Friday, February 4, 2022

PowerPoint or Keynote for business analysis

Presentations are part of the basic analyst toolkit. It is not enough just to understand the program - you need to learn how to make high-quality presentations.

First of all, you should pay attention to the structuring of the presentation, the composition of the information on the slide, the selection of colors, pictures and icons. 

We recommend training observation, looking for high-quality examples - especially from consulting. For example, the McKinsey Global Energy Perspective 2019

Useful add-ons and resources:

Think-cell - allows you to draw popular graphs, charts and elements for graphs. For instance:

Process diagrams

Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay - free jars with quality licensed photos.

Flaticon, Noun Project — quality icons. - a service for the rapid creation of slides; there is a library of ready-made slide templates and access to photos. Convenient: when adding data, the program adapts the design of the slide and the arrangement of objects.

Examples of tasks where a presentation is needed:

  • reporting,
  • structuring information for discussing projects,
  • less often - for prototyping or other graphic tasks.


Using Excel for business analysis

 A business analyst is a universal fighter for working with market and data analysis, financial planning, business modeling. With such multitasking, in addition to high-quality work, speed also matters, and here proven tools and services will come to the rescue.

We prepared a selection of tools for analyzing, structuring, visualizing information and managing projects. And also sorted out a couple of tasks that can be solved with the help of these services.


Used for basic calculations, working with tables and charts.

First of all, you need to learn how to use the VLOOKUP, SUMIF, AVERAGE, COUNT functions, as well as pivot tables, filters, and graphs.

Also useful:

The functions "Remove Duplicates", "Text by Columns", "Find and Replace" will help you clean up and process the data array and bring it to the desired form.

PivotChart, Conditional Formatting, Data Validation, and Sparklines (charts embedded in an Excel cell) provide flexibility when creating reporting or financial and mathematical models.

Hotkeys Ctrl+F/H, Ctrl + Shift + →/←, Ctrl + PgDn / PgUp and others will save time.

Power Query and Power Pivot add-ins - will help you connect data from the database directly to Excel (the principle is similar to BI).

Worthy of mention is the VBA add-in, which helps you write macros to automate actions in Excel. However, now rarely anyone uses it. From examples of use: launching a sequence of calculations to update a model that collects data from several files, and upload data from the site, followed by processing in the model. Recently, similar tasks can be solved using R, Python, or programs that help you parse data or set up integration without using code.

Other features and capabilities of Excel are worth exploring as needed.

Instead of Excel, you can use Google Sheets, Airtable, tables in Notion. The difference is in the interface, the number of functions, integration with online services.

Examples of tasks that Excel helps to solve:

drawing up financial models and budgeting,

analysis of the sales funnel or leads,

collecting data and structuring information about customers and the market,

sometimes - tracking project tasks, as a CRM for maintaining clients or a questionnaire with questions.

PowerPoint or Keynote for business analysis

Presentations are part of the basic analyst toolkit. It is not enough just to understand the program - you need to learn how to make high-qu...