NOTE:This newly revised course has shifted online into four, half-day, live, instructor-led sessions. We have adapted the interactive sessions to include regularly scheduled breaks and digital breakout rooms for virtual networking and group discussions. Recordings of all sessions will be available to all registrants:

Register early to take advantage of our $300 off discount


  • Mon, Nov 22 @ 8:30 AM - 12 PM
  • Wed, Nov 24 @ 8:30 AM - 12 PM
  • Fri, Nov 26 @ 8:30 AM - 12 PM
  • Mon, Nov 29 @ 8:30 AM - 12 PM

CAREER STAGE: Mid - career

How much of our data is actionable information?

Effective data visualization and dashboarding is more than just creating charts in Excel. It starts with understanding what users need, identifying relevant data, and using appropriate visual techniques, structures and “stories” to support understanding, insights and action.

This CPA Ontario Certificate program provides participants with the skills to create effective visual reports and dashboards and how to introduce these new ideas into your organization. The course will cover some new charts in Excel, but the principles and process of design can be applied to any software. Using case studies and activities, the course includes information for decision making, misleading visuals, plus a comprehensive team-based case study creating a board level dashboard design.

Participants will receive an Excel workbook that provides practical instructions on how to build the new charts and illustrates other techniques covered in the program.

This Certificate program includes pre-course reading and preparation.

Participants will have the option to put their design knowledge into practice by submitting a post-course project assessment of a dashboard for an existing organization. Successful completion the project assessment will entitle participants to a Certificate from the Institute of Business Analytics (IBA).


  • Six step process to effective visual reporting and dashboards
  • Five key categories of actionable information
  • Impact of memory on choice of techniques, report structure, and dashboards
  • Metrics, KPIs, leading indicators and data transformation
  • Data in tables: When to use tables and when to use visuals
  • Pareto, box-plot, trellis, heat maps, bullet charts and other critical techniques for your design toolkit
  • Use Excel to create pareto, box-plot, trellis and other techniques
  • Benefits and limitations of pie charts, waterfall or bridge charts
  • Colour, minimalism, non-data ink design and considerations of alternate techniques
  • “Pretty” versus effective design
  • Trade-offs and considerations of how much information to include
  • Dashboard summaries, dashboard types, and when to break the “rules”
  • Telling stories with data – “ad-hoc” reports versus fixed format dashboards
  • Story structures for different scenarios
  • Business Intelligence (BI), data flow, and data sources for dashboards
  • Visualization and Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA)
  • Introduction to linear regression and predictive analytics

Successful completion of this program, including the post-course project, will entitle participants to a Certificate in Business Analytics and Reporting from the Institute of Business Analytics.


Business professionals who want to understand why traditional reporting often fails to address user needs and who want to improve the clarity and communication of key messages in reports and dashboards.