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Guide to Business Modelling. John Tennent and Graham Friend [Hardcover]

John; Friend, Graham Tennent
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tips and tricks you want to know March 17 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book goes beyond the basic or even advanced Excel how-to book. It focuses on business modeling and how to structure any spreadsheet you build, a topic completely missed by any other Excel book. This book has been written by people who build spreadsheet models, not programmers.
Use this book as a good reference on building spreadsheet, be it for business modeling or just plain use of Excel. For years I sought for this a book. Finally I found it. ...
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tips and tricks you want to know March 17 2003
By Bernhard Haidacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book goes beyond the basic or even advanced Excel how-to book. It focuses on business modeling and how to structure any spreadsheet you build, a topic completely missed by any other Excel book. This book has been written by people who build spreadsheet models, not programmers.
Use this book as a good reference on building spreadsheet, be it for business modeling or just plain use of Excel. For years I sought for this a book. Finally I found it. ...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, but not enough about modelling uncertainty June 29 2010
By Graham Jeffery - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This Guide is a workmanlike introduction to the craft of modelling in Excel business cash flow and financial statements, but it could do a lot more in the area of modelling uncertainty.

The strong point of the book is its emphasis on structuring the model and the modelling process. Models tend to take on a life of their own after the initial development, and sometimes even before the first build is complete, and time spent in thinking, planning and design is usually a very worthwhile investment. This is particularly important if there are multiple people involved in the model's design and use, and the book covers how one might organise a modelling project.

The principal modelling task is designing the mathematical model that produces the desired time series of sales, costs, etc, over time, based on a handful of input parameters. The book goes into some detail about the formulae needed to render the different kinds of time series one might encounter in a typical business model, covering areas such as macroeconomics, forecasting revenue (with good discussion of times series analysis and regression techniques), operating costs, capital expenditure, working capital, and funding, along with ancillary issues such as depreciation, tax, financial statements and company valuation methods.

Also welcome are the chapters on the often overlooked topics of testing, debugging and documenting a model. There is an introduction to recording macros and programming simple Visual Basic code, but anyone serious about programming Excel with VBA can find better material elsewhere.

As I said, a good introduction. It assumes some basic understanding of Excel and business terminology, but not a lot else. There are lots of practical spreadsheet examples with the formulae all well explained, although sometimes the text description is a little disconnected from the screenshot. It is a pity the authors did not go further in several key areas.

* The book introduces the concept of Excel range names, but does not do them enough justice. The naming of ranges is the single most important underused feature in Excel, and mastering its use will dramatically reduce the bugs in a model and, if names are chosen sensibly, provide instant documentation and a model that has a fighting chance of being understood by the next modeller who picks it up and has to maintain or update it.

* Sensitivity analysis is covered in just three paragraphs, when this is probably the single most important use of a model. Anyone can create a model that produces an answer (eg, the NPV of a business opportunity) for a given set of assumptions. But we all know these assumptions, if they represent forecasts of the future, are wrong. Regarding the model as a simulation and playing with ranges of assumptions (testing various "what-ifs"), so that you build a full understanding of the drivers of value and risk in the business situation, is where the real value of modelling lies.

* Monte Carlo simulation is again covered only briefly and with a rudimentary DIY approach. There is no mention of the many tools available that can drive a well-designed model through probabilistic analysis.

Finally, I have to comment on the chapter on macroeconomics, which makes use of the sine function to model economic cycles. Given the discussion in the press about the current recession and whether it will be V- or U-shaped (or maybe W- or--preserve us!--L-shaped), this seems hopelessly simplistic for any practical use. This jibes with the rest of the book, which is practical. However, the example does help introduce how to parameterise a time series, in this case with the cycle time and amplitude.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Foundation from which to build your Modeling Skills Feb. 28 2012
By DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As an aspiring Quant Trader & Entrepreneur coming from an Cloud Computing background, one of the things that I am most acutely aware of is the need to develop modeling skills. While this book will not make you a quant by any stretch of the imagination, what it will do is expose you to all of the key components and methods necessary to build solid, usable models with a good degree of requirements and assumption traceability. The author takes you through nearly every consideration you would need to build a quality model [save one -- modeling uncertainty as another reviewer pointed out] both programmatic and some general numerical concepts. The result is that your models should be usable by many w/ in your organization, and in turn will create the calling card that opens greater opportunities for professional development and advancement.

I have two books that I swear by as my foundation for understanding any business - This one and Business Model Generation.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book for forward looking and what-if business models Feb. 9 2014
By Thomas Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I spent ten years not realizing I needed this book. It's revolutionized my approach to modeling business questions and finding answers.

The best book I know for using Excel for asking, and then answering, tough questions about things like pricing, discounts, margins, channels, anything that can be quantified or measured.
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, very basic, not useful if you have relevant experience Nov. 18 2013
By Mehetabelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Don't bother with this book if you have an MBA or relevant work experience. It has basic principles and shows you how to use Excel but very little about what specific 'sector knowledge' you have to have and many of the critical, non-quantitative analysis you must do for good business modeling. Maybe it's good for undergraduate level readers who have no business experience.
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