Scottish Training Resources Hub

Microsoft Excel Training Courses in Scotland.Welcome to Microsoft Training Courses Scotland. This blog is intended as a training resources hub for Microsoft courses across Scotland. You will find links to Scottish training providers, as well as comments on the services they provide.

Microsoft training can vary enormously in price and quality. Expect to pay around £280 + VAT per person for the average public Microsoft office course, e.g. Excel, Word etc. This can be a good solution if you are an individual looking to increase your skills. However, if you are an organisation with 2 or more staff to train you should think about going the onsite training route.

Many Companies can now provide training onsite at your own offices and often for far less than the cost of public training. Most will charge a group rate which can work at as little as £100 per delegate and possibly even less. Look for a training provider who will supply all the equipment needed, such as a projector and screen. Some will even provide laptops so that you can use any office for your training. They will normally make small charge for this but you shouldn’t need to pay more than £20 per laptop.

Do check back often as we will be posting regular updates on local running public courses, as well as the latest information regarding onsite training options.

3 Guidelines to Simplify Your Excel PivotTables

PivotTables are one of the most useful of all tolls in Excel; however their use causes some concern with many users. This is due sin part because there appears to be no definite rules when building PivotTables. If you have let’s say 8 columns of data this will produce 8 PivotTable ‘fields’, but there are only 4 ‘field areas’ – so where do they all go?! The answer is that whilst there may be no definite rules for the construction of PivotTables, there are three very useful guidelines which help greatly when building them.

First Identify your Values

The first guideline is to initially isolate all of your ‘value fields’. These fields will almost always need to be placed into the value field area which is situated in the bottom right hand corner of the values pane. It doesn’t matter how many values there are as you can simply stack them on top of each other by clicking and dragging into the particular area. The order in which you stack these values will determine the sequence in which they appear from right to left in the actual PivotTable. The first value field will appear in column A with the next one down in the list appearing in column B and so on. In this way you can take care of many of your columns of data in one go.

Order your Rows & Columns

The second guideline concerns the row fields. As with value fields, the order in which you stack these will determine the sequence in which they appear within the PivotTable itself. One handy piece of advice is to consider the fields which are to be placed in rows and determine how many separate areas of data relate to each one. For instance if you have one field for months and another for quarters, there will of course only be 4 quarters as compared with 12 months. If you therefore click and drag the quarters onto the row area first, followed by the months, you will create a form of data hierarchy which will make filtering and analysis somewhat easier.

Set up Report Filters

The third guideline is in respect of the ‘Report filter’. Bringing columns into this field creates a filter which sits outside of the PivotTable itself. This enables us to filter all of the date within the PivotTable in one action. What can be useful about the Report filter is that because it is located outside of the main table, we can bring multiple fields into this area that we might otherwise struggle to find a logical place for. Therefore, any fields that you have left over after laying out the basic PivotTable can be brought into the report field area, providing you with enhanced filtering capability.

PivotTables are an immensely useful tool in Excel, but many are put off using them due to the amount of data in their spreadsheet. The hope is that this article might encourage more people to experiment with them and eventually include them in their daily office work .

Online Tutor-Led Training

As an alternative to onsite and public training courses, there is now the option of live online tutor-led courses. Many people who have tried ordinary online training have found it difficult to learn to use software in this way. Even if the course is well written you are likely to have questions and support is often very poor.

However, with live online training you work with a real tutor who guides you through the modules in just the same was as a public or onsite course. You can see the trainer along with their desktop as they demonstrate the software and can ask questions at any time. The cost can also be considerably less than the price of a public or in-house training program, typically around the £200 mark.  However, there are relatively few providers who deliver this type of training at the moment. Two such Companies are QA and PBA Training.  Both refer to their online training as ‘Virtual Courses‘ and provide online tuition across the full range of Microsoft Office applications. QA also offer Virtual Classes on some Microsoft Technical courses.

Prices vary somewhat with QA charging around £300 per delegate and PBA Training coming in at £225. You can read full details on both providers’ courses below:

Onsite Excel Training in Glasgow

National Microsoft training provider Paul Brown Associates Ltd have announced on their blog that they are now delivering onsite training right across Scotland, including Glasgow. Their group rates start from as low as £55 per person, including all training equipment. They also provide laptops for a small hire charge of £15 / laptop per day. Whilst their laptop charges are not the cheapest around, their training certainly appears to represent good value for money, especially when you read their testimonials. For full details read the full blog post here.