Archive for the 'Other Articles' Category

10 Reasons November Is THE Best Month

Many people dismiss November as just ‘that month between Halloween and Christmas’ when nothing much happens, but they are wrong. November was the ninth month of the year under the Roman calendar and got its name from the Latin word novem, meaning nine. Now it’s the 11th month and it might just be the best. Here are ten reasons why:

1. Back to Greenwich Meantime

The clocks go back at the end of October and we get back the hour that was cruelly stole from us in Spring. The mornings are lighter, so every day feels like a lie in. Evenings are darker and it feels like it’s properly winter.

2. Colourful Leaves

Some people would argue that trees are at their most beautiful in Autumn, when their leaves turn spectacular colours. The leaves change because of changes in the length of daylight and temperature that causes chlorophyll breakdown. Green leaves are replaced by yellows, oranges and even reds.  

3. It’s Movember

Men everywhere are suddenly sporting a moustache, whether it’s a mighty handlebar, or barely visible pencil moustache. Movember seems to get bigger every year. It is all in good fun and for a great cause. It started off in a bar in Australia and has grown into one of the biggest charities promoting men’s health in the world.

4. You can select your Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars need to be ready for the 1st of  December. With everything ranging from the ones you can pick up from Poundland to the ridiculously expensive, containing beauty products, beer, cheese, chocolate, Harry Potter and tea, and everything in between, there’s an Advent Calendar for you.

5 Bonfire Night

Remember, Remember, the fifth of November. These days the UK’s own celebration seems to take second place to Halloween. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as the event commemorates the brutal execution of someone, (even if that person was someone who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.) There are still many organised displays on, or around the 5th November for those who enjoy fireworks.

 6. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Thankfully, the scenes of fighting in shops over bargains seem to be a thing of the past, but you may still be able to get some good deals in the Black Friday sales held on the High Street and online. Or maybe you should wait until Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, when much of the buying is done online. Black Friday is said to be a better time to buy newer, big-ticket items and to visit stores physically. Cyber Monday is a better day to shop for tech deals and smaller gifts.

7. St Andrew’s Day

This happens every year on the 30th November and in Scotland is a Bank Holiday. Celebrate if you are Scottish or have Scottish connections, or just like Scotland. Break out some 15-year-old whiskey and raise a glass, listen to the Bay City Rollers or Big Country, or watch Billy Connelly.

8. Tins of Sweets

The supermarkets are full of walls of tins (alright plastic tubs) of sweets; Quality Street, Celebrations, Heroes and many more. At this point, they are so ridiculously cheap that it’s the best time to pick some up for Christmas. Pity you’ll have to buy some more next week after finishing them off watching a Marvel movie marathon.

9. Christmas Lights Go On

All up and down the country, in cities and Towns, Christmas lights are switched on in late November, many with Countdowns and, in some cases, the switching on is done by an actress that was once in Eastenders, back in the 90s. Ignore the turning on and just go and enjoy the spectacular sight of the lights in the darkness.

10. … And you can prepare for Christmas (A little)

Even though Christmas belongs in December, you can start your Christmas shopping, to avoid the rush. (Run out and buy that Christmas Pudding, definitely, because there won’t be any left on Christmas Eve!) You might need to think about sending the present that will take a while to get to its recipient and, if you really really have to, you can sneak a listen to some Christmas music. (Just a little, to give you the taste for when December begins!)

November is perfect for cosy nights in, moving to comfortable winter clothes and so much more.  Enjoy November. It’s a better month than you think! 


What is Visio?

MS Visio is, basically, software for drawing diagrams; a very, very wide variety of diagrams. Along with the flowcharts, org charts, building plans and process flow diagrams that you would normally expect in a diagramming app, there are floor plans, network diagrams, mind maps, infographics, data flow diagrams, business process modelling, swim lane diagrams, 3D maps, and many more.

Visio is part of the Microsoft Office software suite, but is not included in standard editions as Excel, Word and PowerPoint are. It is sold as a stand-alone program, which is why it is much less well known. Despite this, it integrates seamlessly with all of the other Office Applications, using the same Ribbon interface and shares functionality with MS Office Word and Excel. Visio also has a large library of templates and shapes for various types of charts and there are even whole websites that have collections of Visio templates developed by third parties.

Another feature that Visio has is pulling live information from an external source. It can, for example use data dynamically from Excel and Access, making diagrams functional and current. And along with the very wide variety of built-in shapes, objects, and stencils to work with, it is possible to create your own shapes and import these for use in Visio.

How Visio is Used

It is possible to create very professional-looking diagrams relatively easily with Visio and these can be as simple or as complicated as required. Some of the most used Diagram Types in Visio include:

Flowcharts

Flowcharts are a visual sequence of steps and decisions for a particular process, using shapes to show the steps and arrows to show progression between steps. Flowcharts can include process flows, process maps, work flows and flow diagrams.

Organizational Charts

Organizational charts, show reporting relationships and the hierarchies within organisations. They can show the detail of who reports to who and/or the overall hierarchy of a company.

Floor Plans

Visio can create scaled diagrams like floor so that a room can be modelled using exact measurements. Tables, chairs and equipment can be moved around to find the best layout, relative to one another, within the space of a room.

Network Diagrams

A computer network diagram depicts nodes and connections in a computer network. Network diagrams use symbols to represent common network devices and diagrams can be made at the LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) level. Visio is used extensively by IT professionals to design network diagrams.

MS Visio is so popular for creating Network Diagrams that many network equipment manufacturers supply downloadable Visio network drawings on their websites. There is an extensive collection of stencils to help aid in making network diagrams at the VisioCafe website.

Gantt Charts

Used extensively in Project Management and the default view in MS Project, a Gantt chart shows individual tasks in a project, their start and end dates, the people assigned to the tasks and other information.

Mind Maps

Mind maps, also known as concept maps, are diagrams showing the connections between ideas. Related ideas can be grouped and connected to the overall topic. Mind maps are effective planning tools.

Charts & Graphs

Although more commonly used and seen in Excel, Visio also includes charts and graphs. Used to visually represent data in a way that makes the information simpler to understand. Visio can create bar charts, line charts and pie charts amongst others.

There is a lot more to Visio and Infero Training offers courses at all levels. Contact us today to find out more.

Festival of light – Diwali

November 2nd  marks the start of the 5-day Diwali celebration with the main events and celebrations taking place on the 4th dubbed the day of Diwali.

The five days are named, in order, Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Diwali, Padwa and Bhai Duj, to find out more information on the specific celebrations of each day click here.

Although there are many festivals of light , Divali is possibly the original Festival of Lights and is also a major celebration for many religions including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It involves gift giving, feasts, lights, sweets and prayers and represents new beginnings.

Central to Diwali is the lighting of oil lamps and divas/diyas, both at places of worship and in homes, alongside fireworks and candles. These represent enlightenment, wisdom and knowledge.

After Covid-19 cancelled a lot of the in person celebrations last year, it will be exciting to see communities gather for such a beautiful event.

Many major, multicultural cities around the UK, most notably London, Leicester, Birmingham, Belfast and Edinburgh, with large south Asian communities, hold major Diwali celebrations, with spectacular light displays.

Why not check for Diwali festivities near you and take part in the celebrations this year, whether you have celebrated before or are new to this festival.

Top Tips to Keep Yourself Secure Online

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

According to a government survey, two in five businesses (39%) have experienced some form of security breach in the last 12 months.

With more workers operating from home, it is now more important than ever to keep important data and documents secure, and by following these helpful tips you can be extra safe online:

Passwords

The easiest way to keep yourself and your data safe online is to use stronger passwords for your accounts.

This can include a number of things such as using capital letters, special characters, numbers and most importantly not having the password relate to you in any obvious way e.g., a family pet. Obviously remembering multiple passwords is not easy, but there are many free password managers available that can help with this.

Wi-Fi

For work involving data and important documents, it is paramount that you use secure and passworded internet. Wi-Fi has its own security issues. At home, make sure you have changed the default password on your router and changed the network name, so that it is not recognisable as belonging to a particular provider.

The best advice on Public Wi-Fi is to avoid using it, as so much of it is out of your control. Cyber-criminals can intercept communications between public Wi-Fi users and the public Wi-Fi router. This is known as a known as Man in the middle (MITM) attack and essentially means that a hacker can steal data, documents and even passwords for things like banking sites.

If you really have to use public Wi-Fi, then use a good VPN or, at the very least, only connect to sites that use HTTPS. Look for HTTPS at the beginning of a website’s address, which means the connection between the browser and the web server is encrypted.

Anti-virus software

Your computer is constantly of danger of downloading malicious code and malware which can completely break your device and leave your data in a vulnerable state.

Using anti-virus software can protect your device by warning you about unsafe websites and dangerous emails, blocking downloads and deleting the malicious code from your computer.

Make sure that your anti-virus is up to date and perform routine scans, ensuring nothing has breached your device. You don’t need to pay. There are some excellent, free anti-virus programs available.

Following these tips should maximise your cyber security and stop any threats you may have had. Remember, you can never be too careful.

Top Tips For Applying for Online Jobs

If you have not applied for a job in a while, you may find that the whole business of application for a new position has changed a lot. Whereas, in the past, jobs were applied for by post, over the phone or in person, now the vast majority of applications are done online. CVs, cover letters and references are no longer submitted as paper copies, they are now sent online to the recruiter either by email or on their website.

Before you Apply

To apply for jobs online, you need a number of things:

  • Internet Access – This seems obvious, but reliable internet access is essential. If you don’t have this, then you should be able to get it at a local library or in some of the larger Job Centres
  • A Computer -Again, this seems obvious, but the internet can also be accessed via a wide variety of devices. Phones or tablets could be used, but a PC or laptop is much more suited for job application. Remember you will also need a word processing application of some kind, ideally Microsoft Word.
  • Email Address -Your email address should be a professional one, that is yours to use. This doesn’t mean one related to work, but use an email like jane-smith123@gmail.com rather than fab-funny-jane123@gmail.com.
  • Up-to-date CV – Make sure you have an up-to-date CV, with the correct contact details before you start applying. This is possibly the most important thing you need to prepare. For help on getting your CV the best it can be, check this guide. It’s also useful to draft a basic cover letter that you can be customised for each job you apply to.  Not all jobs will require this, but it is useful to have ready for those that do. A good tip is to save your CV with a title containing “CV”, as well as your first name, your last name and the current year.

1. Use Job Search Websites

The vast majority of (although not all) online jobs appear on Job-Search websites. There are a lot of these. These websites allow you to search for jobs using different filters, like position title, salary and location. It is a good idea to register and build a profile on a number of these. You can save searches and get the website to email notifications of any jobs that may be of interest to you. Here is a list of the top ten job websites.

2. Adapt your Application

Although many companies use Job-Search Websites, some don’t and you will need to ensure you apply in the way that they have asked you to.  Company websites are a good source of job listings, and you may be able to apply directly via the company website. Do this, even if you have seen the job elsewhere, as this may give your application an advantage over those coming from Job-Search websites.

Some smaller companies may just require you to email a copy of your CV and covering letter. A good tip is add your full name and the title of the position the subject line of the email.

Sometimes you may be asked to convert your CV into a PDF or other kind of file. You may need to complete and online application form, section by section, like a paper application. Just make sure you follow all instructions and carefully proofread your application before you click the “Submit” button. Follow all the application instructions and double check that you’ve done so, at the end.

3. Keywords

Keywords are very important in online Job application for two reasons:

When you look for jobs online, the most effective way to search is to use job keywords to find the jobs in you are interested in. Create a list of job-search that reflect your job interests, including the location you want to work, type of position, industry, etc.

You should also be aware of the keywords that employers use in their job advertisements. You should use these in your CV and cover letter. In fact, you should adjust your CV for each application, using any keywords the employer uses, if this is possible. Many employers receive far more CVs than they can check through practically, so Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or ‘Resume Robots’ can reject up to 75% of CVs before getting to a person. These ATS use key words to identify people with the required skills and qualifications.

4. Don’t Apply if you are not Qualified

Read the job description well before you start and only apply if you meet the requirements. Applying for a job takes time, so you can save time and effort by being selective. If you aren’t qualified, then chances are, your application will be unsuccessful.

5. Check and Double Check

Check that your spelling, grammar and content don’t have errors. Fit your experience to the job you are applying for, be original and be honest. When you have done all this check again before you submit.

6. Keep Track of Your Applications

Check your email account at least once a day for any replies or offers of interview. Don’t forget to check your spam folder as important emails can end up there. If you have had missed calls, make sure you follow these up.

It also helps to keep a written or digital record of the jobs you’ve applied for. This will help you remember who you should follow-up with and what different roles you’ve applied for. Either call or email the employer if you haven’t heard anything, after an appropriate interval.  Unfortunately, not all employees respond or even let you know that you have been unsuccessful. They may even state in the Job Description that if you do not hear from them to assume you were unsuccessful.

7. Keep Applying

It may take some time and quite a few applications before you secure your new job. The important thing is to keep trying and keep on applying.

Good luck!

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Cyber Security Month

October is Cyber security awareness month, an annual global initiative to raise awareness on the issues around cyber security and promote good cyber security practices for both individuals and organisations. Cyber Security Awareness month started in the U.S.A and then in 2013, The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) started the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM).

This is so important because governments, the financial sector and all other organisations now collect, process, and store incredible amounts of data on their computers and other devices. Every day thousands of networks are compromised and data stolen. Much of that data can be sensitive information, such as intellectual property, financial data, or personal information. This is not only embarrassing and costly, but because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which says that companies must safeguard their data, it means that organisations can be fined for allowing data breaches to happen.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a wide area and can apply to anything from business to mobile computing. It covers all aspects of defending networks, computers, servers, mobile devices and electronic systems from malicious attacks. There are a number of areas that need to be considered when looking at Cyber Security:

Network security is simply the process of protecting the network from unwanted users, attacks and intrusions.

Application security focuses on keeping software and devices free of threats, which could lead to data breaches or attacks on a system. Applications should be constantly updated and tested. Good software will have regular security updates.

Disaster recovery is the plans an organisation has to responds to a cyber-security incident or other event that causes the loss of operations or data and how it will return to the same operating capacity as before the event.

End-user education: The weakest link in any good Cyber Security are the users of the system. A virus can be introduced into a very secure system by an individual failing to follow good security practices. Teaching good habits such as regular password changing and using 2-factor authentication, the deletion of suspicious email attachments, not plugging in unidentified USB drives, etc. is important to maintain the security of any organization.

Operational security includes all processes for handling and protecting data. The permissions users have to access a network and how and where data may be stored or shared are part of this. It means that you must manage each user’s security identity controlling exactly what they can and can’t do.

Database and infrastructure security:  It’s a fact that most data is stored in some sort of database and that everything is stored (ultimately) on physical equipment. All of this needs to be properly secured.

Cloud security means that organisations have to think of data stored in an online environment and Mobile security, which can be mobile phones and/or tablets involve all of the other issues of Cyber Security, with the added problem that this equipment is taken and used in remote locations.

Types of Cyber Threats

Cyber security threats can be placed into three broad categories:

  1. Cybercrime which is groups or individuals targeting companies or systems, usually for financial gain, or to cause disruption.
  2. A Cyber-attack often involves information theft and this may be politically motivated.
  3. Cyberterrorism is intended to disrupt or bring down electronic systems to cause panic or fear. Cyber-attacks and digital spying are now considered the top threat to national security, eclipsing even conventional terrorism.

In 2020 the number of UK data breaches were considerable:

  • 43% of businesses identified cyber security breaches or attacks in the last year
  • Up to 88% of UK companies have suffered breaches in the last 12 months.
  • One in every 3,722 emails in the UK is a phishing attempt
  • One small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds

The UK government has set out its Minimum Cyber Security Standards for Cyber Security. You can learn more about Cyber Security Month here

The 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK

Travel rules and restrictions have caused many of us to chose a staycation this year. The UK is full of places to holiday, places for a short stay, or places for a day-trip. It also has a massively wide breadth of location types, encompassing historic urban centres, scenic landscapes, incredible coastlines, stunning national parks and awesome scenery.

Whatever you are planning, the UK has something for you. With that in mind, here are our top ten suggestions:

1. The Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most popular places to visit in the U.K. It is the UK’s most popular national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. Try climbing Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. There is everything from lake cruises to mountain walks, hiking, photography, outdoor adventures and cosy pubs with home-cooked food. Or take a narrow-gauge steam train ride from Ravensglass deep into the Eskdale valley.

2. Brighton

Brighton isn’t an ordinary seaside town and there is always something new, each time you visit. Soak up its oddball, alternative character by exploring the warren of streets known as the Lanes; sprinkled with vegan cafes, espresso bars, chaotic pubs, record stores and bric-a-brac shops. Don’t forget the Royal Pavilion, a 19th-century party palace built by the Prince Regent. You can still have fish and chips on the pier, and the Seven Sisters cliffs are nearby too.

3. Bath

In a nation full of great cities, Bath is one of the most visually spectacular, full of buildings built with honey-coloured Bath stone. Of course, there are the Roman Baths, but there is also the Jane Austen Centre, and the Bath Assembly Rooms, Georgian ballrooms which were the setting for scenes for two of Austin’s novels (Persuasion and Northanger Abbey). Don’t miss The Circus, and the famous Royal Crescent.  It’s also a beautiful place to visit in winter because (if running) the Christmas markets are fantastic!

4. York

York may be the only city to rival Bath as the prettiest city in England, although visually, the two couldn’t be more different. Seeing York Minster is obviously a must. A landmark of York which has a giant east-facing window that had the largest expanse of stained glass anywhere in the world, before the modern era. Walk the almost complete 13th-century walls in a magnificent circuit. There is also The Shambles, filled with picturesque cobbled streets, cafes, and restaurants, and supposedly the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. The Jorvik Viking Centre is well worth a visit. It’s the only place in the world where you can go on a fun-fair ride that is also a history lecture. The whole place feels like an old Viking City. And lastly, if you can get in, you must, must, must have afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms.

5. Stonehenge

Stonehenge is the only surviving lintelled stone circle in the world, at around 5000 years old. Stonehenge has an impressive visitor and has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882.The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. You may have seen it many times in photographs and TV, but only seeing it “in the stone” will give you a real appreciation of this monumental monument.

6. London

Without a doubt, the world’s greatest city. You could live there for many years and only scratch the surface of what the mother of all metropolis’s has to offer. There are the obvious attractions of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and museums such as British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, art galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the National Gallery, all of which are free to visit. But London keeps giving. Try the incredible Museum of London or Royal Observatory Greenwich. And for a hidden, hardly seen by Tourists, spectacular gem, visit the Inns of Court, in the heart of London, a stone’s throw from major attractions.

7. Cambridge

Full of incredible architecture that will make you go ‘ooohhh’ every time you turn a corner. And you can also have a punt along the Cam.

8. Devon

The only English county so good it has two coastlines. There are an amazing mix of places from cities like Exeter and Plymouth, the English Riviera of Torbay, Dartmoor and the quieter north coast where you’ll find places like Barnstaple.

9. The Cotswolds

A region spread over six English counties and a designated Area of Outstanding beauty. Here is all that was perceived as traditionally and quintessentially English; a tangle of quaint villages of rose-clad cottages, village greens with pubs serving fine ales, and views of lush green hills. There are many long-distance trails including the Cotswold Way, perfect for walking, cycling and horse-riding.

10. Cheddar Gorge

Visit for the Gorge itself, the incredible caves and the sight of large truckles of cheddar aging slowly, in the darkness. Stay for the scenery, caving, climbing and more!

Things You Didn’t Know Microsoft Teams Could Do

Over the last year, Teams has gone from a relatively obscure part of the MS Office suite to being one of its most used. The number of users has almost doubled in that time, increasing from 75 million users in April 2020 to 145 million in April 2021. And it’s still a relative newcomer, only being launched in 2016. If you still aren’t familiar with it, here is all you need to know:

Good shared workspace software should make collaboration easier. Microsoft Teams unifies chat, voice, video and file sharing and is designed to be used by any work group, large or small, whether they are local or remote. It’s also designed to help increase worker productivity by providing a unified suite of tools. The good news is that, for those organisations that already have Microsoft 365 and Office 365 it’s included totally free.

Although it only appeared a few years ago, Microsoft has constantly updated Teams since its initial launch. New features were added throughout 2020 and into 2021:

Chat

As with most collaboration apps, Teams has a chat function that offers both one-on-one and group chats. Teams’ chat includes text formatting, emojis and priority flagging. Files can be shared directly through chat sessions.

Channels

Teams’ main strength is in the ability to collaborate through different channels. Channels can be either Standard, public and open to everyone who wants to join, or Private and focused on specific topics or activities.  Channels tend to have a specific work project or topic, and can be thought of as group chat rooms, suited to the fast-paced conversations impossible on email.

All team members should be able to view and add to different conversations in the General channel. The @ function can be used to invite other members to different conversations.

Meetings

Teams has Online video calling, which can be done to anyone within the company or business or clients outside the business. Teams offers videoconferencing for up to 250 users per session.

Online meetings in Teams can include anyone outside or inside a business. This feature also includes a note-taking app, file uploading, and in-meeting chat messaging. Teams also allows desktop sharing for technical assistance and real-time collaboration on documents.

Video meetings can be scheduled on a channel’s calendar, or users can create them on the fly.

Calling

Teams actually offers outbound calling directly from the client. This allows mobile users with no current internet access to connect to a meeting. In fact, Teams can replace a business’s existing phone system using Microsoft 365 Business Voice, but this does require the purchase of an additional licence.

SharePoint Document Storage

Every team who uses Microsoft Teams will have a site in SharePoint Online, containing a default document library folder. Any files shared in conversations will also automatically save to this folder.

Integration with Microsoft Office

As you would expect, Teams is tightly integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other files can be created and managed within channels. Calendaring connects right into Outlook.

Other Features

  • Teams provides all of the security features of the broader Microsoft 365 suite including two-factor authentication and encryption in transit and at rest in the cloud.
  • Teams offers greater data visibility because all conversations within Teams are persistent. Files and conversations in Teams channels are all saved in the Microsoft 365 cloud, making that data available to Microsoft Graph.
  • Teams supports Training sessions as Trainers can send automated alerts to every student in the session. Teams now also supports virtual breakout rooms. These are essential if trainees are being asked to work on group assignments.

If you want to find out more about the capabilities of Teams and how you can use them, please contact us today about the Training that we have for MS Teams at Infero.

Data Analysis and Visualization with Microsoft Excel

Oil companies once ruled the globe, because they had control of an immense, untapped valuable asset – oil. It was so valuable that it was known as ‘Black Gold’. Now Data is the ‘New Oil’: the black gold of the 21st century. All businesses have lots of Data, but, in itself, Data is merely facts and figures. Just as oil needs to be refined and processed to be useful, Data needs to be analysed.

Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleansing and transforming Data, so that it can be structured and presented as useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making. Data is, in fact, fundamentally changing the world we live in and analysing Data to find is now a key skill in many job roles.

Excel is designed specifically for Data analysis. It can connect to a wide range of Data sources, clean and transform Data automatically, and create incredible visualizations to show trends, and create reports. Infero’s new 3-day Data Analysis and Visualization with Microsoft Excel course covers all of Excel’s extensive Data analysis capabilities.

Data Analysis and Visualization with Microsoft Excel

Delivery Method – Instructor-led, group-paced, online or classroom-delivery learning model with structured hands-on activities.

Target Students – Business professionals who want to learn how to perform advanced Data and statistical analysis with Microsoft Excel using PivotTables; be able to use tools such as Power Pivot and the Data Analysis ToolPak to analyse Data, and learn how to visualize Data in charts and dashboards in Excel.

Prerequisites – Before taking this course, students are recommended to have taken the Microsoft Excel Introduction course, or have equivalent knowledge:

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to analyse and visualize Data using Microsoft Excel and associated tools. You will:

  • Perform Data analysis fundamentals.
  • Visualize Data with Excel.
  • Analyse Data with formulas and functions.
  • Analyse Data with PivotTables.
  • Present visual insights with dashboards in Excel.
  • Create geospatial visualization with Excel.
  • Perform statistical analysis.
  • Get and transform Data.
  • Model and analyse Data with Power Pivot.
  • Present insights with reports.

Course Content


DAY 1

Lesson 1: Data Analysis Fundamentals

Topic A: Introduction to Data Science

Topic B: Create and Modify Tables

Topic C: Sort and Filter Data

Lesson 2: Visualizing Data with Excel

Topic A: Visualize Data with Charts

Topic B: Modify and Format Charts

Lesson 3: Analysing Data with Formulas and Functions

Topic A: Analyse Data with Formulas and Named Ranges

Topic B: Analyse Data with Functions

Lesson 4: Analysing Data with PivotTables

Topic A: Create a PivotTable

Topic B: Analyse PivotTable Data

Lesson 5: Presenting Visual Insights with Dashboards in Excel

Topic A: Visualize Data with PivotCharts

Topic B: Filter Data Using Slicers and Timelines

Topic C: Create a Dashboard in Excel


DAY 2

Lesson 6: Automating Data Analysis

Topic A: Implement Data Validation, Forms, and Controls

Topic B: Adding Form Controls to a Worksheet

Topic C: Create Conditional Visualizations with Lookup Functions

Lesson 7: Creating Geospatial Visualizations with Excel

Topic A: Create Map Charts in Excel

Topic B: Customize Map Charts in Excel

Lesson 8: Performing Statistical Analysis

Topic A: Visualize Trendlines and Sparklines with Excel

Topic B: Analyse Data with the Data Analysis ToolPak

Topic C: Apply Best Practices in Chart Design

DAY 3

Lesson 9: Getting and Transforming Data

Topic A: Connect to Data with Queries

Topic B: Clean and Combine Data

Topic C: Shape and Transform Data

Lesson 10: Modelling Data with Power Pivot

Topic A: Install Power Pivot in Excel

Topic B: Create Data Models with Power Pivot

Topic C: Create Power Pivots

Lesson 11: Analysing Data with Power Pivot

Topic A: Data Analysis Expressions (DAX)

Topic B: Perform Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization with DAX

Topic C: Creating a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Topic D: Working with Dates and Times in PowerPivot

Lesson 12: Presenting Insights with Reports

Topic A: Plan a Report

Topic B: Create a Report

4 Events for September

It’s September and autumn is almost here. The schools have gone back, and the holiday season is over. If you think that it’s now just the long wait until Christmas, you would be wrong.  There are still some great events going on across the UK. Here are four of them that you are happening during the month of September.

The 2021 Blackpool Illuminations

Everyone had heard of the Blackpool Illuminations, but you may not have seen them. They are definitely a spectacle that everyone should see at least once and have millions of visitors every year (in normal years). Known to many as the greatest free light show on earth, they have been on of Blackpool’s attraction since 1879 and have even been described as ‘Artificial Sunshine’.

Back in its full glory, after COVID-19, the annual Illuminations display is to be extended by two months this year, to provide an invaluable boost to the resort’s tourism season. The BIG Switch On event is back on Friday 3 September, with the incredible light show going on all the way through to Sunday 3 January 2022. A bigger and brighter Christmas this is also promised with themed events, shows and attractions.

DATES: Friday 3 September – Monday 3 January 2022

Take the Scilly Sea Swim Challenge

This is not for the faint hearted, but you can just be a spectator, or you can test yourself by taking the challenge of swimming and walking between all of Scilly’s main islands in just one day.

The event starts from Bar on the north side of St Mary’s, at sunrise, when those taking part dive into the sea to begin the Scilly Swim Challenge. Over the course of a single day, swimmers cross between all six of the main islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. It should be emphasised that the event is non-competitive. The point is to challenge yourself, not the others taking part. There is a total distance of approximately 15km (or just over 9 miles) of swimming to be done. Add that to the low temperatures of the September seas, and you need to be fit and prepared for this event. There is, however, another event offering the same challenge, which takes place over two days.

Dates:  The One Day Scilly Swim Challenge takes place on 10 September, while the Two-Day Challenge takes place between 7-8 September. Tickets for both are available from the website.

The Ludlow Food Festival

Add passionate local chefs and food producers, with thousands of food lovers and you get the perfect recipe for Ludlow Food Festival.

Normally held every September in the grounds of Ludlow Castle, Ludlow Food Festival claims to be the “Original Food Festival for Food and Drink Lovers” It showcases the very best local food and drink producers from Shropshire and the Marches. Inside the Castle walls, the festival includes demonstrations and talks, and it is possible to take part in workshops and masterclasses. If that sounds far too much like hard work, you can just spend time sampling the wares of the 180-plus exhibitors and stock up on tasty stuff to take home.  You’ll also find of related ‘foody’ events and activities taking place across Ludlow’s historic town centre.

Dates: 10th, 11th & 12th September 2021

Gloucester History Festival

You can Celebrate over 2,000 years of Gloucester’s history, with family activities, parades, re-enactments, talks and tours at the Gloucester History Festival. The Blackfriars Talks series features eminent historians and authors covering subjects of local and national interest.


Part of the festival includes one of the largest Heritage Open Days in the country, when the city celebrates its wealth of history, marvellous architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public.

Dates:  7-22 September