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Data Visualization and Dashboards with Excel and Cognos

IBM via Coursera


This course covers some of the first steps in the development of data visualizations using spreadsheets and dashboards. Begin the process of telling a story with your data by creating the many types of charts that are available in spreadsheets like Excel. Explore the different tools of a spreadsheet, such as the important pivot function and the ability to create dashboards and learn how each one has its own unique property to transform your data. Continue to gain valuable experience by becoming familiar with the popular analytics tool - IBM Cognos Analytics - to create interactive dashboards.

By completing this course, you will have a basic understanding of using spreadsheets as a data visualization tool. You will gain the ability to effectively create data visualizations, such as charts or graphs, and will begin to see how they play a key role in communicating your data analysis findings. All of this can be accomplished by learning the basics of data analysis with Excel and IBM Cognos Analytics, without having to write any code. By the end of this course you will be able to describe common dashboarding tools used by a data analyst, design and create a dashboard in a cloud platform, and begin to elevate your confidence level in creating intermediate level data visualizations.

Throughout this course you will encounter numerous hands-on labs and a final project. With each lab, gain hands-on experience with creating basic and advanced charts, then continue through the course and begin creating dashboards with spreadsheets and IBM Cognos Analytics. You will then end this course by creating a set of data visualizations with IBM Cognos Analytics and creating an interactive dashboard that can be shared with peers, professional communities or prospective employers.

This course does not require any prior data analysis, or computer science experience. All you need to get started is basic computer literacy, high school level math, access to a modern web browser such as Chrome or Firefox, the ability to create a Microsoft account to access Excel for the Web, and a basic understanding of Excel spreadsheets.


  • Visualizing Data Using Spreadsheets
    • In this module, you will be introduced to the basics of charts and the Excel functions that are used to create basic charts and pivot chart visualizations. By learning how to manipulate these features and creating visualizations, you will begin to understand the important role charts play in telling a data-driven story.
  • Creating Visualizations and Dashboards with Spreadsheets
    • In this module, you will learn about creating advanced charts and visualizations and learn about the basics of dashboarding and how to create a simple dashboard using a spreadsheet.
  • Creating Visualizations and Dashboards with Cognos Analytics
    • In this module, you will be introduced to another dashboarding solution called Cognos Analytics. After registering with Cognos Analytics, you will then explore the platform capabilities by creating visualizations, building a simple dashboard, and discovering its advanced features.
  • Final Project
    • Congratulations! You have now completed the modules for this course. In this module, you will complete the final assignment that will be graded by your peers. In the first part of the final assignment, you will use provided sample data to create some visualizations using Excel for the web. In the second part of the final assignment, you will create some visualizations and add them to a dashboard using Cognos Analytics.

Taught by

Sandip Saha Joy and Steve Ryan

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