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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

On this page we will answer frequently asked questions, please check here before posting your own questions on the discussion forum.

Questions concerning Certificate, Videos, Quizes, Exercises:

When is the deadline to register for a Verified Certificate?

You will be able to choose Verified Certificate registration for at least 2 weeks after the start of the course. However, we will do our best to extend it for the whole duration of the course (8 weeks).

Is there a specific time when I should be online to follow this course?

There are no specific time you should be online. Every week we release new content (always on Tuesdays) and you will get an email when it is released. You can watch videos and try quizzes anytime, but the quizzes will have deadlines.

Can I download the videos for offline viewing?

Yes, the links will be available in video description, including subtitles and PowerPoint slides.

The same videos are showed multiple times, is this correct? 

Yes, this is correct. In one section, one lecture / video is covered. However, during some lectures like lecture 2.1, Felienne asks in-video exercises to become more familiar with the course material. These questions are on the next tab within the learning unit. After answering that question, you can continue with the second (or third) part of the lecture, again on the next tab. You can navigate to this tab via the ribbon above the video / exercises or below via the arrows.

I answered multiple-choice question correctly and it showed me that another answer is correct. Why?

This is a common confusion - when you answer a question correctly, green check-mark will appear in the top left corner of the question. This does not mean that the first offered answer is correct. Correct answers will be indicated by green check-mark on the right of the correct answer. Please, see this example.

I cannot find the Excel file for the exercise.

Please take a close look to the introduction of the exercise, the word 'here' in "...  you can find the spreadsheet here  ... " provides a download.

General Excel questions:

I have a different version of Excel (e.g. Excel 2007 or Excel 2011 for Mac), can I use it for this course?

You will be able to do most of the things shown in the videos. Some functionalities of Excel might be found at slightly different places however. Here are some examples of things that will be harder to implement without Excel 2013:

  • Using linked datamodels (end of week 3)
  • Using PowerMap (end of week 3)
  • If you have Excel for a different operating system, you may need to use an alternative in place of DataNitro. We suggest using xlwings, which runs on both Mac and Windows.

I do not have access to any version of Excel, can I use alternatives like OpenOffice, LibreOffice or Google docs?

You will be able to do a lot of the things outlined in the videos and exercises in these alternative programs as well. However, we (the course staff) do not offer extensive support for these alternatives and some functionalities might simply be missing from them.

Do I have to pay for Microsoft Office 2013 and DataNitro?

You can use free 60-days trial Microsoft Office 2013 Evaluation version or one month trial Office 365. DataNitro is also available for 30 days in trial version.

The real fanatics can even dive into the preview version of Microsoft Excel 2016 (though, we do not support this version).

Special selected offer:

DataNitro offers you, as our very appreciated Edx Mooc students, a 50% discount for a DataNitro license. For if you decide to purchase it during this or after the course. If so, you can access the discount here with the code "edx". Be aware, the offer is available until 1st July 2015. 

Function names in other languages

Non-English Excel versions will not be able to show the English function names, there are at least no free packages available to transform Excel from your own language to the English one. There are a few workarounds. 

1.) Install a trial version of MS Excel 2013 (English). Microsoft Office 2013 Evaluation or Office 365

2.) Use this website or this website to find the corresponding function name for your own language.

Change decimal separator:

I cannot multiply two numbers.

Some numbers are aligned left, others right. 

All these types of questions have the same origin. In this case one of the numbers is not recognised as a number, but as a string. That is why the numbers are aligned left or you are unable to calculate with them. 

There are several workarounds, depending on the cause of this deficiency.

1.) Isolate a number from a text string with stringformulas like =LEFT(), =RIGHT() or MID()

In this case, Excel treats the result of a string formula also as a string. In other words, independent whether the result is pure numerical, Excel holds it for a string. Meaning that you cannot use them in calculations. 

Solution, add =VALUE()  around your formula, and Excel will return the number. 

2.) The numbers contains the wrong decimal seperator. 

Your system settings consider "." for a decimal separator and "," for a thousand separator. However, your (imported) source data uses the separator the other way around. So "," as decimal separator and "." as thousand separator.

Solutions, there are different ways to tackle this problem. 

a.) When all your data is founded on other separator settings, or for a significant amount of your job, consider to change your system settings. 

Control panel --> regional settings (or region and language) --> choose another format or click 'additional settings' and change the separators

b.) When you have just one worksheet with inversed separator settings, consider to change the Workbook settings. 

File --> Excel options --> advanced settings --> uncheck 'using system seperator settings' and define your own case.

c.) When you have imported data you can replace all "," for "." or the other way around with find replace. See this forum topic for a better explanation 

Questions belonging to week 1:

I can not submit my location in the first week's "Introduce Yourself".

Please make sure you also type a minimum of ten words about yourself, otherwise your answer can not be accepted.

I do not have a clue how the text functions work, nor how to start. 

We encouraged you to search on the forum for previous questions and answers, since there are a lot of very usefull posts on this topic already. Read for example this post, which gives a very clear explanation about text functions. 

Import webdata, it goes to fast, I cannot see what Felienne is doing. 

Please take a look at these slides (they are posted below the videos). Here you can follow all the steps at your own pace. 

Import webdata, I do not see the black arrows at the tables

There should be black arrows at the lower left corner for every table you can import to MS Excel. Sometimes the black arrows are not there. Please toggle the yellow button with the black arrow and red cross in the upper left corner. See this picture.

Import webdata, I run into error messages

Please use the full webaddress, now you should be able to ignore (possible) error messages and be able to import the data into Excel.

Import webdata on Mac Excel 2011: 

See for example this post about this topic.

Import webdata in LibreOffice Calc:

See for example this post about this topic.

Questions belonging to week 2:


IFERROR(value, value_if_error) is introduced with Excel 2007 and combines the IF() and ISERROR() functions. It checks the "value" on all possible Excel errors, including #VALUE!, #N/A, #NAME?, #REF!, #NUM!, #DIV/0!, and #NULL!. 

IFNA(value, value_if_na) is introduced with Excel 2013 and only return a value if the value returns the #N/A error. 

Questions belonging to week 3:

The power of Pivot tables to aggregate data.

Pivot tables are very good in aggregating data, that is grouping data. For example group all the data within a month, based on a date column. See for explanation this post.

I have an issue with adding a relationship between tables in Data Model.

These relations are bidirectional - if relation "Sheet1 -> Sheet2" does not work, try to make it in opposite direction ("Sheet2 -> Sheet1"). Detailed explanation can be found here.

Questions belonging to week 4:

I made a data table in Excel 2010 (or earlier), but I cannot add a slicer. 

In video 4.3 at 3:10 Felienne showed a nice tool to filter data in 'data tables' with a slicer. This function is supported by Excel from 2013 onwards, meaning that all earlier versions, like 2007, 2010 etc does not support this functionality.

For other spreadsheet programs then Excel, we do not have problems encountered yet. If there are any, please share your solution, so others can make use of this as well.

Questions belonging to week 6:

Install Expector for windows.

We are hard at work to create an installation link for Expector. We are sorry for the inconvenience!

Install Expector for Mac

We are hard at work to create an installation link for Expector. We are sorry for the inconvenience!

Expector for non Microsoft Excel users. 

Unfortunately, this tool is only designed for Microsoft Excel. So alternative software packages like OpenOffice, LibreOffice or Google docs are not supported. Note the assignments are not mandatory. So it will not effect your proceedings on Edx.