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Financial Analysis for Business Performance: Data-Driven Decision Making

Use your financial analysis to encourage data-driven decision making within your business.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 3
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    $39/monthFind out more

Do you want to create more of a data-driven culture within your organisation? Using facts, analysis, and metrics to drive strategic decisions within an organisation is associated with higher profits, stronger performance, and business longevity. But often this involves better communication, cultural change, and much stronger data analysis skills throughout the company.

Help your organisation to become more data driven by improving your analysis skills, learning new reporting techniques, and sharing key data to support business decision making. Grow your knowledge and confidence to turn financial insights into positive action.

Improve the financial performance of your organisation

You’ll learn the various approaches that can be used to improve the financial performance of your organisation. The tools and techniques you will employ in this course can be used to justify recommendations for improving financial performance based on the business’ specific requirements and situation.

Put data-driven decision making at the heart of your business

So, you have the data and the analysis needed to drive better business performance - now the hard part is sharing it and turning it into strong strategic decisions. You’ll learn how to articulate key data and processes required to support business decision making to make your organisation stronger as a whole.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to the course and financial performance

    • Welcome to the course

      Introduction and welcome to the course.

    • Levers to improve financial performance

      In this activity, we’ll cover the main cost control levels that drive financial performance, specifically value drivers and cash flow management.

    • Week 1 wrap up

      Summary of this week's activities.

  • Week 2

    Improving financial performance

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Introduction to Week 2

    • Data-driven performance decisions

      In this activity, we’ll cover the key metrics to track business performance, best practices for presenting metrics, and how to use a decision tree.

    • Delivering actionable value

      In this activity, we’ll present an overview of the insight generation process and explain how to manage it. We’ll also discuss how to build a data-driven culture and the fundamentals of actionable insights.

    • Week 2 Wrap-up

      Summary of this week's activities.

  • Week 3

    Business decision making: Part 1

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Introduction to Week 3

    • Introduction to data analytics and data-driven decision making

      You will be introduced to data analytics and its importance for data-driven decision making. You will also explore the skills needed for an organisation to make data-driven financial decisions.

    • Week 3 Wrap-up

      To complete the week, let’s recap the key points.

  • Week 4

    Business decision making: Part 2

    • Introduction

      Introduction to Week 4: Business decision making. Familiarise yourself with the week’s topics and listen to this week’s case study.

    • Types of data

      You will learn how to define data, identify various sources of data, and discuss some of the challenges of working with data for businesses and organisations.

    • Data-driven decision making

      You will learn why we make decisions with data, the types and value of business analytics, roles and responsibilities in data-driven organisations and creating a culture that values data-driven decision making

    • Week 4 Wrap-up

      To complete the week, let’s recap the key points.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the various approaches which can be utilised to improve financial performance of an organisation
  • Justify recommendations for improving financial performance based on the situation of the business
  • Articulate key data and processes required to support business decision making

Who is the course for?

This course is designed to support learners who need to engage with large volumes of financial data. This includes entry-level finance or accounting professionals who would like to progress to higher-skill positions, and current finance professionals. It would also be useful for new managers and leaders, as well as business workers and entrepreneurs.

What software or tools do you need?

During this course we’ll be using Excel. If you don’t have Excel, you might find this online version useful.

We recommend you use a computer to access this course.

Who will you learn with?

Commercially focused Finance Director / CFO with experience working with fast growth online SMEs in different sectors, including two successful exits (Amazon acquisition & Funding Circle’s IPO)

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

In collaboration with

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Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

Coventry University logo

About this ExpertTrack

Discover how sound financial analysis and the employment of cutting-edge technologies can transform business performance.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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