Microsoft Excel is the standard-bearer computer application for creating spreadsheets, charts and reports. Whether it’s for personal reasons or schoolwork, Excel is used on a regular basis to complete a variety of tasks requiring mathematical calculations. More employers are now asking that job candidates possess some level of experience with Excel. In fact, a simple search of the word “Excel” on indeed.com will return almost 600,00 results for jobs. Having Excel experience on your resume makes you instantly more marketable in just about any field. From healthcare to IT, the ability to use Excel to help solve business problems is a highly sought-after skill.
Even with its popularity, however, most Excel users are either unaware of its full capabilities or unable to take advantage of them due to a lack of knowledge and experience. From manual data analysis to creating scripts, Microsoft Excel comes packed with data analysis tools that rival more expensive statistical solutions.
There are a number of ways you can access Excel training if you’re interested in learning these capabilities. While it’s possible to buy books off the internet or take courses at your local community college, the easiest way to enhance your Excel data analysis skills is by utilizing one of the many online courses available. Whether it’s free or paid, you’ll be able to move at your own pace while being able to practice the skills you’re learning in real time.
How We Choose Our Rankings
Our intent is for our rankings to be as thorough and fair as possible. We analyze each course individually, taking into account the content covered, the amount of time required, cost, and if available, reviews from experts and former students. Based on the results of our analysis, we give each course a star rating between one and five stars.
With that said, here is our list of the best online Excel courses for data analysis. Use it as a guide to find the class that best fits your needs.
The 8 Best Online Excel Data Analysis Courses
Whether it’s an independent course or a database of classes, here are the best places you can go on the internet to improve your excel data analysis skills.
EdX – Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel
As the name implies, this course provides an introduction to individuals who want to learn how to do data analysis using Excel. Specifically, after taking this course, you’ll become proficient with PivotTables, one of Excel’s most popular tools for data analysis.
While the course does expect you to have some level of understanding of Excel and formulas, it takes the time to cover some of the basics before moving on to more advanced skills. The course will take you four weeks to complete and will take up about two to four hours of your time a week. Some of the highlights of this course include:
- Understanding the benefits of Excel tables over regular data ranges
- Using calculations to add columns to existing data in a table
- Creating a PivotTable and how to use multiple PivotTables to generate a dashboard
- Filtering data and creating subsets out of PivotTables
- Using formulas instead of PivotTables to aggregate data
- Creating calculated fields that can be used with PivotTables to find anomalies
Price: As with all courses on edX, you can either take it for free or pay $99 to be awarded a verified certificate after completing the course.
Perception: Experts and former students alike rave about this course due to its ability to lay out the content in a simplified manner. The instructors are knowledgeable, the exercises are engaging, and the quizzes are helpful.
Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars
edX – Analyzing and Visualizing Data With Excel
This course is a step up from edX’s Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel course. In it, you’ll learn how to import and combine data from multiple sources and prepare it for analysis. Once you’ve learned how to ready the data, you’ll learn how to use Excel’s DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) calculation engine to complete business calculations. This is a 4 to 6-week course with lectures, labs and quizzes requiring about two to four hours each week. The key highlights of the course syllabus include:
- Analyzing data in an Excel spreadsheet using PivotTables and pivot charts as well as using slicers
- Learning about Excel data models, their structure and content, and using the Power Pivot add-in
- Discovering how to build an Excel data model from a flat file as well as using data obtained from a SQL database
- Learning how to use text queries to pull data from an Excel file as well as other non-standard queries
- Using cube functions to complete year-over-year analysis and using Power BI to create beautiful visualizations
Price: Free or $99 for verified certificate of completion from edX
Perception: Former students of this course have glowing reviews about the content and teachers. It’s considered one of the better intermediate to advanced Excel courses on the market.
Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Lynda.com (part of LinkedIn Learning)
This isn’t necessarily a specific course, but rather a huge resource for training and tutorials on a variety of topics related to business, IT, marketing and more. It contains over 140 Excel-related courses from entry-level to expert. The over 5,000 training videos cover either specific data analysis tools and techniques or aspects of a business where data analysis in Excel can bring about marked improvements. The videos can range anywhere from 20 minutes to more than 2 hours in length. Some of the more popular courses you’ll find include:
Excel: Scenario Planning and Analysis – teaches techniques in business scenarios using capabilities in Excel
Excel: Analyzing and Visualizing Cash Flows – discover how to evaluate cash flows using Excel
Excel 2016: Business Process Analysis – find out how to determine capacity, bottlenecks, optimum batch size and much more
Price: Free to try for one month, then monthly plans for $9.99, $19.99, and $24.99
Perception: With it being a subsidiary of the professional social network giant, LinkedIn, Lynda.com is a popular destination for individuals seeking online training. Expert and student reviews for the website are both excellent.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Udemy – Business Data Analysis With Microsoft Excel and Power BI (by Michael Olafusi)
With over 18,000 students enrolled, this is one of the more popular Excel courses for data analysis on Udemy. The course is designed to help you become proficient at using Excel with Microsoft’s business intelligence tool, Power BI, to analyze business data, create dashboards, and generate business reports. If you do a lot of analytical work for your job using Excel, then this is a great course to consider. The knowledge you gain from this course should help improve your productivity as you’ll be able to complete your assignments much faster. The course comes with 11.5 hours of video, which you can access on your mobile devices and TV, supplemental resources, lifetime access and a certificate of completion. Here’s some of what you can expect to learn in this course:
- Improve your skills at creating PivotTables to analyze large data sets
- Advanced sorting skills including multi-level sorting, and left to right sorting
- Become proficient at creating VLOOKUP, HLOOK, INDEX and other functions to create reports
- Be introduced to Excel VBA and how to create macros
- Discover Power BI and other Microsoft tools for data analysis
- Keyboard shortcuts that can help you save time
Perception: Former students highly recommend this course. They love the fact that the creator covered the topics, even those that may be considered basic, with such detail. There are complaints about some of the issues being better suited for an entry-level Excel course. Otherwise, reviews are all positive.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Udemy – Microsoft Excel Data Analysis and Dashboard Reporting (by Kyle Pew)
One of the best-selling Excel courses on Udemy, it includes over 3.5 hours of video lectures (30 videos) on data analysis and creating dashboards with downloadable worksheets. Your purchase provides lifetime access, and you can watch lessons on your mobile devices. You’ll have access to support from the instructor through the QA section. It is the perfect course for an intermediate Excel user who understands the basics of Excel, but who may not yet be ready for more advanced techniques. The course will teach you how to analyze and summarize large sets of data effectively, create PivotTables and interactive dashboards with buttons and drop-down menus. You’ll even have a chance to build a real-world Excel dashboard. Some of the topics covered include:
- Advanced filtering techniques
- VLOOKUP and other lookup functions
- CHOOSE() function for flexible data presentation
Perception: This course has a strong reputation on Udemy. It has received great reviews from former students, including those who considered themselves advanced users.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Go Skills – Microsoft Excel – Basic & Advanced
This course is ideal for anyone who has interest in using Excel for any sort of data analysis, whether for work or personal use. Those who are new to Excel will benefit from the fact that it covers the most basic of functions, while those who are more advanced will love the lessons covering topics such as PivotTables, VLOOKUP and creating basic macros. The course includes 49 lessons with 4 hours and 14 minutes of video time, and you will receive a certificate upon completion. The estimated study time is 24.5 hours, and you can watch it on your mobile devices. Some of the topics related to data analysis in this course include:
- Basic statistical functions such as COUNT, AVERAGE, MAX and MIN
- Sorting, filtering and tips for consolidating data
- PivotTables and creating charts
- VLOOKUP with exact and approximate match, plus other lookup methods such as INDEX and HLOOKUP
Price: $29 (per month of access)
Perception: Reviews from former students are excellent with most highlighting the course’s pace and completeness.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
edX – Essential Statistics for Data Analysis Using Excel
If you have a statistics or data science background and you’re looking to enhance that with Excel, then this is the course for you. It’s a 6-week course that will require about two to four hours of your time each week. However, before taking this course, make sure you have experience with Excel’s data analysis tools, such as PivotTables and pivot charts. With this course, you’ll be able to explore core statistics principles and learn how to apply them using Excel. Some of the topics covered in this advanced course include:
- Descriptive charts such as histograms, Boxplots, Pareto charts
- Random variables and basic probability
- Sampling, confidence intervals and point estimation
- Hypothesis testing
Price: Free of $99 if you want the verified certificate from edX
Perception: Both experts and students highly recommend the course. However, some students complained that the course was more difficult than expected and that it felt more like a college class due to its in-depth coverage of statistics topics.
Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Microsoft’s Excel Training Center
Who better to teach you how to use a product than its creator? Each video on the site is accompanied by a practice spreadsheet that lets you work on the concept that was just taught. Although the website itself doesn’t go into more advanced data analysis topics, it does provide a link to the LinkedIn Learning website where you can access more in-depth data analysis training for a monthly fee. Topics you can expect to find in the Microsoft Excel Training Center range from functions such as VLOOKUP to using sparklines to show data trends on charts.
Perception: Given that it’s a course developed by the creator of the software, users and experts don’t seem to have any issues with it. However, the fact that there are so many other alternatives to Excel training indicates that there is an opportunity for improvement.
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Now that we’ve provided you with our thoughts on the best online Excel data analysis courses, it’s time for you to take action. Use the information we’ve provided to identify the class that best aligns with your current skill level, goals and time capacity and start improving your Excel skills today.