Center for Continuing Studies


Bob BruceWe offer five different courses of Microsoft Excel courses through Bob Bruce, an instructor who has trained people on Microsoft products for more than 20 years. 

Each course takes 3.5 hours. St. Cloud State provides a laptop and mouse to use for this hands on training.

Excel Level 1:  Practical Excel

  • Getting started: Exploring the Excel environment
  • Navigating, managing worksheets, and views
  • Worksheet layout, entering and modifying Data
  • Creating formulas and using basic functions
  • Formatting cells, themes and cell styles
  • Printing worksheets

Excel Level 2: Working with Data

  • Understanding types of data
  • Filtering and sorting 
  • Excel tables
  • Advanced Formulas: logic and summarizing functions (COUNTIF, SUMIF, AVERAGEIF, VLOOKUP)
  • Pivot tables and pivot charts
  • Using the Data Model with pivot tables

Excel: Special Features:  Get & Transform aka Power Query

Get & Transform will change the way you use Excel by eliminating a lot of unnecessary steps and reducing your project time by hours or even days!

Excel includes a powerful set of features called Get & Transform, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities. Get & Transform enables you to connect, combine, and refine data sources to meet your analysis needs. These features are also used in Power BI, and in the Power Query Add-In available for previous versions of Excel.      

Power Query is a business intelligence tool available in Excel that allows you to import data from many different sources and then clean, transform and reshape your data as needed.
  • Power Query Basics
  • Column-Level Actions
  • Table Actions
  • Importing Data from Files, Databases
  • Unpivoting
  • Common Transformations
  • Custom Columns
  • Grouping and Aggregating
  • Managing Queries
  • Reusing Query Steps
  • Merge & Append Queries
  • Practical applications
  • Replace VLOOKUP
Prerequisite: Familiarity with VLOOKUP feature. Some knowledge of Pivot Tables is helpful but not required.  Those who have completed our Level 1 & 2 courses are well prepared for this course.

Excel:  Special Features: Introduction to the Data Model & PowerPivot

PowerPivot is an Excel add-in you can use to perform powerful data analysis and create sophisticated data models. With PowerPivot, you can mash up large volumes of data from various sources, perform information analysis rapidly, and share insights easily.

  • Working with the Data Model
  • Replace VLOOKUP
  • Database Terms & Concepts
  • Linking Excel Tables to Power Pivot
  • Loading Data from Relational Databases & files
  • Building table relationships
  • Calculated columns
  • Measures
  • Basic DAX functions
  • Understanding Evaluation Contexts
  • Creating PivotTables from the Data Model
Prerequisite: Frequent use or several months of solving business problems with PivotTables.

Excel : Practical Data Visualization

The ultimate purpose of any spreadsheet is to help people make decisions and manage their business or personal lives. It's difficult for most of us to comprehend more than a few columns and rows of numbers and discern anything useful. The aim of data visualization is to make numbers alive, and help us detect/explain relationships & patterns, inspire new questions, and make better decisions. 

This class will explore and explain the various data visualization tools in Excel and help you choose the right ones for your need. 

  • Understand the data/visualization problem 
  • Visualization principles 
  • Create charts that don’t misrepresent data 
  • Charting (graphs) including PivotCharts 
    • Types of charts & when to use them 
    • Chart elements 
    • Mechanics of configuring charts 
    • Plotting data on maps (incl. 3D) 
  • Conditional formatting 
  • Sparklines 
  • Embedding Excel charts into PowerPoint/Word 
Prerequisite:  Some knowledge of Pivot Tables is helpful but not required.  Those who have completed our Level 1 & 2 courses are well prepared for this course.

Feedback from attendees

  • Bob was a great trainer with a wealth of knowledge.  His experience and ability to relate the topics to real life was great.  He kept our audience's attention in what could have been a fairly flat topic.
  • It was helpful to learn how unintimidating Excel can be.
  • Great investment of time and money.  Nice job!
  • I loved the multiple shortcuts used to save time
  • The workbook will help cement all we have learned.
  • The class was excellent!
  • The pivot tables portion was all new to me and will benefit my day to day Excel use.
  • Vlookup and pivot tables were very helpful
  • The class was very helpful and exactly what I expected.  Thank you!
  • The examples were great.  I really enjoyed the entire presentation.
  • Loved the shortcuts and new features!

We customize

We can tailor these courses to meet the needs of your business or group and offer them at the SCSU Welcome Center or a location of your choice with our portable laptop lab.

Contact:; 320-308-6100.


Bob was a great trainer with a wealth of knowledge. His experience and ability to relate the topics to real life was great.  

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