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 CertFM is a comprehensive set of training courses that is designed to develop you into a highly competent and well-rounded professional modeller and analyst.

The Program consists of:

  • The CertFM Core Program. This is available as on-line as self-study materials.
  • The CertFM Specialist courses. These are available as instructor-led on-line or classroom sessions.

The CertFM Core Program

The CertFM Core Program covers all the concepts and methods that are needed in general applications in modelling and data analysis. It starts “from the beginning”, but advances rapidly to cover topics that are generally considered to be quite advanced:

  • Level I focusses on core aspects of economic modelling and Excel.
  • Level II covers data analysis and statistics, automation using VBA macros, and model design and best practices.

Each course consists of:

  • Reading materials which describe the concepts, provide detailed examples and Excel screenshots.
  • Suggested exercises in Excel.
  • Quizzes.

The Core Program must be worked through in order from the beginning. You can sign up at any time and work at your own pace. We also offer support packages to students who wish to be able to ask questions related to the materials, which can facilitate their progression through the materials more quickly.

Quizzes and their Role

The quizzes form an integral part of the CertFM Core Program. They are embedded at regular intervals throughout the materials. They relate directly to the prior course materials and exercises, and so should be straightforward for anyone who has properly worked through the materials and conducted the exercises. However, the quizzes are mandatory, and each has a minimum pass mark (specific to that quiz) that is required to be achieved before a student can continue to the next step. Each may be taken an unlimited number of times, so that students can revisit the materials and exercises as necessary.

Quizzes therefore help to:

  • Reinforce and test understanding of the key concepts and methods.
  • Ensure that one develops active skills. Most quizzes require that practical work needs to be done in order to be able to answer many of the questions.
  • Increase engagement in the course materials, by creating variety in the learning experience.
  • Ensure credibility to the value of the courses and the certification.

Completion and Certification

The completion of the Core Program is an indicator of a high level of general competence and knowledge in modelling and data analysis. Students who do so are awarded “The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis (Core Program)”.

Specialist Courses

In addition to the Core Program, we offer specialist courses, currently available only as instructor-led courses (classroom or on-line formats, by pre-arrangement with us):

  • The finance specialist courses cover applications of modelling to corporate finance and markets, including financial statement modelling, ratio analysis, valuation, portfolio analysis, simulation, optimisation, and quantitative finance, including derivatives and credit modelling.
  • The data specialist courses cover advanced applications of data manipulation and analysis, such as the use of advanced Excel, VBA macros, PowerQuery, PowerPivot, advanced statistical analysis and an introduction to machine learning concepts and algorithms.

The CertFM Core Program (On-line Self-Study with Quizzes)

Level I: Economic Modelling in Excel

What is Financial Modelling?

(Reading materials only; free and open to all) 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.

Essentials of Excel for Modelling

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.· Payback periods · Scenario modelling · Core Excel functions to capture logic, conditionality, comparison and aggregation, and Lookup functions (approximately 30 Excel functions are covered). 8 Quizzes.

Core Calculations for Economic Modelling

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.

Level II: Data Analysis, Automation, Model Design and Practices

Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistics

Databases · General structures versus database structures  · Excel Tables · Filters and sorting · Advanced filters and data extraction · Dynamic sorting ·  Basic aspects of data manipulation, cleaning, splitting and integration · Unique values and duplicates · Excel PivotTables. Excel functions for data analysis.· Database functions · Aggregation functions · 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.

Automation and Algorithms with VBA and Macros

Introduction to VBA and macros. Benefits, uses · Key steps to getting started · Recording and adapting code · Loops· Conditionality · Working with ranges and objects · Code execution · Best practices · Run-time inputs and alerts · Debugging and checking. Automation of common modelling tasks. Sensitivity and scenario analysis · Circular references · GoalSeek. Automating data cleaning and manipulation · Filters and extraction · Data Refresh · Removing duplicates · Worksheet consolidation · Worksheet events and changes. User-defined functions. · Bespoke calculations for statistics, financial modelling and data analysis.

Model Planning, Design and Best Practices

Context and Objectives. Addressing the right decision · Strategy analysis · Economic criteria · Ratios · Decision criteria · Model variables · Flow and granularity · Horizontal or vertical time axis, granularity, and links to compounding · Data sources and structures · Historical versus forecasted analysis · Logic reversals · Updating requirements · Structural limitations versus parameter flexibility. Allocations, Triangles, Corkscrews, and Waterfalls. Allocations, linear and non-linear · Time allocation with triangles · Corkscrew structures · Waterfall allocations · Checking consistency and error-elimination. Designing for Modularity. Benefits of modularity · Approaches to link 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.  Database approaches to modelling · Principles of transparency · Dealing with circularities. Complexity reduction and optimisation.

Read More About …

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 CertFM Core Program Level I (“1. What is Financial Modelling?” and in the first part of the course “2. Essentials of Excel for Modelling”).