Finance Data Analysis

Discover how data analysis can enable you to provide valuable insights to your business and clients. This pathway provides the tools, technologies, and methodologies you need to ensure you play a key part in decision making.

access 365 days' access
cpd hours 21 CPD Hours
price £330+vat €380+vat HK$3300 A$650NZ$760

As finance professionals, we understand data and use it every day. How can we analyse data for the good of our business? Through this pathway you will discover what data analysis is and how to use tools and technologies to analyse data. Improve your knowledge of Excel, statistics, data visualisation and financial models, and learn how you can utilise new skills to predict and plan your organisation's future. This pathway will enable you to use data analysis to have a real impact on your business or clients, and to become an essential part of decision making.

  • This pathway addresses all of ACCA's seven key technical and professional data analysis skills as specified in their report "Analytics in finance and accountancy"
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In this pathway


Supporting your journey to the next stage of your career


The tools, techniques, and skills you need to provide valuable business insights


Learn where you want, when you want

Certificate of Achievement

21 verifiable hours of CPD, an assessment and a Certificate of Achievement

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Learning resources

Immerse yourself in the rich variety of articles, videos, activities, quizzes, discussions, and more, to develop your understanding and skills.

Expert interviews

Find out how data analysis works like in the real-world from our prestigious team of experts in the areas of Excel, data modelling, visualisations, financial models, data protection and decision making in accounting.

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Action plan

Build up a practical plan of how you will put your new skills into action, and download a convenient summary of all the learning to take away.


Achieving 75% on the multiple choice assessment is required to complete the career progression pathway. The assessment features two questions on each topic that has been covered.

Secure certification screenshot
Secure certification screenshot

Secure certification

Once you've finished the programme, you will receive a unique and secure Certificate of Achievement as evidence of your new understanding and capabilities.

This Career Progression Pathway is divided into six sections corresponding to the key Finance Data Analysis skills you will need to develop. Complete all six to unlock the end of pathway assessment and access your Certificate of Achievement.

Data analysis presents businesses with a way of gaining insights and creating value, and it presents you with a chance to be the heart of that value creation. This first section introduces the concept of data analysis and looks at some of the basics involved in working with data.

  1. Foundations of data analysis
  2. Data protection
  3. Analysing data

It is now easier than ever to use Excel to work with large and complex datasets, and as such it can often be your first port of call when analysing data. Here we cover some key Excel skills to have at your disposal, and look at how to clean and prepare data so that it is fit for purpose.

  1. Recent improvements
  2. Essential Excel skills
  3. Data preparation

In this section we see how to use statistics to simplify your data, and how to create models and relationships between multiple tables and sources of data to help you uncover deeper insights.

  1. Descriptive statistics
  2. Hypothesis testing
  3. Getting started with Power BI
  4. Modelling with Power Pivot
  5. Modelling with DAX

A core part of finance data analysis is telling the story of the data. You need to be able to present your findings in a straightforward and compelling way, so that they can be easily understood by others, whatever their level of technical expertise. Techniques available to do this include charts, graphs, reports, interactive dashboards, and more.

  1. Communicating via data
  2. Engaging dashboards
  3. Highlighting issues

As well as looking backwards, data analysis can help you look ahead and better prepare your organisation for an uncertain future. One way to do this is to use financial models, which take existing data and extrapolate from that to predict potential outcomes and to support decision making.

  1. Building spreadsheet models
  2. Successful business simulations

At its core, data analysis is about to supporting your organisation to achieve its goals. Even the most accurate data analysis is pointless if you don't know how to use what you've learned to make an impact. Armed with insights from the data, your organisation can improve decisions and strategy, reduce costs, function more efficiently, protect itself from threats, and take advantage of the opportunities available.

  1. Data-based strategy
  2. Data-driven decisions
  3. Business performance management
  4. Technology disruptors

Once you have completed all the elements of the pathway, you can take the assessment to access your Certificate of Achievement.


Lead Consultant

Samuel Ellis

Samuel Ellis

Samuel Ellis is a chartered accountant with experience working in private accounting firms and a number of high growth businesses. He has spent the past six years working as Head of Finance for InterWorks, a global specialist data consulting practice. Sam was the founding Chair of the ACCA's Global Technology Forum and currently Chair of ACCA's Member Advisory Committee and a member of the ACCA's International Assembly.

Other contributing faculty

Paula Guilfoyle

Paula Guilfoyle

Paula Guilfoyle is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland and accountingcpd.netís resident expert on all things to do with Excel and Power BI. In this pathway, she is the author of many of the modules on excel and data modelling with Power BI and DAX, as well as the presentation and visualisation of data.

Becky Reid

Becky Reid

Becky Reid is a digital marketing consultant & practitioner with over 20 years marketing experience across, amongst others, automotive, publishing and fire protection industries. Becky is an expert in conducting data protection audits and training clients on how to manage their data. Becky is the author on Data Protection in this pathway.

Ross Maynard

Ross Maynard

Ross Maynard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for over 20 years, specialising in process improvement and lean for finance teams. He has presented at lean conferences in the UK, Australia, Italy and Denmark and has written many articles and blogs on process improvement. Ross has written the modules in this pathway on Spreadsheet Models and Business Simulations, on Business Performance Management, and on Highlighting Issues.

Yusuf Justin Holcroft

Yusuf Justin Holcroft

Yusuf Justin Holcroft is a Director of CTS Consulting and Training Specialists, a company specialised in business rescue, turnaround and expansion. He became Trade Development Manager at Coca-Cola Amatil Austria in 1996, and subsequently worked with the Iams Company and Procter & Gamble fulfilling country manager roles for Austria, Switzerland and South Africa. He is the author in this pathway of the module entitled Data-Based Strategy.

Anna Faherty

Anna Faherty

Anna Faherty is a writer, editor, researcher and educator who has written extensively for accountingcpd on topics as diverse as ethics and strategy. She is an expert in the communication of complex ideas. Anna has delivered numerous workshops and webinars for ACCA and the AIA and has lectured at City University, Kingston University, Oxford Brookes University and University College London. Anna is the author of the module on Data-driven Decisions in this pathway.