44: Danielle Stein Fairhurst – Financial Modelling in Excel

Danielle Stein Fairhurst – Financial Modelling in Excel Specialist

Danielle started out in Investment Banking during the London boom-time of the ‘90s and has been using Excel ever since! As Principal Consultant of Plum Solutions, she is regularly engaged as a speaker, course facilitator, financial modeling consultant and analyst. She runs many training seminars around Australia and globally on the subjects of Financial Modeling using Excel, Budgeting & Forecasting and Data Analysis & Reporting.

In Danielle’s Words

I’ve been a financial modelling for my whole career and I live and breathe Excel. The second edition of my book “Using Excel for Business Analysis: a Guide to Financial Modelling Fundamentals” was published in April 2015.

Although I’m based in Sydney, Australia I run regular training seminars around Australia and internationally (mostly Asia and the Middle East) for conference organisers or company in-house training. I founded the LinkedIn Financial Modelling in Excel Group which now has over 40,000 members, as well as its global networking Modellers’ Meetup groups.

Rick Grantham
Follow Me


Season 03

You may also like

August 5, 2014

14: Jon Acampora, Excel MVP
  • Hello Danielle, I am looking forward to hearing from you! I’d like to know more about your LinkedIn group and how you grew the membership like that and what it has done for your business. I have a small LinkedIn group that gets the occasional request to join but I have yet to really have other members posting things or starting conversations, etc. Wondering if you have any tips there? Thank you!

    • Hey George, nice to “meet” you! Yes I think I was just a bit lucky being the first one to set up a group like that. LinkedIn is one of the best social networks for people like us and it’s definitely worth investing some time in there. I see a lot of people who start working on their LinkedIn profile as soon as they start looking for a job but it’s a lot more effective to collect connections, endorsements and recommendations along the way as it’s the first place people will look when considering you for a job or a project. I know that’s not really the question you asked but I didn’t really do anything to promote the group except to be active on LinkedIn and other social media, like you.

  • Looking forward to your session Danielle – good to see a fellow Australian on the show.

    Would be interesting to see how you have seen training course participants foundation knowledge from University or previous corporate training change over the last few years. I have seen some universities take Excel / modelling training seriously, but this tends to be limited to top US business schools only. Any thoughts on this?


    • Here is my list:
      1) Awesome “Ninja” [Excel…Add your application of choice here] skills
      2) A substantial understanding of business processes in general
      3) The ability to listen for client pain points and ask questions to clarify those
      4) Killer presentation skills – to explain your solution
      5) Trendy data visualization skills – because the result needs to make sense and look pretty
      6) A good grip on statistical analysis – so you can dissect the data
      7) Some programming skills – so you can massage your application if the project requires it
      8) Project management discipline – so you can deliver on time….
      9) A never die attitude that allows you to work through the problem until you get the right solution and
      10) a host of fellow modellers who you can ask if you get stuck, or the right phrases to enter in Google or YouTube 😉

    • Excel-related
      • Have a good understanding of the Excel interface and formulas;
      • Able to use combination of Excel functions to achieve modelling tasks;
      • Familiarize with the shortcut keys (makes your work more efficient);
      • The ability to import and handle data in Excel.

      • Ability to understand the financial statements, making appropriate adjustments
      • Valuation techniques (DCF, ratio analysis etc.)

      Modeling skill
      • Able to structure a model that is transparent, easy to maintain and update
      (separating inputs, calculations and outputs)
      • Ability to transform complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand
      financial model
      • Breaking down complex issues into small building blocks for easier modeling
      • Using graphics / graphs to visualize the key findings of the analysis
      • Able to create models that within the budgeted time and identify the cost / benefit
      issues when designing the complexity of the model

      • Good interpersonal and communication skill so as to understand client’s needs
      and tailor-made the model which suits their needs.

  • Some of the different skills for Financial Modelling are:
    Understanding of the business and data being reported on
    Insight into reporting requirements and the end vision
    Data interpretation skills
    Data Visualisation skills
    A model that can be self serviced and manipulated by the end user to drill into the depth of detail required

  • On page 169 of your financial modeling for dummies the link to summary!b9 is fine. I get 20%. But, after when I have selected the range and chose data table and linked to A4 I only get 20% down the entire row. Not 12%, 15% etc as in your book. When I go to do the same in your own file 0802.xlsx it doesn’t work either. However, if I go to 0803. where the work has been done it works even after I have deleted it and done the range again. What am I missing? Should I be giving it a name range first, etc. Thank you Adrian Markocki

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Free 24 Excel Tips Guide

    Discover the secrets to Excel efficiency with our free guide: '24 Proven Microsoft Excel Tips to Help You Save Time'

    A humble gift from us to you, to make your Excel journey smoother and more productive. Grab your copy now and start mastering Excel like never before!