44: Danielle Stein Fairhurst – Financial Modelling in Excel - Excel TV
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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.

Danielle’s Books & Training

Danielle has a book as well as online Financial Modelling training for every level of analyst.  Follow the link/button below to explore her products.

Click to Check Out Danielle’s Products

Check Out The Full Episode Below

Have A Comment or Question For Danielle?

Leave a comment below.  Danielle LOVES questions

  • George Mount says:

    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!

    • Danielle Stein Fairhurst says:

      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.

  • Rickard Warnelid says:

    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?

    Cheers,
    Rickard
    http://www.corality.com

    • Danielle Stein Fairhurst says:

      Hey Rickard! Yes that’s an interesting question. I’ve certainly noticed an increased in the level of general acceptance and acknowledgment of financial modelling as a discipline in its own right and I think that is finally translating into better skills in general by analysts and it’s never been more important. (http://www.plumsolutions.com.au/articles/demand-financial-modelling-skills-reaches-new-heights) I’ve definitely noticed a slow but steady increase in the skill level of my delegates in the Middle East over the years I’ve been going there. From what I see though, universities still expect graduates to somehow learn this stuff by osmosis with the exception of this very cool professor at the University of Texas that one of the Meetup members shared with me the other day: https://www.facebook.com/UTAustinTX/videos/10153425716701930/

  • What do you need to be a good financial modeller? What skills are needed?

    • Danielle Stein Fairhurst says:

      Hey everyone and thanks for having me on the show! This is the question for the course giveaway. If you need any hints, check out this blog post: http://www.plumsolutions.com.au/articles/skills-needed-financial-modelling

    • Johan van Dyk says:

      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 😉

    • Matthew Leung says:

      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.

      Finance-related
      • 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

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

  • Snook says:

    Another top episode about a topic I’m particularly interested in.

    Challenge answer: Peedy the Parrot

  • Jo says:

    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

  • Ernest says:

    Great episode! Almost thought you said Excel is your husband 🙂

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