Best Excel Courses Online

Excel and Google Spreadsheet is a basic skill today as it is needed for many jobs, from a sales manager to a data analyst. This tool is simple and very powerful at the same time as you can solve a bunch of issues in one place. This means that knowing what Excel has to offer would only benefit you and can help with career growth.

Why learn Excel and Google Spreadsheets

The main question you should always ask yourself is “Why do you need this?”; otherwise, your effort can be waste of time.

Excel is very useful for many tasks:

  • Data storage (text-based or numerical data) – it allows to keep a different kind of information in one place and do different operations with this data.
  • Data analysis – this tool offers a lot of functions to clean, filter, and modify the information so to get useful insights from it.
  • Math – it offers a huge number of mathematical operations which you can perform with your data; and those operations can also be combined and automated in different ways.
  • Visualization – with this tool, you can do different charts and graphs which provide visual answer to the data.
  • Collaboration – with Google Spreadsheets (which is the main online alternative to traditional Excel), many people can work simultaneously on one task in one document.

Excel skills by levels

Let’s start with what skills describe each level of knowledge:

  • Beginner. Basic formulas (SUM, IF, AVERAGE, MAX, etc), basic filtering and formatting, creating charts.
  • Intermediate. Pivot tables, VLOOKUP, SUMIFS, INDEX MATCH, REGEX, importing data from external sources, Data Analysis Expressions (DAX).
  • Advanced. Power Query (similar to SQL), Macros and VBA (programming in Excel), data modeling, and forecasting. 

This classification would be helpful in understanding what online Excel course is the best fit to improve your skills with this tool.

Best Excel Course

Everyday Excel Specialization by Coursera

This program by Coursera consists of three courses. The first one is for beginners and covers a number of beginner-to-advanced financial, logical, and text functions to data visualization. The second course reveals more advanced topics (advanced data management techniques and financial calculations in Excel and also includes advanced Excel tools like Data Tables, Goal Seek, and Solver Regression tool; this one shows how to perform “what-if” analyses and building predictive regression models. The last section is a project-based course.

  • Consists of 3 courses
  • Beginner level
  • 4.7 rating (based on 1,561 reviews)

Best Excel for Data Analysis Classes


Data Analysis in Excel by Datacamp

This course on Microsoft Excel consists of three sections, Exploring Data (a free one), Preparing Data, and Analyzing Data. The first section covers how to understand data and its types, clean it, and classify it. The second and the third sections show important functions like VLOOKUP, counting (different cases of using COUNTIF(s) functions), Math functions, logical and conditional operations, and other topics.

  • 4 hours
  • 48 exercises

Introduction to Data Analysis using Excel by EdX

The course of 4 sections is designed for complete beginners and shows how to work with tables (filtering, sorting, calculations). Its feature is that there is in-depth coverage of pivot tables (3 out of 4 weeks are dedicated to this topic).

4 weeks (2–4 hours per week)

Excel Skills for Data Analytics and Visualization Specialization by Coursera

This program includes three courses which you can take them separately: Excel Fundamentals for Data Analysis (covers topics from fundamentals of working with data to practical like formatting, sorting and filtering, performing calculations, etc), Data Visualization (shows to visualize data with conditional formatting, charts, and interactive dashboards), and Excel Power Tools for Data Analysis (working with Power Query and Power BI). 

  • 3 courses
  • 4 months

Data Analysis with Excel for Complete Beginners by Futurelearn

The course consists of four sections where the first one gets you to the fundamental topics like Data Structures and Data Analysis Methods, while including also such interesting ones as Data Analysis in Context and Data Ethics. The next sections cover topics of essential functions (like creating pivot tables) and data visualization. The last course is Essential Mathematics for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel, where students can learn common statistics and math functions. Moreover, it’s quite a business-focused course with practical assignments like Profitability Analysis and Finding Anomalies or final topics like Business Statistics and Business KPIs.

  • 10 weeks (5 hrs/week)

Best Google Sheets Classes

Spreadsheet Fundamentals (Datacamp) 

This course is designed to teach the main Excel alternative by Google – Google spreadsheets. The course covers such topics as data types and how to operate them, main data analysis with main functions (SUM, AVERAGE, and VLOOKUP), pivot tables, and data visualization (charts, dashboards, conditional formatting).

  • 4 courses
  • 15 hours

Google Sheets – The Comprehensive Masterclass (Udemy)

This class combines all the Google Sheets-related topics in one place. It covers main functions (VLOOKUP, INDEX & MATCH, FILTER & SORTN, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, etc.), working with more advanced POWER QUERY function, creating pivot tables and charts, and finally (the most advanced topic), automating work with macros and Google Apps Script. By the way, Leila Gharani, the author of the course, has also an excellent Youtube channel, where she covers Excel issues. 

Best Advanced Excel Courses

Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving Specialization (Coursera)
This is a set of 3 courses (the first two explain Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and how to use it, and the last one is a project to practice). The first course shows how to create macros for the automation of routine Excel tasks and provides the basics of programming structures in VBA. The second one covers the essentials of working with arrays, text strings, and shows how to automate the import, modification, and consolidation of information from multiple worksheets. The third one is a project to implement the skills learned.

  • 3 courses

Microsoft Excel Programming (Pluralsight) 

This program includes 8 courses grouped by complexity (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels). The first course is Recording and Managing Excel Macros (which is a good one for beginners to start with Excel automation). Four courses within the intermediate level are focused on logical, statistical, and lookup operations. The last section includes two courses for using Excel’s Visual Basic for Applications.

  • Over 8 hours of video
  • 8 courses

Master Excel Power Query (Udemy)  

This one is focused on Power Query in Excel and also shows Power BI basics. It starts with the fundamentals of Power Query (why this function is powerful, how to transform, combine, and append data with PQ, etc). The second section proceeds to advanced techniques with Power Query (Power Pivot, merging data, advanced problem solving). It also includes practical assignments (like Report on HR Data).

Over 16 hours of video
Over 200 workbooks included

Best Data Visualization in Excel Courses

Data Visualization with Advanced Excel (Coursera)

This course consists of 4 weeks (1 week=1 topic). The first topic cover building relational models and visualizing data with PowerPivot. The second topic explains three important analytical methods: scenario analysis, sensitivity analysis, and simulation. The next two topics are focused on data visualization (starting with data visualization theory and finishes with creating charts and dashboards) and building interactive dashboards.

~ 15 hours to complete

Visually Effective Excel Dashboards (Udemy) 

The course is focused on creating charts and advanced dashboards. It covers building Pivot Table-based dashboards, professional reports, and KPI dashboards, and also creating interactivity dashboards.

  • Over 10 hours of video content


Can I learn Excel online for free? Yes, you can learn it for free with Youtube tutorials or by taking free online courses (free trials of paid courses). However, when you paid for a course, you might be more motivated to finish it.

Can I learn Excel in a week? You can learn the very basic Excel functions and formulas in a week but this time is not enough to gain deeper skills.

Stacey M.
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