Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Financial Analysis and Decision Making with Xero and Tableau

Get professional training in financial analysis and learn how to translate financial data insights into deliverable actions.

Created by


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In collaboration with

Xero & TableauXero & Tableau

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Validated by

Coventry UniversityCoventry University

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Bring data-driven decision making to your business

Being able to make data-driven decisions is key to success in business.

On this 12-week course, created in partnership with leading business accounting platform Xero and business intelligence (BI) experts at Tableau, you’ll discover key decision-making techniques and processes that will help you take your business to the next level.

Boost your financial planning and analysis

Xero and Tableau are two of the most important financial planning and analysis tools available. This financial analysis course will give you the skills you need to analyse finances to improve performance and get ahead of the market.

You’ll get to grips with using the world-leading business accounting platform, Xero, to manage your workload and increase productivity. You’ll learn how to conduct financial performance analyses, and do budget planning and forecasting.

With job postings calling for data visualisation growing by 540% over the last five years, you’ll build the skills to use key data visualisation tool Tableau.

Access professional training on Tableau and Xero

How can I use data analysis skills?

Data analysis skills let you tackle finance-driven business challenges, as well as letting you manage, analyse, and communicate insights from finance data.

You’ll be able to use financial frameworks to monitor performance and improvements, and learn how to make informed decisions on application to new market opportunities, business casing, and cost management.

Grow your confidence, as you learn how to visualise and communicate your financial data to drive actionable value from your decisions.

Are data analysis skills in demand?

As a result of digital transformation and the ubiquity of data, the finance sector is experiencing an analytics skills shortage.

61% of UK finance and insurance sector organisations reported skills shortages in 2019, and of the shortages faced, analytics is consistently reported as one of the most in-demand.

This microcredential meets the standards set by the Common Microcredential Framework.

Industry statistics

  • Median base salary

  • UK job openings/month


What skills will you learn?

  • Financial analysis
  • Budget planning
  • Budget forecasting
  • Insights communication
  • Data visualisation

What you will achieve

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

  • Apply the fundamentals of financial and managerial accounting techniques, using the software Xero, to effectively construct balance sheets, income statements and cash-flow statements
  • Apply and evidence analytical skills via synthesis of financial data and reports to identify and evaluate options for the development and operation of markets for resources, goods or services
  • Solve complex problems using relevant software and business tools, such as Xero and Tableau, to effectively capture and communicate critical business insights to inform business decision making
  • Evidence a critical ability to recognise and address ethical dilemmas, and apply organisational values to situations and choices

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

If you’re seeking a higher-skill financial analyst role or undertaking responsibility for managing, analysing, and communicating insights from financial data, this microcredential will equip you with the skills to succeed.

There are no prerequisites to enrol but it’s advised that you have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in finance and accounting.

Current and future roles of a learner on this course may include finance analysts and managers, finance data analysts, marketing managers, product managers, and business analysts.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will grow your confidence in engaging with financial data, conducting financial analysis and communicating their insights.

In particular, it will enhance the skills and employability of:

  • Junior finance professionals upskilling from administrative roles to higher-skill positions.
  • In-house finance professionals honing their analytics and communication skills.
  • Business professionals looking for training in budgeting, forecasting, and P&L performance.
  • Business owners and entrepreneurs who require fundamental business and finance skills to make key business decisions.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to start conversations with your fellow learners and read any announcements or additional information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course 1

    From 28 Jun 2021

    Financial Analysis for Business Performance

    Learn how to use Xero accounting software for budgeting and finance analytics and drive business performance using data.

    6 weeks

    12 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Financial planning, budgeting and forecasting
      • Welcome to the course
      • Introduction to planning, budgeting and forecasting (PBF)
      • Fundamentals of effective budgeting
      • Fundamentals of effective forecasting
      • Effective planning, budgeting and forecasting in the digital age
      • Technology driven success
      • Data-driven financial planning
      • Week One Wrap-up
    • Week 2

      Financial performance analysis
      • Welcome to Week Two
      • What is financial analysis?
      • Types of financial analysis
      • Set financial targets and performance metrics
      • Week Two Wrap-up
    • Week 3

      Performance monitoring and reporting
      • Welcome to Week Three
      • Performance monitoring and reporting processing
      • Create performance reports
      • Presenting performance reports
      • Week Three Wrap-up
    • Week 4

      Cost management and decision-making
      • Welcome to Week Four
      • Introduction to cost management
      • Costing methods
      • Standard costing and variance analysis
      • Week Four Wrap-up
    • Week 5

      Improving financial performance
      • Welcome to Week Five
      • Levers to improve financial performance
      • Data-driven performance decisions
      • Delivering actionable value
      • Week Five Wrap-up
    • Week 6

      Analytics and data-driven decision making
      • Welcome to Week Six
      • Introduction to data analytics and data-driven decision making
      • Types of data
      • Data-driven decision making
      • Week 6 wrap-up
  • Course 2

    From 16 Aug 2021

    Financial Analysis for Business Decisions

    Discover data visualisation with Tableau and make investment decisions with business case analyses and new market strategies.

    6 weeks

    13 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Financial data analysis
      • Introduction
      • Regression analysis
      • Sensitivity analysis
      • What-if analysis
      • Tying it All Together
    • Week 2

      Capital Budgeting
      • Introduction
      • Time Value of Money
      • Tools for project evaluation
      • The best approach
      • MIRR
      • Tying it All Together
    • Week 3

      Working Capital Analysis
      • Introduction
      • Working Capital Analysis
      • Accounts Receivable (A/R)
      • Inventories
      • Accounts Payables (A/P)
      • Cash conversion cycle (CCC)
      • Sources of ST financing
      • Tying it together
    • Week 4

      Long Term Financing / Capital Markets
      • Introduction
      • Bonds
      • Stocks
      • Investments and special topics
      • Tying it together
    • Week 5

      Finance Communication and Storytelling with Tableau
      • Introduction
      • Getting started with Tableau
      • Formatting and calculations in Tableau
      • Reporting and presentation
      • Tying it all together
    • Week 6

      Business Case Analysis
      • Introduction
      • Financial Modelling
      • Setting the Model
      • Other assumptions
      • Course wrap up
      • Assessment
  • After learning

    Once you have successfully completed the microcredential and passed the assessments, you’ll receive 15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from Coventry University and an electronic transcript.

What you will receive

15 UK academic credits at Postgraduate level from Coventry University

You’ll also receive an electronic transcript from Coventry University.

Learners who successfully complete this microcredential have the opportunity to apply for Advanced Entry into postgraduate courses with a 15-credit exemption for a number of Coventry University degree programmes for the academic year 2021/2022. Please see the FAQ section for a list of these courses.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by FutureLearn

FutureLearn is owned by Global University Systems and has been providing online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

This microcredential is in collaboration with Xero & Tableau

This course has been created in collaboration with Xero and Tableau and is facilitated by expert practitioners to support the development of leading financial analysis skills applied through in-demand enterprise technologies.

This microcredential is validated by Coventry University

This microcredential is validated by Coventry University. This means it is developed, delivered and assessed by FutureLearn, but quality assured by Coventry University. The microcredential will lead to Coventry University awarding credits.

Delivered by experts

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)

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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When would you like to start?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

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    We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

    You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

    Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

    There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

    No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

    Learners who successfully complete this microcredential have the opportunity to apply for Advanced Entry into postgraduate courses with a 15-credit exemption of the following Coventry University degree programmes for the academic year 2021/2022:

    • MBA Global Business (Coventry University London)
    • MBA Global Financial Services (Coventry University London)
    • MBA Global Marketing (Coventry University London)
    • MBC International Fashion Management (Coventry University London)
    • MBA International Human Resource Management (Coventry University London)
    • MSc Accounting and Financial Management (Coventry University) 
    • MSc Enterprise and Innovation (Coventry University London) 
    • MSc Finance (Coventry University) 
    • MSc Financial Technology (FinTech) (Coventry University London) 
    • MSc Management (Coventry University London) 
    • MSc Professional Accounting (Coventry University London)

    Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.