Excel: Economic Analysis and Data Analytics

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  • Course details

    Big data is transforming the world of business. Yet many people don't understand what big data and business intelligence are, or how to apply the techniques to their day-to-day jobs. This course addresses that knowledge gap by showing how to use large volumes of economic data to gain key business insights and analyze market conditions.

    Professor Michael McDonald demonstrates how to harness the wealth of information available on the Internet to forecast statistics such as industry growth, GDP, and unemployment rates, as well as factors that directly affect your business, like property prices and future interest rate hikes. All you need is Microsoft Excel. Michael uses the built-in formulas, functions, and calculations to perform regression analysis, calculate confidence intervals, and stress test your results. He also covers time series exponential smoothing, fixed effects regression, and difference estimators. You'll walk away from the course able to immediately begin creating forecasts for your own business needs.


    • Click here to view Michael McDonald’s instructor page

      Michael McDonald

      Associate Professor of Finance at Fairfield University, Director of Finance Trading Lab

      Michael McDonald is a researcher and professor of finance at Fairfield University.

      He has extensive programming skills in SAS, Stata, Python, R, and SQL, among other programming languages. His past work experience includes using these programming languages to analyze big data sets in finance and economics and develop trading strategies based on data mining. He has done extensive work in investment banking, at tech startups, hedge funds, and on a wide variety of consulting projects. He has a track record of authoring creative and practical course materials for a variety of subject areas across business disciplines.

      Michael's core knowledge is focused on financial markets and investment decision-making. He has helped advise firms on capital investments, valuation issues, and capital allocation to enhance business strategy. He is the author of multiple research studies addressing complex questions across the finance discipline. Michael's work has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the CFA Institute, and many others.

    Skills covered in this course

    For each course you will get

    • Exercise files and quizzes
    • Certificate of completion from LinkedIn
    • Offline and audio-only options
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  • Welcome

    - Hello, I'm Dr. Michael McDonald. I'm a professor of finance and consultant to industry. I've been teaching forecasting, using data, for more than a decade, to financial firms, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. In this course, I'm going to show you how to effectively use economic data in practical business forecasting settings. Data analytics is one of the hottest growth areas in business and it is a key opportunity for those looking to develop their career. In this course I will demonstrate how to gather data from government sources, like the Federal Reserve, and use that data to forecast critical variables, like property prices and interest rate hikes. We'll explore a variety of different types of forecasts, from time series exponential smoothing, to fixed effects regressions, to difference in difference estimators. Please join me know, and let's get started.

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