• Develop a good knowledge of the foundations of Excel functions.
  • Gain hands-on experience with using many of the most important and core functions for general purpose applications.
  • Understand the need to have functions, the nature of function inputs and outputs, the similarities and differences with arithmetic operations, and common types of errors that arise when using functions.


  • Overview. This course covers the principles of using Excel functions, and introduces some of the most important ones, using examples from general applications in financial modelling and data analysis. The course explains why functions are necessary, how functions differ from arithmetic, and the nature of inputs and outputs. It covers Information functions, Logical functions, and functions for summation, aggregation, and ordering. It also covers the use of conditional functions and conditional aggregations. 
  • Practical work and exercises. Students are required to conduct numerous hands-on modelling exercises and can also follow along by replicating other examples that are shown in the text.
  • Assessment tests. There are several tests which cover both the key concepts and require one to do practical exercises in Excel.
(Note that many functions that relate to more specific areas, such as financial calculations and advanced data analysis are covered in Level III and Level IV).


  • Function basics. Limitations of arithmetic operations and the need for functions. Entering functions into a cell.
  • Information functions. Determining the nature of cell content. Distinguishing numbers, text, logical items, blanks and errors.
  • Summation, aggregation and ordering. Commonalities and differences between functions and arithmetic. Sums, counts, products, powers, maxima, and ordered values.
  • Logical functionsFunctions to implement logic, conditionality, and comparisons. Exclusive and chained conditionality. Distinguishing logical items from text. Use of logical items as inputs to functions and formulas.
  • Conditional aggregations. Conditional summation and related items. Selected statistical and mathematical functions.

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