We questioned Marwa Hammam, Executive Director of the Master of Finance programme at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School: “What are your students using as alternatives to Excel?”.

It turns out that “Not much” is the answer. Some students on some programmes make heavy use of specialist software packages for running statistics.

“Can you imagine a world without Excel?” we asked.

“No”. Marwa sees Excel as ingrained. It’s got so much flexibility and so many alternative uses. From creating a simple database for something like customer relationship management, to filling in expense claims, running surveys and presenting numbers in tables or charts. That in part, explains why Excel is so dominant. It’s hard to see it dying out.

“Excel is a lifeline for people on our course”.

“Where could Microsoft take Excel next?” we asked. Marwa has noticed that Excel is offering a lot more templates than it used to. Perhaps these will end up broadening out. Perhaps we’ll end up seeing versions of Excel which are tailored to particular jobs within professions like medicine. Perhaps we’ll see an even simpler version of Excel emerging, making the product even more attractive to first (e.g. school) users.

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FTA’s financial modelling course material is taught on the Master of Finance programme at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School?

Here you can see feedback from the Cambridge students who have taken the programme. This same material is available on our public courses.

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