Masterclass: Critical Skills for Strategic Forecasting & Reporting Success

This masterclass is intended to give analysts, managers and senior managers (would-be and otherwise) an overview of the key concepts, tools and skills to undertake timely and efficient strategic forecasting and reporting in the 21st century.

Insight + Hindsight = Foresight

How often have you looked back with the benefit of hindsight and wished you knew then what you know now? How do you compare what actually happened with what you thought would happen? Have you a strategic appreciation of your company’s future and which milestones will show you’re on track?

This masterclass considers what should be considered before wading straight into Excel, Power Query, Power BI, financial models et al.  Too often, managers cannot see the wood for the trees and this course looks at ways this may be avoided and the tools / metrics / techniques that can help.  Aimed at analysts, consultants, practitioners and managers alike, this masterclass considers some of the key items to consider – and how Excel and its associated tools may help.

Key topics covered include:

  • Mind mapping your business
    • Critical Success Factors vs. Key Performance Indicators
    • BCG matrix and the project life cycle
    • Using strategy tables to scope your models
    • Understanding STOP
    • Do you need a consultant?  The advantages and disadvantages of third parties
  • Forecasting
    • How BCG and the product life cycle determine how you forecast / model
    • Different methods of forecasting, including regression analysis
    • Creating regression models in Excel
    • Hockey sticks and swordfishes
    • Seasonality and cyclicality
    • Assessing accuracy
    • Historical vs. actual vs. forecasting
  • Analysing your data
    • Breakeven analysis
    • Activity Based Costing
    • Variance analysis
    • Scenario analysis
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Simulations analysis
    • Ratio analysis
    • Model bias
  • Presenting your data
  • Which chart when?
  • Colours and variables
  • Creating a rolling chart, budget and commentary
  • Multiple bullet, waterfall and tornado charts

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this masterclass you will be able to:

  • Practically explain data forecasting and budgeting
  • Quantify the risks and rewards of estimating future assumptions
  • Explore different forecasting and trending methods
  • Develop several ways to analyse and present key outputs.


Aimed at all finance professionals / decision-makers involved in the budgeting and forecasting process, this course shows you how to reduce the risks in your decision-making and recommendations by using budgets, qualitative and quantitative analysis, by utilising our kit bag of tips, tools, tricks and techniques.

Data Modelling & Formulas Data Visualization & Reporting