It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you’re sitting on your couch browsing the latest Black Friday deals. You are in serious food coma still, and don’t feel like going outside in the cold, so why don’t you brush up on Excel and take our Skillshare class on how to create a data-driven presentation? In this online tutorial, you will learn how to take raw data, filter and sort it, and then customize a PowerPoint slide to show your findings. People are always saying they want to make decisions based on hard data, but don’t actually know how to do it. We show you the secret right here in this class.
To give you a quick summary of the topics you’ll learn, here are the steps you should take to make a data-driven presentation:
Set up the Scenario
Before touching Excel at all, think about the purpose of this analysis or presentation. Are you trying to increase sales? Are you trying to figure out where to allocate headcount?
Cleaning Up the Raw Data
At this stage, your data may still be rough around the edges. You will need to “clean up” your data to make sure it’s ready to be sorted and filtered to your liking. You might consider taking Excel for the Real World I to brush up on your skills in Excel.
Filtering, Sortering, Pivot Tables
Here’s where the analysis begins. Keep in mind the purpose of your analysis as you slice and dice the data in Excel to find the key drivers for your analysis.
One of the best ways to visualize patterns and trends is to create basic bar charts and line charts. These charts will also eventually be used in your final presentation, but at this phase, you just want to be able to analyze the data in a more visual way.
What is the data telling you? You created some fancy charts but what does it all mean? Sometimes the data might not say anything at all, but this is where you get to put on your detective hat and figure out the signal in the noise.
Revisit Your Original Hypothesis
At the very beginning, you had to make an educated guess about what the data would tell you. See if you can prove or disprove your hypothesis after you’ve done some digging into Excel.
There are some basic data visualization tips that will help your audience understand your data better. The key is to avoid clutter and to highlight the key message in your analysis you want your audience to walk away with.
The takeaway from your slide should always have a course of action associated with it. Just like writing a paper, you need to have a thesis supported by arguments. Your presentation should also follow a similar format, with data supporting your analysis.
Hopefully the class will let you create the data-drive analysis you’ve always wanted to create. Put down the leftover turkey sandwich, and get cracking in Excel!