (what skills do you need for the future?)
    • The role and progression from visualisation to advanced analytics - relationships, prediction, natural language analysis, utilising advanced analytics languages and tools
    • How to produce actionable information and insights, designing models for exploratory data analysis
    • How we process visual information and how this drives which techniques work well and which to use where
    • Understand the capabilities and role of key visualisation tools - Traditional Excel, Pivot Charts, Power BI and others
    • Using slicers, timelines, filters for exploratory analysis/ visualisation models
    • Next steps to develop your analytics skills and ideas for post course projects to develop and embed knowledge


The workshop is suitable for Management Accountants, Financial Planners and Analysts, Finance Controllers, Management team, Business Unit Managers and middle management level finance-based delegates.

Participants who wish to participate in the hands-on practice during the course, or to experiment with the data models will need MS Excel 2010 or later installed to create the Pivot Chart analytic dashboard/ exploratory model.

Power Pivot Charts and Power BI will be discussed and demonstrated to show how the core skills taught can be extended into these more advanced tools. These are not expected to be installed or used for hands on practice - though we will discuss and encourage participants to follow up with some of these after the course. Although examples will be illustrated with Microsoft Excel and Power BI, the core principles and ideas of data visualisation will be relevant to apply with other visualisation software.



1 day

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