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Data Analysis 101

Getting to the heart of performance data

Instructed by Ross Maynard

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  • Principles of Process Management
  • An Introduction to Performance Data - Tools for Data Analysis that works
  • Understanding Variation
  • The Control Chart: Highlighting Variation in Data
  • Control Chart Special Cases
  • Interpreting the Control Chart
  • Strategies to deal with Special Cause and Common Cause Variation
  • Using Data to Drive Improvement
  • A structure for performance management


Business managers have some very sophisticated data analysis tools at their disposal, and it’s fun to experiment with the advanced formulae available in Excel and other programmes.

However, data analysis is an iterative process and it is important to start with some simple analysis tools to highlight the key issues in the data before exploring those issues with more advanced tools.

That’s where this course – Data Analysis 101 - comes in. This course covers the four basic tools of data analysis that everyone working in an organisation should know. These four tools will help you carry out the initial filtering of performance data in order to highlight the important trends and issues. Often these tools are not covered adequately in business or finance training and this course will give you a good grounding in these simple but immensely useful analysis tools.

Advanced analysis is often difficult to understand for people who are not finance or data experts. Using simple tools to draw out the main points in performance data will improve engagement with the data and will help drive discussions about the appropriate actions to take, rather than heated discussions about what the analysis actually means.

This course will help you get to the heart of understanding the performance data in your organisation, and it will help you present that information to others in the organisation so that the decisions made, and the actions taken, address the real issues affecting performance.

I hope you enjoy the course.

  • There are no pre-course requirements
  • Managers
  • Business owners
  • Students of business management
  • Accountants
  • Finance staff
  • Accounting students
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Section 1 : Data Analysis 101

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Agenda and Principles of Process Management Preview
  • The agenda for the course and the core principles of process management
  • Lecture 2 :
  • The Voice of the Process
  • Exploring the concept of "the Voice of the Process" and why it is important for performance measurement and analysis
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Working as One Team
  • Working together as one team for improvement
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Exercise: The Voice of the Customer
  • An exercise looking at customer requirements
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Tools for Data Analysis
  • Introducing the tools for data analysis
  • Lecture 6 :
  • The Pareto Chart
  • Using the Pareto Chart for data analysis
  • Lecture 7 :
  • The Histogram
  • Using the histogram to analyse data
  • Lecture 8 :
  • The Run Chart
  • Using the Run Chart to analyse data
  • Lecture 9 :
  • Exercise: Presenting Performance Data
  • An exercise on presenting performance data
  • Lecture 10 :
  • Understanding Variation
  • Explaining variation in business processes
  • Lecture 11 :
  • The Control Chart
  • Using the Control Chart in data analysis
  • Lecture 12 :
  • Control Chart Example
  • An example of the use of the Control Chart for data analysis
  • Lecture 13 :
  • Control Chart Special Cases
  • Lecture 14 :
  • Interpreting Performance Data
  • Lecture 15 :
  • Control Chart Exercise
  • Lecture 16 :
  • Strategies to deal with Variation
  • Lecture 17 :
  • Using Data to Drive Improvement
  • Lecture 18 :
  • A Structure for Performance Management
  • Lecture 19 :
  • Data Analysis Exercise
  • Lecture 20 :
  • Course Project
  • Lecture 21 :
  • Test your Understanding
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Ross Maynard,

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the UK and have 30 years’ experience as a process improvement consultant specialising in finance processes. I am a professional author of online training courses for accountants. I live in Scotland with his wife, daughter and Cocker Spaniel
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