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Using Excel for Business Analysis by Danielle [Book Recommendation]

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Using Excel for Business Analysis by Danielle [Book Review]Business analysis & modeling are new areas where a lot of fresh graduates find themselves when they start work. Unfortunately, this is also an area where there is very little structured information.  Thanks to Danielle’s new book, Using Excel for Business Analysis, you can understand the basics of financial modeling, good spreadsheet design & business analysis

First up, let me congratulate my good friend Danielle for the successful launch of her first book. Today, I want to share my review of this book with you.

Who is this book for?

  • If you are someone who uses Excel to analyze & model parts of a business,
  • If you are not sure how to go about it
  • If you started using Excel in last few years and lack structured approach to spreadsheet design
  • If you are a fresh MBA hoping to become an analyst

Then this book is for you.

What does it teach?

This book aims to teach us 3 things:

  1. Lay clear foundations on financial modeling, business analysis and define best practices
  2. Explore various features of Excel that help you in business analysis & modeling
  3. Explain uses of Excel in various modeling & analysis scenarios.

1. Foundations:

In this Danielle explains what financial modeling is, how to choose a model and what best practices to follow. The casual tone & variety of examples in this section helps in understanding various steps in modeling and relevance of them. Towards the end of this section, Danielle shares various modeling best practices & pitfalls to avoid.

[Related: Introduction to Financial Modeling – 6 part tutorial]

2. Excel features:

This where you get to learn various Excel tools that we need to design & analyze. Danielle gives detailed explanations about various Excel formulas, formatting options, key board shortcuts, form controls etc. Once you know how to use these, you can combine them to analyze and model almost any business situation.

3. Using Excel for modeling & analysis:

In the last few chapters of her book, Danielle various common components in financial models like escalation methods, payback periods, WACC (weighted average cost of capital), tiering table, modeling depreciation etc. She also explains how to review models, rebuild inherited models, stress testing a model, performing sensitivity analysis & presenting model outputs using various Excel charts.

All in all, the 12 chapters in this book act as a handy guide to help you understand the business analysis & modeling process and how to implement it using Excel.

Read a sample chapter here.

Should you buy it?

Back when I started working as a business analyst (in 2006), fresh after MBA, I felt like a fish in the ocean. Lost and confused. It may be due to the fact that I was part of a very large company with more than 100,000 employees. Some of my first assignments involved in-depth analysis, modeling of insurance businesses. I spent count-less hours learning Excel, Power Point, analysis techniques and made a few mistakes before understanding things. I am still learning today.

But I feel that a guide like Danielle’s book can be very handy for someone starting their career or moving to modeling stream today.

If that sounds like you, please get a copy of her book.

Note: This book does not cover in-depth modeling or advanced Excel topics. For that you should consider one of my other recommendations.

Do you have this book? How do you like it?

Have you read this book? How do you like it? Please share your views using comments.


Danielle & her publisher have been kind enough to send me a copy of this book. It goes with out saying that Danielle is my good friend & partner in business when I visited Australia recently. Also, When you use above link to purchase this book from Amazon, I get a small commission. That said, my review is purely based on what is in the book and how useful it can be.

PS: Do you think I should write few more book reviews? I do read a lot of Excel, charting & VBA related books. I can write a review once in a while. Let me know thru comments.

PPS: See a collection of books recommended by me here.


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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8 Responses to “Using Excel for Business Analysis by Danielle [Book Recommendation]”

  1. GC says:

    Show me one person who doesn't want to see Chandoo review Excel books.

  2. I think posts on excel books you've reviewed is a terrific idea.

  3. [...] uses of Excel in various modeling & analysis scenarios. 1. … View original post here: Using Excel for Business Analysis by Danielle [Book – Chandoo ← Cheap Price Microsoft Excel 2010 Introduction Quick Reference [...]

  4. Chandoo says:

    @GC & Jordan.. thanks for showing interest in more reviews. I will try to write about a new book every month 🙂

  5. Ashok says:

    What would you recommend -- Going thru your online course first OR buy some books ?


    • Chandoo says:

      @Ashok... I recommend both & more. Here is what I suggest.
      1. Quickly pick up all important features and uses with an online course like Excel School (or live class)
      2. Get 1-2 good comprehensive Excel books and use them as reference. I suggest Excel 2010 Bible, Excel VBA Powerprogramming books.
      3. Join few newsletters - Contextures.com, Chandoo.org should be good.
      4. Help others in your workplace solve their Excel problems. If that is not possible, join a forum or comment regularly somewhere.

      With this approach, you will learn and your mind stays sharp in the long run.

  6. David B says:

    Thanks for the tip Chandoo. Interesting to see that you have a long history with the insurance industry. Do you have any specific reading tips?

    Ive found "Analysis and valuation of insurance companies" by Nissim a great reference.

    Any other tips? I always like looking at industry-specific KPIs.

  7. Sameer says:

    Hi Chandoo, love the site! Thoroughly informative! Learn something new everyday! 🙂

    Could you please share your thoughts on the following books?

    1. ttp://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0470228148/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

    2. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Excel-2007-Analysis-Dummies-Computers/dp/047004599X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

    Thanks a Tonne in advance!

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