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A Thirst for Knowledge

31st October 2018
Excel for BeGINners – what a Tonic! Would you book on a course with that title – or would you prefer EX16INT, 55165A or Excel 2016 Introduction?

I recently did some training for a famous distillery in Chiswick – you’ll find their London Dry Gin in all the best places. It was Sipsmith who led the way in 2009 when they won their two-year legal battle with HMRC for the right to produce gin in small quantities rather than on an industrial scale, thereby paving the way for the myriad boutique distilleries that have sprung up in recent years.

I’m not quite as great an expert on gin as I am on Excel (although I am doing my best to improve my knowledge!) but this young dynamic company set me a challenge to make the course titles more interesting than the normal Introduction, Intermediate, Advanced or simply Data Analysis, Charting etc!  Of course, it helped that the sessions were 2 or 3 hours and focussed on specific tasks or topics rather than a full day covering lots of different features.

Looking at their product list I managed Very Jolly Options for Pivots (VJOP) and Functions – Piece of [Lemon Drizzle] Cake!  And those were some of the better ones! But looking back, what struck me most about the training programme I developed with them was not so much what the sessions were called but what they contained.
Sessions of 1, 2 or 3 hours allowed us to be very specific about the content and expected outcome of the training and meant it was easier for busy team members to break off from work and attend the relevant training session.  In addition, to make the content as relevant as possible I used snippets of their data files for demo and workshop examples.

Judging from the feedback on the sessions, not only was the thirst for knowledge well and truly quenched but in a most enjoyable way!

Naturally, producing really bespoke training content or developing customised solutions in Word and Excel often means that I am privy to commercially sensitive information. My clients have to be secure in the knowledge that I will never divulge or take advantage of this data.  I started in IT training and development before GDPR and Data Protection legislation, but these principles have always been an essential part of the way I do business.

Cheers, everyone, I’m off for a G&T but if you would like more information on how SJM Training can help you quench your thirst for knowledge, then please get in touch.

Unusual names for Excel training sessions were requested by Sipsmith to reflect their products