Online ExpertTrack in Business & Management

Financial Analysis for Business Decisions

Discover how to use financial analysis to support data-driven decision making, in three financial management courses.

Created by

FutureLearnFutureLearn

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In collaboration with

TableauTableau

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  • DurationApprox 12 weeks

    4 hrs per week

  • CertificatesEarn course Certificates
  • 100% onlineLearn at your own pace
  • Cost$39/monthFind out more
  • LevelIntroductorySee requirements

Explore how to use financial analysis tools to drive better business decisions

Do you want to boost your financial planning and analysis skills? Collectively, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily.Modern organisations must continually leverage this data in decision-making processes to gain a competitive advantage. Data-driven businesses are three times more likely to be confident in their business decision making, according to one PwC survey. Finance has always been data-driven. There is a growing expectation, however, that finance professionals will possess advanced data analysis skills. In 2018, 86% of financial services firms were planning to increase their usage of big data analytics.

Get empowered to lead data-driven decision making

This ExpertTrack is designed to equip finance professionals with the digital analysis skills to prosper in this context. The featured financial management courses contain valuable introductions to key data analysis tools and techniques. Gaining financial data analysis skills could boost your career. Analytical reasoning was LinkedIn’s third most in-demand skill with employers in both 2019 and 2020. Job postings calling for data visualisation have grown by 540% over the last five years. Those calling for Tableau skills have risen by over 1,000%

Develop a broad base of financial analysis skills

The financial management courses in this ExpertTrack cover a wide range of financial analysis skills. You will learn:

  • how to use common financial data analysis tools, such as regression and sensitivity analyses
  • capital project management
  • how to calculate working capital, cash conversion cycles, and bond and stock valuations
  • best practice accounting policy
  • how to raise short-term financing
  • how to raise capital with stocks and bonds vs. investment
  • how to use financial modelling and financial assumptions
  • how to use Tableau for data visualisation
  • how to do a SWOT analysis Equipped with these financial analysis skills, you’ll be ready to lead data-driven business decision making.

Content for this ExpertTrack has been adapted from the Financial Analysis and Decision Making Microcredential - if you want to find out more, take a look at the Microcredential which offers smaller cohorts with tutor interactions and academic credit.

During the ExpertTrack we’ll be using Tableau Public and Excel. If you don’t have Excel, you might find this online version useful.

We recommend you use a computer to access the courses in this ExpertTrack.

Industry statistics

  • Median base salary£60,000
  • UK job openings/month2,231

Key skills you will learn

  • Financial analysis
  • Budget planning
  • Budget forecasting
  • Insights communication
  • Data Visualisation
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Regression analysis
  • Capital planning
  • Financial modelling
  • Tableau
  • Data analytics

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Effectively capture and communicate critical business insights to inform business decision making
  • Effectively capture and communicate critical business insights to inform business decision making
  • Compare common financial models and their functions
  • Use Tableau to import data and create graphics

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is aimed at professionals who want to contribute to data-driven business decisions based on financial analysis.

It would suit anyone in or seeking to move to a position with responsibility for managing, analysing, and communicating insights from financial data.

There are no formal entry requirements. Strong numeracy and data analysis skills will allow learners to get the maximum benefit from this ExpertTrack, however.

Previous experience in financial analysis or accounting would be advantageous. It would also be suitable for managers looking to strengthen their finance skills.

Getting started

There are four key groups of learners who can benefit from this ExpertTrack:

  • Early-career finance or accounting professionals looking to improve their financial analysis skills to advance their careers
  • Current financial professionals who are looking for ways to communicate with a broader audience through data visualisation
  • Managers who have recently taken responsibility for budgets, forecasts, and P&L statements
  • Entrepreneurs or business owners who need to strengthen their financial management

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    Discover essential financial analysis tools for data-driven decision making, in this business fundamentals course.

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Introduction to the course and financial data analysis
      • Welcome to the course
      • Introduction to financial analysis
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 2

      Financial analysis tools
      • Introduction
      • Regression analysis
      • Sensitivity analysis
      • What-if analysis
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 3

      Tools for evaluating projects
      • Introduction
      • Time value of money
      • Tools for project evaluation
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 4

      Tools for decision-making
      • Introduction
      • The best approach
      • MIRR
      • Wrap-up
  • Course 2

    Explore fundamental aspects of cash flow management, from cash conversion cycles to short-term financing

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Introduction to the course and working capital analysis
      • Welcome to the course
      • Working capital analysis
      • Cash conversion cycle (CCC)
      • Accounts receivable (AR)
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 2

      Accounts payable and short-term financing
      • Introduction
      • Inventories
      • Accounts payable (AP)
      • Sources of short-term financing
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 3

      Long-term financing
      • Introduction
      • Bonds
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 4

      Capital markets
      • Introduction
      • Stocks
      • Investments and special topics
      • Course wrap-up
  • Course 3

    Discover how to use Tableau to visualise data to gain new insights, how to apply financial models, and how to do a SWOT analysis.

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Introduction to the course and communicating performance data
      • Welcome to the course
      • Getting started with Tableau
      • Formatting and calculations in Tableau
      • Wrap up
    • Week 2

      Reporting and presenting
      • Introduction
      • Reporting and presentation
      • Wrap up
    • Week 3

      Financial models
      • Introduction
      • Financial Modelling
      • Setting the model
      • Wrap-up
    • Week 4

      Managing assumptions
      • Introduction
      • Other assumptions
      • Course wrap-up

How ExpertTracks work

Join an ExpertTrack to master new skills in your chosen specialist area. Work through a series of topic-focused courses at your own pace, and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate award which proves your expertise.

Join a free 7-day trial

Decide if the ExpertTrack is right for you with free access to the full suite of courses and assessments for a week.

Keep learning for $39/month

Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

Earn digital certificates

Receive a certificate for every completed course and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate that you can share with your professional network.

Become an expert

Use your specialist training to progress further in your career or build expertise in areas you’re passionate about.

World-class learning with FutureLearn

The social learning platform with hundreds of online courses from a quarter of the world’s top universities.

This ExpertTrack is in collaboration with Tableau

Learn how Tableau, a leading business intelligence tool helps people see and understand their financial data to drive business success.

Meet your instructor

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)

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After your free trial you can:

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  • 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
  • FAQ

    ExpertTracks are a series of online courses designed to help you master new skills in specialist areas. You pay a monthly subscription fee which includes access to all courses within the ExpertTrack, as well as assessments and the final digital certificate.

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