Over two days, six of the world’s best Excel experts – recognised by Microsoft as their coveted ‘MVPs’ or ‘Most Valuable Professionals’ – will show you how to really up your Excel game.

DISCOVER FRESH AND EXCITING WAYS TO UNLOCK THE FULL POTENTIAL OF YOUR DATA

Pose your most challenging problems to Microsoft’s Excel developers and experts
Find out how to visualise and present data so that it tells a clear story
Learn to create flexible financial models that enable rapid scenario analysis and sound decision making
Effectively manage and analyse large quantities of data from multiple data sources

PROGRAM

Morning

8.00AM - 8.30AM

Registration and arrival refreshments

8.30AM - 9.55AM

What's New in Excel

Steve Kraynak

From dynamic arrays to data visualizations to intelligent features, Excel has changed significantly since the release of Office 2016.  In this session, Steve will provide you with a high level overview of what has changed in the most recent versions of Excel (spoiler alert: it’s so much more than the three areas listed above) and will also go in depth with demos and explanations of how to use some of the new features Excel offers, allowing you to return to work more efficient, more productive and more confident than ever before.

9.55AM - 10.25AM

Morning tea and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

10.25AM - 11.35AM

Rolling Budgets and Charts

Liam Bastick

Learn how to automate regulated reports so that charts and reports will update automatically (or at the flick of a switch) without changing structure or causing #REF! errors.

Session outline:

  • Explaining why you need two start dates in a model
  • The importance of Tables
  • Creating rolling budgets and charts that automatically update for actual data
  • Explanation of key functions and formulae involved.

10.25AM - 11.35AM

Excel 365 vs. Excel 2016

Gašper Kamenšek

Since September 2015 when Excel 2016 (for Windows) was officially released (for Office 365 users) Excel 365 (not the official name but what it is known as) has developed significantly interesting features that set it aside from its counterparts, Excel 2016 and Excel 2019 (known as the “perpetual versions”).  Today we can talk of Perpetual Excel and Excel 365 as two quite different versions of Excel, not only by methods of obtaining them but mainly by functionalities.

This session will show you features that will make you want to run out and get your very own Office 365 subscription, considering Excel Online and for apps too.

Session outline:

  • Insiders Program
  • New functions
  • New charts
  • New Data Types
  • Exciting new tools
  • Dynamic Arrays
  • Noteworthy application changes.
Concurrent Sessions

11.40AM - 12.40PM

Creating More Effective Charts

Echo Swinford

Creating effective charts can be challenging.  But you don’t have to be a trained graphic designer to make good decisions when charting.  In this session, we’ll review simple foundational techniques to help your data shine.

Session outline:

  • Gestalt principles
  • Pre-attentive attributes
  • Glanceable vs referenceable
  • Chart junk
  • Color
  • Labels

11.40AM - 12.40PM

Real & Unusual Needs / Uses for Excel

Oz du Soleil

Having spent almost 20 years working with Excel, Oz has spent much of that time with small businesses and rogue departments who need very unusual needs that are outside of Accounting and Finance. Oz will share some of these uses to expand how we think of Excel and what it’s capable of.

Session outline:

  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Unusual functions for unusual situations.

Afternoon

12.40PM - 1.25PM

Lunch and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

1.25PM - 2.25PM

Shortcuts to building Excel Dashboards

Mynda Treacy

How to build interactive Excel Dashboards that update with the click of a single button using regular Excel – no Add-Ins, no macros / VBA, just plain old Excel and some data.  Learn the tricks that will make it fast to build and virtually zero maintenance.

In this session, Mynda will demonstrate building a dashboard from scratch and will provide supporting files, including the completed dashboard and data that you can download for exploring in your own time, plus links to further tutorials.

Session outline:

  • Practical walkthrough of building a dashboard.

1.25PM - 2.25PM

CTRL + ENTER: Start Using it Yesterday!

Gašper Kamenšek

There is no action more basic in Excel than entering data.  Most people are aware that possibilities include Enter and Tab.  Some have even heard of Shift + Enter and Shift + Tab and are using them.  Very limited few have become used to Ctrl + Shift + Enter since they work with array functions and that is basically the only way to confirm those entries.

But there is another way you can enter data, and it is by far the most versatile and useful, and it has by far the smallest following, and this needs to stop today!  This session will take you through examples of using Ctrl + Enter and basically make you faster and more efficient in Excel.

Session outline:

  • Entering data in Excel
  • What about the formats?
  • Mixing it with Go To-Special
  • Putting it all together.
Concurrent Sessions

2.30PM - 3.30PM

Excel Tips and Tricks

Tim Heng

Have you ever been stuck on how to do something in Excel?  Looking for inspiration or new ideas on how to solve old problems?  Found yourself nesting monolithic formulae that Tolstoy would be proud of?  Come to this session to find new ways to work smarter, not harder.  Bring your questions, and we’ll use both old-school and Modern Excel features to solve them.

Session outline:

  • Bring your questions, we’ll bring the ideas
  • Use old-school Excel functions and formulae to solve common problems
  • Learn how Modern Excel features can make your life easier.

2.30PM - 3.30PM

Testing Models

Oz du Soleil

Building functioning models is a fairly sophisticated skill.  However, one thing that’s often missing from models is testing and protection.  In this session we’ll cover ways that models should be tested so that they aren’t easily broken or unknowingly generate bizarre results.

Session outline:

  • Concept of testing
  • Discussion of protection
  • Practical examples.

3.30PM - 4.00PM

Afternoon tea and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

4.00PM - 5.00PM

Advanced Chart Tricks for the Non-Advanced User

Echo Swinford

Ever thought, “There must be a way to do this”?  When it comes to Excel, there probably is!  In this session, we’ll review some hidden hacks that will make your life easier when creating charts.

Session outline:

  • Chart templates
  • Paste formats
  • Number formats
  • Specifying axis labels
  • Direct labelling data
  • Adding totals to stacked columns
  • Specifying ranges on a chart
  • Linking chart text to cells.

4.00PM - 5.00PM

Dynamic Arrays - the biggest change to Excel ever!

Mynda Treacy

There hasn’t been a change this significant to Excel formulas ever.  Dynamic arrays fundamentally change the way the Excel calc engine works.  They simplify array formulas making easy work of distinct lists, sorting, filtering and more.  Excel no longer requires you to enter array formulas with Ctrl + Shift + Enter and formulae that return multiple results will now automatically ‘spill’ into the cells below and or to the right.

Session outline:

  • What is a dynamic array?
  • Spilled formulas
  • Lots of examples!
Q&A Session

5.00PM - 5.30PM

Q&A session (Microsoft focused)

Steve Kraynak and TBC

Free-for-all Q&A session on all things Microsoft Excel.

Morning

8.00AM - 8.30AM

Registration and arrival refreshments

8.30AM - 9.30AM

Keynote 2

Speaker to be confirmed

Details of keynote to follow.

9.30AM - 10.00AM

Morning tea and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

10.00AM - 10.55AM

Dashboards in Power BI are better than Excel

Mynda Treacy

See what the Power BI hype is all about when I build two interactive dashboards from data spread across multiple files stored in three separate folders and then update it with new data with the click of one button.

Session outline:

  • What is Power BI?
  • Step by step guide to building examples.

10.00AM - 10.55AM

Forecasting Tips

Liam Bastick

Finance professionals need to learn efficient and effective data forecasting methods in order to make effective decisions.  Almost all managerial decisions are based on forecasts of future conditions. Yet it is never finished.

This session looks at what you should consider when building forecasts, and how to build them in a timely, effective and accurate manner.

Session outline:

  • Which forecasting technique when?
  • The problem with Keeping It Simple
  • The problem with not Keeping It Simple
  • Different techniques
  • Forecasting with one click (Excel 2016 onwards).
Concurrent Sessions

11.00AM - 11.55AM

Time Intelligence in Power Pivot

Gašper Kamenšek

Every Data Model needs a good Calendar Table or said differently, every Data Model in Excel needs a time dimension. The main reason for this is not the mere fact that this allows you to slice and dice your data by weeks, months, years… it’s the fact that having a Calendar table in your Data Model allows you to use Time Intelligent functions like DATESYTD, TOTALYTD, DATEADD, PARALLELPERIOD,…All these functions will be the focus of this session backed up by examples of their use.

Session outline:

  • Calendar Table
  • DAX
  • DATESYTD, DATESMTD, DATESQTD
  • DATEADD, PARALLELPERIOD
  • Custom Calendars and fiscal years
  • Dynamic rolling periods and dynamic current periods.

11.00AM - 11.55AM

VBA 101: Back to Basics

Tim Heng

Every year, we have MVPs presenting on how to do all these whiz-bang things in VBA, without ever addressing a core problem – most people simply aren’t across the basics of recording, adapting and extending macros.  This session will go back to basics and address the “where do I start?” questions when you are looking to solve problems and turn to VBA.

Session outline:

  • Recording and adapting macros
  • Understand the high-level do’s and don’ts of working in VBA
  • Learning how to use simple loops and conditions
  • What to consider before you copy and paste code from forums and websites.

Afternoon

Concurrent Sessions

12.00PM - 12.55PM

Automating Laborious Excel Tasks with Power Query

Mynda Treacy

Gone are the days of having to write complex VBA / macros to automate those boring repetitive tasks. With Power Query every Excel user can automate getting, cleaning and transforming messy data, ready for use in your PivotTables and reports.  And next month, with one click of the Refresh button it repeats the steps, just like a macro would, but without having to learn a complex programming language.

Session outline:

  • Automating the gathering of data form folders or multiple worksheets
  • Get data from the web
  • Unpivot messy data into a tabular format ready for PivotTables
  • Automate refreshing and updating queries with new data

12.00PM - 12.55PM

Going from Excel to PowerPoint

Echo Swinford

It’s frustrating to spend a lot of time developing charts or spreadsheets in Excel only to have them blow up when they’re transferred into PowerPoint.  In this session, you’ll learn techniques to make this process easier.

Session outline:

  • Keeping colours and fonts intact
  • Should you link or embed your data?
  • Transferring charts
  • Transferring spreadsheets
  • How to activate a spreadsheet during a presentation.

12.55PM - 1.35PM

Lunch and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

1.35PM - 2.30PM

Data Model in Power BI: Different Approaches

Gašper Kamenšek

The focus of this session will be on two different views of Data Modeling.  We will look at the “Frankenstein’s Models” you can create with Power BI and on the other hand the totally different clean approach to the same model.  We will compare the two by the number of Measures and the number of pages in a report.  They will also be compared by complexity and speed.  All along with this comparison, you will be able to pick up countless ideas for your next Power BI project.

Session outline:

  • Power BI Modelling
  • Setting goals
  • The building of a typical data model
  • Getting the typical data model to work
  • Reimagining the model
  • Conclusion

1.35PM - 2.30PM

Assessing Client Needs

Oz du Soleil

A client can be, in the traditional sense, someone who’s paying you to build a solution.  A client can also be a co-worker who needs a solution because you’re the resident guru.

In this session, Oz will share what he’s learned from assessing client needs.  This is critical because a lot of solutions aren’t adopted because the client’s needs weren’t fully assessed, and the delivered solution is missing a key piece.  Sometimes the client can’t fully articulate their needs.  We have to help them.

Also learn why Oz delivered a beautiful dashboard to a client who commented, “I can tell this is smart, but I kind of hate it.”

Session outline:

  • Who is the client?
  • How to assess client needs
  • Case study examples throughout.
Concurrent Sessions

2.35PM - 3.30PM

Real-World Case Studies Using Power BI and Power Query

Tim Heng

In this session, we’ll put away the AdventureWorks dataset and turn our attention to the wealth of data that is publicly available.  We will apply some of the newer tools within Power BI to analyse non-standard datasets, showing you how easy it is to apply cutting-edge analytical tools to “difficult” websites.  This is pretty new and pretty cool.

Session outline:

  • Use Table from Examples in Power BI
  • Learn how to extract data from ‘unfriendly’ websites
  • Extract headings, values, hyperlinks and ‘hidden’ website variables
  • Add news reports to your financial data.

2.35PM - 3.30PM

Conditional Formatting

Echo Swinford

Conditional formatting is one of the most useful ways to help people wade through dense data and instantly spot outliers and KPIs. This session will show you ways to apply conditional formatting to highlight the good and the bad while avoiding the ugly.

Session outline:

  • Data bars
  • Color scales and heat maps
  • Icon sets
  • Using formulas
  • Hiding numbers
  • Less is more.

3.30PM - 4.00PM

Afternoon tea and networking break
Concurrent Sessions

4.00PM - 5.00PM

Deep Dive into All Six Joins in Power Query

Oz du Soleil

Power Query is an incredible tool for cleansing, merging and segmenting data.  One thing it brings us is a set of six joins that are named things like Inner, Left Anti and Right Outer.  This session is a thorough examination of all six joins and their real world uses.

Session outline:

  • What is a join?
  • Why are they needed
  • Six types of join
  • Examples throughout.

4.00PM - 5.00PM

PivotTables and Slicers

Liam Bastick

Start where we mean to end!  This session provides a refresher on all things PivotTable and Slicer, and how to avoid classic gotchas.  By the end, you will add slicers and timelines like a pro and even be introduced to how to create a PivotTable without refreshing.  Now that makes a refreshing change.

Session outline:

  • Creating a PivotTable
  • PivotCharts vs. Charts
  • Using slicers and timelines
  • Layout tips.
Q&A Session

5.00PM - 5.30PM

Q&A session (Excel focused)

All

Free-for-all Q&A session on all things Microsoft Excel.

PLEASE NOTE

The following agenda has been put together in good faith with the topics and presenters as cited.  However, we do reserve the right to change the order, the timing, the topic or presenter for circumstances beyond our reasonable control (e.g. presenter sickness, transportation issues, change of functionality in Excel, etc.).  If you have any concerns, please contact us before booking.

LOCATION

SPEAKERS

A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford began her PowerPoint career in 1997 working for a medical education communications company, where she was responsible for the development of enduring materials and stand-alone modules for continuing medical education programs.

From Slovenia, a Microsoft MVP since 2015, Gašper is an Excel and Power BI expert, and owner of Excel Olympics.  Gašper has been a speaker at more than 50 conferences and events, and a trainer of more than 900 courses and seminars.

An experienced modeller, Liam headed several modelling teams worldwide before establishing boutique consulting firm SumProduct in Australia.

Steve has been a Program Manager for the Excel team at Microsoft since 2011, and has focussed on many aspects of Excel, including spreadsheet management, search & sensitive information detection, worksheet functions, accessibility, and Excel on Mac and iOS.

An MVP since 2014, Queenslander Mynda started her career as a management accountant in Investment Banking in London.  Nowadays, she shares her Excel knowledge with thousands of Excel enthusiasts through her blog, webinars and weekly Excel newsletters.

US MVP Oz has been working with Excel for almost 20 years. His Excel start was in Customer Service, answering phones and solving customer problems for an international company.

Sydney-based Tim Heng has over 15 years’ experience and is a Director in SumProduct’s Sydney team. Tim has developed and reviewed financial models across a range of industries and sectors, throughout Australia and internationally.

Excel Summit South is an independent conference and is neither sponsored nor approved by Microsoft.

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