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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Mastering Data Analysis in Excel by Duke University

3,705 ratings
893 reviews

About the Course

Important: The focus of this course is on math - specifically, data-analysis concepts and methods - not on Excel for its own sake. We use Excel to do our calculations, and all math formulas are given as Excel Spreadsheets, but we do not attempt to cover Excel Macros, Visual Basic, Pivot Tables, or other intermediate-to-advanced Excel functionality. This course will prepare you to design and implement realistic predictive models based on data. In the Final Project (module 6) you will assume the role of a business data analyst for a bank, and develop two different predictive models to determine which applicants for credit cards should be accepted and which rejected. Your first model will focus on minimizing default risk, and your second on maximizing bank profits. The two models should demonstrate to you in a practical, hands-on way the idea that your choice of business metric drives your choice of an optimal model. The second big idea this course seeks to demonstrate is that your data-analysis results cannot and should not aim to eliminate all uncertainty. Your role as a data-analyst is to reduce uncertainty for decision-makers by a financially valuable increment, while quantifying how much uncertainty remains. You will learn to calculate and apply to real-world examples the most important uncertainty measures used in business, including classification error rates, entropy of information, and confidence intervals for linear regression. All the data you need is provided within the course, all assignments are designed to be done in MS Excel, and you will learn enough Excel to complete all assignments. The course will give you enough practice with Excel to become fluent in its most commonly used business functions, and you’ll be ready to learn any other Excel functionality you might need in the future (module 1). The course does not cover Visual Basic or Pivot Tables and you will not need them to complete the assignments. All advanced concepts are demonstrated in individual Excel spreadsheet templates that you can use to answer relevant questions. You will emerge with substantial vocabulary and practical knowledge of how to apply business data analysis methods based on binary classification (module 2), information theory and entropy measures (module 3), and linear regression (module 4 and 5), all using no software tools more complex than Excel....

Top reviews

Oct 30, 2015

The course deserves a 5-star rating because: (1) content is relevant, (2) the professor is concise and possesses great teaching skills, and (3) the learning modules are applicable to daily problems.

Oct 13, 2020

The course was excellent. A little difficult and overwhelming at times but as long as you stayed the course the professors gave you every opportunity to succeed. Thank you for your time professor.

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801 - 825 of 874 Reviews for Mastering Data Analysis in Excel

By Kaplanis A

Jan 21, 2017

Irrationally difficult and inexplicably sloppy. Having taken first "Business Metrics for Data Driven Companies" I had high hopes that it would be on the same level.

Well, I was wrong. It was extremely messy, jumping around from definition to definition with little to no explanation and there was a general lack of motivation from professor Egger's part.

Apart from week 1 that had some necessary basic knowledge of Excel, all of the next weeks' lessons were fast paced beyond a beginner's comprehension. By week 5 I had lost the motivation to go on and was only able to finish it through a great deal of trial and error on the quizzes

I would not recommend it, unless you have some basic knowledge of the economic theories used in this lesson.

By Bertrand J d

Feb 13, 2016

Complex concepts (e.g., regression), which cannot be taught in such a short course format (I know from extensive prior training), are taught here in an arcane way. I don't know how students without prior knowledge on these topics (e.g., regression, ROC curve analysis) could possibly understand this when taught this way.

Course is also in an 'early draft' mode, with plenty of mistakes in the videos/slides. The course (and specialization) really tarnishes - instead of enhancing - this institution's outside image and reputation.

Really a deception; sorry I took this class and specialization, a complete waste of my time and money. The initial presentation was misleading (and I have found online many people sharing the same feeling).

By Thomas N

Feb 21, 2016

Don't be fooled by how detailed and clear the first weeks videos are. The second thru the final weeks are lacking details and explanations and found myself lost during most of the videos. There were even a few typos and errors. Be ready to do a lot independent research and learning from other sources in order to complete the weekly quiz. I was unable to complete the final project of this course due to the lack of knowledge provided by the lecture videos and some of own research. I was hoping to complete the specialization for this, but it doesn't seem like this course provided me with enough to proceed.

** The use of excel on the weekly basis was poorly integrated with the flow of the course.

By Adam

Apr 16, 2016

Concepts are fantastic but the material developed to deliver the course is short of expectations, especially from a university. Excel sheets do not match what is demonstrated in video lectures, lots of confusion around how to complete tasks, quiz answer options not being correct, and missing Excel spreadsheets (e.g. video lecture says to refer to accompanying excel spreadsheet, but no spreadsheet available). Also, judging from past discussions by students, some inconsistencies around formulas being presented in video lectures versus assignment questions. could have been a great course, but the inconsistencies have made is very disappointing.

By Steven A

Mar 30, 2016

The title is very misleading. Excel is an afterthought for this course; instead there is a heavy focus on statistics. The class claims to be for beginners, but that is clearly not the case, as it requires previous knowledge in inferential statistics and calculus.

Excel is hardly used and is certainly not the focus; there are weeks where Excel is not used at all. There are no practice assignments, only quizzes.

It's clear that this course is outdated and poorly maintained, as the videos refer to examples that are not included or content that was not presented.

Needless to say, I will not be taking any other courses in this specialization.

By Guo X W

Jun 10, 2020

I found the title of the course to be extremely misleading as it turned out to be more of a statistics course. This quizzes and assignments were extremely unfulfilling. Students were given prepared spreadsheets and are tasked to use them to answer questions. It was extremely tedious and messy to have to open many documents for one quiz. Furthermore, there was very little instruction of how to use the spreadsheets. I believe that this course would have had much more practical value if it guided students through the commands, and taught us how to create spreadsheets for data analysis.

By Filipe J d S

Sep 11, 2018

Firstly, this is not a course, it is a challenge. The instructor obviously has a solid mathematical background, but he lacks a lot of teaching skills and the ability to convey what goes on in his head, from where numbers and concepts come out. The material in Excel is not explained, it demands that the student unravel the relationships by auditing the worksheets.A complex content as such should be approached with extreme didactics and with several real examples, which facilitate the understanding of someone unfamiliar with the subject.At least I'm glad I did not buy the course.

By Victoria M

May 25, 2017

Says it's a class for people with no experience in statistics or calculus, but it's not true! Use of spreadsheets in the course is poorly explained, examples are not relevant to the spreadsheet you're told to use ; and the material is covered way too quickly. Excel functions are not properly explained and neither is the Solver plug in. Of course you don't know this if you've prepaid for a specialization and are well past the two week refund period. If you do make the mistake of taking this course - CHECK OUT THE FORUMS. They are the only and best help you will get!

By Trevor W

Feb 4, 2021

Found the course to be really confusing. Took up way more time then it was worth. Left me more frustrated than anything. I don't like to give up and I hate to lose. But I had to cut my losses cause I was so overwhelmed here. I graduated with a double major in Business and I found the teaching to just be really hard to grasp. I expected an entry level course to be really useful and not overly challenging, but this was beyond anything I was planning on. I'm going to try the next course in this specialization, but will look for help on Excel elsewhere.

By Haidan X

Sep 27, 2020

It is fraud! It is nothing relate to excel! It is about statistics advance. For people like me have no statistic background please don't try this course at all. You will have a miserable time. The only reason I still try to finish this course it to get bad comments for it! Run away from it! The teacher is so bad at teaching. Boring and geeky style. Can people please realize geeky does not mean a good teaching? I hate this course so much! I feel I watch the video again and again but get zero outcome. I just wish I can give it bad comments everyday.l

By Michael M

May 6, 2016

Really wanted to take this class. Unfortunately, I believe it is more about advanced statistics then excel. It was advertised as a beginners class and that is not the case. I recommend having a significant knowledge of statistics before taking this course. I'm a 15 year senior level accounting executive and I was easily spending 10 to 15 hours a week plus watching the videos 3 or 4 times each in order to understand the content. It was very difficult to understand. Disappointing.

By Nesmary G M D

Dec 2, 2019

Material given is not enough for the graded quizzes questions. It would de very useful to have a guide with exercises solved with different complexities. Also, I passed various quizzes and I feel that if I face a real-life problem, I wouldn't know how to solve it, and I've seen other people writing the same in forums. Mentors hints given in week 4, are not about the actual questions of the graded quiz, and the last week I posted a question that actually hasn't been answered.

By 德伟 郑

Sep 7, 2016

I dislike this course because I have to complete so many assignment in one week. Instructions could have improved and slides could have improved rather than using chalkboard. Sorry there are a number of times I have to rewatch the videos and still dont understand. Hence I even have to place myself in another slot because I could not finish the assignment. Please improve on this module so that it is more enjoyable for learners who really want to learn. Thank you.

By François A

Jul 8, 2020

What a mess of a course!

It looks like different parts of the course were re-ordered and as a result references to exam are incorrect.

Much of the content on video doesn't match the exercises and terminology in one might not be used in the other. It's an awful course.

I tried the exam and it makes close to no sense. Decided to cancel coursera subscription as a result of taking two courses of poor quality in this specialization. Life is too short.

By Jorge O B

Aug 21, 2019

Muy decepcionado en la baja calidad del material entregado. Sin duda el profesor tiene un excelente manejo del tema, pero los recursos educativos utilizados son muy pobres. Muchos errores en los videos y en los cuestionarios.

Las lecciones pudieron ser mucho mas claras y fluidas usando un simple ppt, pero el uso de la tableta de dibujo de tan mala manera, hace confusas las explicaciones y poco pulcras.

By Jussi N

Jan 9, 2017

An absolutely dreadful course. The only things you'll end up studying are how to use the spreadsheets given and what the instructor was thinking when creating them... I can't figure out what, and there doesn't seem to be any way of finding out. The lectures were mostly stuff I learned at school and really quite easy, but I just have no idea what the final project has got to do with the lectures.

By Maria S

Feb 25, 2016

this course is definitely NOT for beginners. you MUST have intermediate to advanced knowledge of statistics and math. I had to resort to google and khan academy extensively just to grasp the concepts in this course. This course also does not teach you everything about excel, let alone master it. you just refer to pre made excel sheets for quizzes. thats it. Good luck figuring those out.

By Mauritz S

Jun 14, 2017

This course has nothing to do with data analysis in excel, but rather the mathematical concepts behind analysis in general. The only thing related to excel are the spreadsheets provided with the videos. Unfortunately, the professor never uses the spreadsheets and actually shows how to build said analysis, but rather just hands them to you and lets you figure it out with 0 guidance.

By Paula A C G

Oct 26, 2020

This course can not be taken by any beginner. Further, the instructor can have a lot of Knowledge but is a terrible teacher.

Is a course for advanced peers and only if you really have the knowledge and you do not need any support or you do not mind that he is not explaining how he creates the formulas and so on.

But if you are a beginner this is not the right course for you.

By Simeon H

Apr 22, 2016

This is an advanced Statistics class. Learning was chaotic, confusing, and fast paced. Strong Mathematics skills required. As icing on the cake, there is an 8 hour project at the end of the course .. and they only tell you at the end that you should have been working on this all along! Not at all what I wanted to learn or find productive in the real world.

By Shivek C

Jul 10, 2020

I did not like the course at all. The first week was fine but then the course only offers pre-made excel sheets where we just have to change values and pass tests. The teaching videos every week are for less than 30 minutes total and there are 2 tests for 30 mins each. How is it even fair? It is really a pain. I am sorry but I am highly disappointed.

By Nicole H

Jan 19, 2016

Was very frustrated with this course. Does not have a strong emphasis on Excel skills and the statistics models provided seem to be randomly chosen and poorly explained. Quizzes were interesting, but time-consuming because of the necessary extra research outside of provided lectures.


Jun 29, 2020

I don't even want to give 1 star even. The videos do not match the quizes at all. You have to put in much much more time on the useless sheets it provided, and they call it as practical experience! It's probably the worst course I've encountered on Coursera. Don't enroll it.

By Meagan M

Jun 11, 2021

Finding a model in quiz 1 module 6 is too hard. I have spent hours trying various models, and have read every discussion thread and watched every video related to finding this model. All to no avail. I am unable to complete this course simply because of this one problem.

By Camilla O

Mar 8, 2016

Content is not well organized, videos are disconnected from one another, explanations are not clear, spreadsheets contain vast information that is not explained anywhere. It is been quite difficult to follow through the course and I bet many students are giving up.