The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis



The most cost effective and flexible way to truly master Excel, finance, modelling, and data analysis


The Core Skills Program is Launching  Soon – Contact Us to Reserve Your Place!

The CertFM Program

The CertFM Program is a comprehensive set of courses that is designed to develop you into a highly competent and well-rounded professional modeller and analyst. It starts “from the beginning”, but advances rapidly to cover topics that are generally considered to be quite advanced:

  • The Core Skills program focusses on providing all key skills for general financial modelling purposes. Its completion leads to the award of “The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis (Core Skills)”.
  • The Advanced Level covers corporate finance, valuation and advanced topics in data manipulation and analysis.
  • The Expert Level covers macros, automation, risk, simulation, optimisation, quantitative finance and advanced data and statistical analysis.

The Core Skills Certification Program: On-Line Self Study

The Core Skills Program is available as on-line materials for self-study, and consists of four course modules:

  •  Essentials of Modelling with Excel.
  • Economic Modelling: Core Criteria, Calculations and Functions.
  • Data Analysis and Statistics.
  • Model Planning, Design and Best Practices.

The structure of the course modules is based on:

  • Reading materials. These describe the concepts and practical methods of implementation, as well as providing detailed examples with screenshots to demonstrate the points made. The materials are visually very rich, with many images to show step-by-step processes and illustrate all key points. We believe that this highly visual approach using static images is more effective than using videos.
  • Suggested exercises in Excel. It is recommended that readers follow the text by creating the models used in parallel. In addition to this implicit suggestion, the materials contain further suggested exercises at certain points.
  • Quizzes. These are an integral and mandatory part of the Program. They are embedded at regular intervals, and relate directly to the prior course materials. Most quizzes require exercises to be conducted in Excel in order to be able to answer some of the questions.

You can sign up any time and work at your own pace.

We also offer support packages which allow you to ask clarification questions about the materials and quizzes.

The Advanced and Expert Level Courses

The courses within the Advanced and Expert Levels are currently available only as instructor-led classroom training courses, for public groups as well as private clients.

  • For the public courses, the locations and dates of upcoming are posted on this site (currently on hold, due to covid restrictions).
  • For private client courses, these are typically customised, and typically contain elements from several of the individual courses from courses in the Core, Advanced and Expert levels. Please contact us for more information about this.

Quiz-Based Certification

The quizzes in the Core Skills program are mandatory, and each has a minimum pass mark (specific to each quiz, but generally around 60%). They are intended to be straightforward to pass, as long as the materials have been properly studied and the exercises completed. Each may be taken an unlimited number of times.

They have several roles:

  • To reinforce and test understanding of the key points.
  • To ensure the development of active skills.
  • To create more engaging course materials.
  • To create variety in the learning experience.
  • To ensure credibility to the value of the certification.

The quizzes can be considered as forming a series of “mini-exams” on a continual assessment basis. The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis (Core Skills) is therefore awarded at the end of the program, without the need for a separate final exam.

The Core Skills Part of the CertFM Program (On-Line Self-Study)

Essentials of Modelling with Excel

The definition of modelling · Purpose, uses, application areas Influence diagrams · Links between modelling and data analysis · Generic model types. Principles to design and build useful models that support decisions. Decision criteria in business and finance. The skills required to be a well-rounded financial modeller and analyst. Excel as a modelling tool · Creating formulas · Manual and automatic calculation · Mapping a model concept into calculations · Dependency and precedents tracing. Copy, paste, insert, delete, undo · Find/Replace · Wildcard characters · Named ranges · GoTo and GoTo Special · Efficient selection of ranges · Navigation around a model. Formatting · Conditional formatting · Custom formatting. Sensitivity analysis · DataTables · One-way analysis · Two-way analysis · GoalSeek. Principles of effective visual communication · Using graphs and charts. Tips and tricks · Short-cuts and KeyTips · Core Excel functions to capture logic, conditionality, comparison and aggregation. 8 Quizzes.

Economic Modelling: Calculations, Criteria and Functions

Payback periods · Scenario modelling · Lookup functions · Growth formulae and present values. Measuring growth · Classical and logarithmic measures · Growth calculations · Inflating and discounting · Time-value-of-money. Risk-free rates. Interest calculations. Compounding methods and formulas · Accruals · Bootstrapping · Yield curves. Time-period conversions · Annuities and terminal values. Economic Evaluation. Calculation of returns · Internal rate of return · Limitations to calculation of returns · Discounted cash flow, net present value ·  Calculations of loan amortisation and mortgages, implied rates and values. 5 Quizzes.

Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistics

Databases · General versus database structures · Excel Tables · Filters and sorting · Advanced filters and criteria-based extraction · PivotTables · Introduction to PowerPivot and the data Model · Excel functions for data analysis· Aggregation functions · Database functions · Dynamic sorting ·  Basic aspects of data manipulation, cleaning, splitting and integration · Unique values and duplicates  ·  Statistical functions · Single variable statistics (e.g. averages, percentile, standard deviations) · Confidence intervals · Multi-variable statistics (e.g. correlation, rank correlation, Kendall’s tau· Linear regression · Multiple regression · Array calculations and bespoke logic. 5 Quizzes.

Model Planning, Design and Best Practices

Context and objectives. Addressing the right decision · Frameworks and tools for analysis and development of business strategy · Decision criteria · Economic criteria · Ratio analysis · Dupont analysis · Determination of model variables, flow and granularity · Horizontal or vertical time axis · Links to interest compounding · Data sources, structures and model types · Database approaches to modelling · Historical versus forecasted analysis · Logic reversals · Updating requirements · Structural limitations versus parameter flexibility · Allocations, linear and non-linear · Time allocation with triangles · Corkscrew structures · Waterfall allocations · Checking consistency and error-elimination. Designing for modularity. Approaches to linking modules · Selection and exclusion structures · Consolidation and inclusion structures· Appending data sets together (introduction) · Modelling sequences of decisions · Best practices in Excel modelling · Choices of structure · Principles of transparency · Dealing with circularities. Complexity reduction and optimisation.

To Start the CertFM Core Program …

… register on the site and work through the programs course by course…

… or …

first read the free materials at the beginning of the first course Essentials of Modelling with Excel before continuing.

To Learn More About The Courses and Levels …

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