Simple Spreadsheets

From spreadsheet stress to superstardom in just 12 weeks. Data analysis techniques & time-saving secrets for busy number-crunchers. Begins May 14, 2018.

Course Description

Ever feel like you’re swimming upstream in data? Need to make sense of spreadsheets, but not sure where to start? Have a gut feeling that you’re not getting the most out of your data?

Spreadsheets aren’t just for statisticians, accountants, and economists. These days, most of us are using spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or Apple Numbers for all types of projects at our jobs. Spreadsheets are massively powerful tools, and chances are, no matter what you’re working on, there’s a faster and easier way to get it done.

I’ll share my favorite techniques for saving your precious time and energy. We’ll cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced number-crunching skills from vlookup to pivot tables. We’ll even cover basic data visualization skills, like designing new graphs and exporting them into other programs like Word or PowerPoint. You’ll be on your way from spreadsheet stress to superstardom in no time.

Topics covered: Scroll down and preview the syllabus. You can see how many lessons are devoted to each topic. You can even see the length of the video lessons.

Dates: This 12-week course begins on May 14, 2018. You’ll have access to the content for a full year so you can go back and watch videos again and again.

Length: You’ll get eight hours of video content, which is the equivalent of taking a two-day workshop. Lessons are intentionally short–just a few minutes long–so you can learn while you eat lunch. Over the course of 12 weeks, you’ll transform into a spreadsheet superstar. But we’ll transform you one step at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve got a busy schedule.

Limited Openings: I’m only offering the Simple Spreadsheets course once a year. When it’s open, it’s open! But when it’s closed, it’s closed. This May is your only chance all year.

Limited Enrollment: Enrollment is limited to just 50 students. You deserve one-on-one attention. The last time I offered this course, we sold 230 seats. I do expect the course to sell out.

About the Instructor

Ann Emery
Your data deserves to be out in the world–actionable, talked about, used–not gathering dust in spreadsheets. Let me transform your technical information for non-technical audiences. I’ve consulted to clients like the United Nations, State Department, and Centers for Disease Control, plus dozens more foundations, nonprofits, film companies, banks, hospitals, and universities worldwide. Each year, I lead dozens of in-person workshops for thousands of people. My online courses bring those skills to you, too.

Class Curriculum


Important Course Info

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Spreadsheets


Week 1: Navigate Your Spreadsheets


Week 2: Merge Variables Together or Pull Them Apart

Intro & Materials

Week 3: Format, Clean, and Recode the Data: Numbers

Intro & Materials

Week 3: Format, Clean, and Recode the Data: Numbers

Dates: Auto-Fill Dates Down a Column or Across a Row

Week 3: Format, Clean, and Recode the Data: Currency

Currency: Select Your Preferred Money Format (Currency or Accounting)

Week 3: Format, Clean, and Recode the Data: Text

Text: Place First and Last Names into Separate Columns*

What People Are Saying

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

This 12-week course begins on Monday, May 14, 2018 and ends on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Every week, I’ll email you and let you know that a new batch of lessons is available.

How long do I have access to the course?

I’m available to support you and answer questions during the 12-week course (May 14 through August 5, 2018). But I know you’re busy. And you’ll want to refresh your skills later on. That’s why you’ll have access to the course content for an entire year–until August 2019.

Can’t I just find this information on the internet or in books?!

Sure. It onnnnnly took me a decade to teach myself all these tricks. I took classes. I checked out books from the library. I searched through hundreds of (really bad) videos. I took classes. I learned the hard way so you don’t have to. This course is a shortcut. In 12 weeks, I’ll teach you what it took me a decade to learn on my own.

Can I get the same information from your blog?

No. I freshly-recorded 125 lessons just for this course. I used to post tutorials on YouTube, but that was back in 2012, and I posted the videos as the mood struck me, not in a logical, cohesive course.

What makes this course’s focus unique?

The vast majority of Excel courses are taught by people with finance and accounting backgrounds. If you’re working on Wall Street, then this course isn’t for you. This course is designed for people in applied research and program evaluation settings. Want to know whether your program, policy, or initiative is effective? These are the formulas you need to know–and the order you need to learn them.

What if I have questions about my individual dataset?

Enroll in the Gold Tier and you’ll get an hour of one-on-one consulting time with me. We’ll share screens and work through your individual questions together. Together, we can tackle what it would take you all day to fiddle with on your own.

Which software program are we using?

The videos use Excel, but this isn’t strictly an Excel course. It’s a spreadsheet course. If you join the Silver Tier, you’ll get access to three additional 60-minute webinars. During these group Q&A sessions, we’ll review common questions that have popped up AND you’ll learn how to apply these skills in other programs like Google Sheets and Apple Numbers. It’s like learning three software programs in one! There are slight differences between each software program, but for the most part, spreadsheets are spreadsheets, and you need them for every project on the planet.

Which version of Excel will we use?

I’m demonstrating all the skills on a PC with Excel 2016. It’s okay if you have another version of Excel. It’s okay if you have a Mac. I’ve been using spreadsheets since the 1990s–my Ph.D. economist dad starting teaching me Lotus 123 when I was in first grade!–so I’ve used virtually every version of spreadsheets imaginable. I can help you find the right buttons on your computer.

How do I know if your teaching style is right for me?

Enroll in my free course called Beyond the Dusty Shelf Report. You’ll see examples of before/after makeovers from real reports, dashboards, and slideshows. The spreadsheet techniques covered in this Simple Spreadsheets course are the foundation of those data visualization techniques. I don’t read from scripts. I sound like a human. If you want a dry, robotic teacher reading from a script, then this course isn’t for you.

I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to data analysis. Can I still enroll?

I start at the beginning so you get a confidence boost early on. As soon as you register, you’ll get access to the first bonus module, The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Spreadsheets. You’ll reinforce the basics like changing font colors and inserting logos. When you’re learning a new skill, half the battle is affirming that you’re on the right track. I’ll tell you when you’re doing it right (and when you’re not).

How did you choose which skills to include?

I teach skills in a verrrrry intentional sequence, from merging datasets together… to cleaning data… to exploratory visualizations… to calculating summary statistics… to graphing key patterns. In other courses I’ve taken, the instructors just cover a random set of skills with no cohesion between them. I’ve always felt lost and frustrated in those settings. I carefully crafted this syllabus just for you.

I need help figuring out what to do first, second, and third in my dataset. Can you help with that?

Weeks 1 through 8 go through the basics–one technique per video. Then, Weeks 8 through 11 (FOUR entire weeks!) are devoted to “Putting It All Together” skills. During Weeks 9 through 12, we’ll approach a real-life dataset from start to finish. The lessons are easy at first, and then we put the skills together in increasingly advanced ways. You’ll master the basics in Weeks 1 through 8 so that you’ll be ready to roll in Weeks 8 through 12. But wait, there’s more! Week 13 offers bonus content on data visualization.

I took some data analysis and research methods back in grad school, but I need a refresher. Is this course right for me?

YES. I designed this course with YOU in mind. You probably learned about concepts like data cleaning back in college or in graduate school. We’ll spend an entire week on data cleaning strategies so that you have a refresher on the critical thinking skills AND practical how-to lessons.

I learned SPSS/STATA/SAS/Mplus in school but now I only have access to Excel. Is this course right for me?

YES. I designed this course with YOU in mind. I learned SPSS and STATA as a college student, and I taught myself SAS during my honors thesis and while working in research labs. We touched on SPSS in my graduate program too. Then, I left academia and went into the real world. I worked for a huge consulting firm with a huge budget. Despite the huge budget, we didn’t have SPSS! It was deemed too expensive. We were expected to learn Excel on our own and adapt, fast! I checked out books from the library, took seminars, and learned everything I could from coworkers. It was a long, arduous process. There was no one to guide me along the way. This is the course I wish I could’ve taken! This course is your fast track to transitioning from other programs into Excel.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.
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