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ACA (ICAEW)

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Data Analytics

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Data Analytics Analyst Pathway

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ICAEW Data Analytics Certificate - Analyst Pathway

Employers have an increased demand for data analytics and data science skills, and finance professionals are ideally placed to develop their skills in this area.

This course will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to analyse and report on business data, and support evidence based decisions.

Analyst Pathway:

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Analyst Case Study Only:

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This course is designed for finance professionals who want to develop their skills in data analytics so that they are able to provide evidence based decision support within their business and to clients.

Once you’ve completed the case study, you’ll be awarded with the ICAEW Data Analytics certificate (Analyst pathway).

Key course features:

ICAEW Data Analytics Certificate - Analyst Pathway:
  • Designed for finance professionals who want to learn and develop their skills in data analytics
  • Practical not theoretical, with real case studies relevant to finance
  • Modularised into 40 hours learning plus 20 hours case study
  • 100% online course allowing you to work at your own pace through a structured learning route
  • Curated content from DataCamp incorporated within the course
  • 12 months online access to DataCamp’s 400+ courses is included in the price. With courses covering technologies such as Python, R, Power BI, and Tableau for all levels of ability, you can continue to develop your data skills
  • Certificate upon successful completion of Case Study
ICAEW Data Analytics Certificate - Analyst Pathway (case study only):
  • Designed for professionals experienced in Data Analytics seeking to confirm their competence
  • Suited to those already experienced in data analytics and Python programming
  • 20 hour case study
  • Certificate upon successful completion

Course overview

Course description

This course is tailored to finance professionals who want to develop their data analytics and visualisation skills. Once you’ve completed the case study, you’ll be awarded the ICAEW Data Analytics certificate (Analyst pathway).

The course will teach you the data analytics process and give you the knowledge and practical skills to harness and make sense of data. You will also learn and understand what it means for the business. You’ll be taught how to use data to solve business problems and learn how to effectively communicate to influence decision making.

What you learn throughout the course will be used to do practical tasks using Python. You don’t need any previous experience of Python coding. The course includes an introduction to Python to give Excel users the knowledge needed to progress.

The course has been created for finance professionals. It is structured to develop your learning through knowledge and application. Each module includes:

  • an introduction section that explains the relevance of the topic to finance.
  • a knowledge component - core learning through a combination of DataCamp instructional videos and e-learning resources.
  • an application section - the concepts and techniques you have learned are related back to the finance profession.
  • finance specific examples to showcase how the analytics techniques are used in the profession.

You’ll have the opportunity to apply learning to two finance datasets included within the learning resources.

Once you’ve completed the learning, you will do the case study in which you’ll take on the role of analyst for a company. You will be tasked with identifying whether a target company meets the investment criteria for a private equity firm. You’ll apply the analytical skills you have learnt to a data set. You will have to effectively communicate your findings to support decision making.

Once you’ve completed the case study, you’ll be awarded with the ICAEW Data Analytics certificate (Analyst pathway).

If you’re already confident working with data and have an enough understanding of the data analytics process and using Python for programming that you don’t need to undertake the whole course. We’ve created a case study only option, so you can still gain the Certificate to confirm your competence in this field.

Course outline

The Data Analytics Analyst Pathway course consists of five units and a case study:

1. Understanding business context
In analytics, business context is everything. In this unit we explore:

  • The need to work with stakeholders to understand the business requirement before applying a data analytics solution.
  • The analytical process, how it fits with finance, the practical steps of setting up an analytics project and the skills required.
  • How to identify relevant data sources.
  • Data architecture, data management, data quality and governance.

2. Data wrangling
Data wrangling is the critical process of converting a big dataset from its raw form to a structured format that will enable you to perform advanced tasks such as predictive analytics and anomaly detection.

By the end of this unit, you’ll be able to recognise data types and structures; learn how to code in Python and use it to import, manage and merge data, and identify and resolve data quality errors.

3. Understanding and analysing data
In this unit, you’ll learn how to analyse data at a high level - testing theories and hypotheses, identifying patterns and finding answers to key questions.

  • You’ll use different analytical techniques to manipulate data and make use of summary statistics using Exploratory Data Analysis.
  • You’ll learn how to create basic data visualisations that help to explain the data and provide better insights into what the data is telling you.
  • Once you’ve understood how to uncover macro trends and patterns in the data, you can progress to more in-depth analysis.

4. Data analysis and facilitating data driven decision making
In this unit we focus on how finance professionals can apply more sophisticated data analytics techniques to support business decision making. We do this by exploring:

  • How to perform unsupervised learning and other techniques.
  • How to analyse time series data in forecasts – predicting future data patterns by employing autoregression and moving average models.
  • Anomaly detection, considering different techniques to identify unusual data entries.
  • The role of ethics in data, including in relation to unsupervised learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Once your analysis is completed, you’ll learn how to present your findings with maximum impact to decision makers.

5. Presenting findings and recommendations

  • We’ll discuss the importance of contextualising analysis. Understanding the audience and relating the analysis back to the business is critical. Your analysis must influence decision makers.
  • In this unit, you’ll focus on how to effectively communicate your analysis in terms of both narrative and visualisation.
  • You’ll explore the “art” of storytelling including the importance of understanding the needs of those you’re communicating with and how this should be used to structure the conversation.
  • You’ll learn how to select the correct visualisation and use colour effectively to captivate the audience and reinforce key messages.

Case study
The case study places you in the role of an analyst for a company. You’re tasked with identifying whether a target company is a good investment for a private equity firm.

You’ll be provided with a high-level background to the “client” and the data set, and provided with business context.

You’ll need to put into practice the analytical skills learned to support the investment decision. There are two key tasks:

  • To analyse sales data to develop a method to forecast future sales using predictive techniques and make recommendations to management.
  • To identify control weaknesses, specifically looking at journals in the general ledger. You’ll be required to utilise data analytics techniques to identify anomalies in journals and report back your findings to management.

You’ll be required to communicate your findings effectively to both inform and influence the investment decision.

Once you’ve successfully completed the case study you’ll be awarded the ICAEW Data Analytics Certificate (Analyst pathway).

Suitability

This course is designed for finance professionals who want to develop their skills in data analytics so that they are able to provide evidence based decision support within their business and to clients.

If you’re already confident working with data and have an enough understanding of the data analytics process and using Python for programming that you don’t need to undertake the whole course, we’ve created a case study only option, so you can still gain the Certificate to confirm your competence in this field.

If you can answer ‘yes’ the following statements, this could be the right option for you:

  • I am confident in my ability to access the data I need to support my job
  • I am confident in my ability to assess whether the data I use is of sufficient quality
  • I am confident in my ability to use data in a structured format, such as a SQL database
  • I am confident in my ability to combine and merge data from a range of different sources
  • I am confident in my ability to interpret the results from a range of charts, including scatter graphs, boxplots and histograms
  • I am confident in my ability to interpret summary statistics, including mean, median, standard deviation and interquartile range
  • I am confident in my ability to translate analysis that I perform in my job into actionable insights for the business/organisation
  • I am confident in my ability to manage data through techniques such as joins, appends, indexes and reshaping data
  • I am confident in my ability to interpret the results of statistical tests and the subsequent p-values created
  • I am confident in my ability to use programming languages such as Python
  • I am confident in my ability to use data analytics libraries within programming languages

If you’re a finance leader who’s seeking to understand the business benefits of applying data analytics, how to develop your operational data analytics capabilities and how to interpret the outputs from your data analytics team, the Management Pathway is more suited to you.

Study method

The ICAEW Data Analytics Certificate Programme is available online only.

This course offers the flexibility to study when and where you want, with unique online resources designed to give you structure, keep you motivated, and cement your understanding of the subject. They include instructional videos, use cases, practical exercises, and a case study.

The Analyst Pathway includes 12 months’ access to DataCamp, which contains 400+ other courses. Note, the DataCamp access is not included in the Case Study Only option.

System requirements
This course requires the use of Anaconda. Anaconda is a free and open-source distribution of the Python programming language and its related packages.

We recommend that you check the system requirements below before purchasing this course:

  • Operating system: Windows 8 or newer, 64-bit macOS 10.13+, or Linux, including Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS 6+, and others.
  • If your operating system is older than what is currently supported, you can find older versions of the Anaconda installers in the Anaconda archive.
  • System architecture: Windows- 64-bit x86, 32-bit x86; MacOS- 64-bit x86; Linux- 64-bit x86, 64-bit Power8/Power9.
  • Minimum 5 GB disk space to download and install.

Course pricing

Analyst Pathway price: €780 / RM3850 / $950 including 12 months online access to DataCamp.

Analyst Case Study Only price: €390 / RM1925 / $475

ICAEW members are eligible for a discount on this course. Visit icaew.com/dacert and login using your member login to reveal your discount code.

If you’re looking to purchase multiple courses for your team or organisation, Enterprise Licences are available. For enquiries please contact kaplanlearning@kaplan.com.

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If you’re a finance professional in a senior management or leadership role who wants to enhance their understanding of data analytics and develop the analytics capabilities of their teams, then the Management Pathway is more suitable for you.

View Management Pathway