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Creative Data Visualization Using Excel

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Date(s): Apr 17, 2023
Time: 8:00AM - 4:30PM
Registration Fee: $169.00
Cancellation Date: Apr 10, 2023
Local Hotels:
Parking Info:

Parking for SAO, Professional Development courses is in Garage B (1511 San Jacinto Blvd.). The Garage signage may read 1511 San Jacinto or Garage B. The elevator in Garage B is not reliable. If you are unable to walk the stairs, please contact the for alternate parking arrangements. Handicapped parking is free at the meters around the downtown area.

A course coordinator will Email you a parking permit prior to the course start date. A permit must be displayed or you will be ticketed.

Course Description

Each day the world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Every organization is tracking and maintaining information they never had before. That is a lot of data, and organizational leaders expect us to make sense of it—and not only make sense of it, but also communicate it in a way that it makes sense to busy executives. How do we do that? We visualize it. With a single image, a complex idea can be explained instantly. A good chart, graph, or picture can explain at a glance what may take 5 to 10 pages of narrative to explain in a report. This course teaches participants to present data analytics results visually with stateof-the-art graphics presentations. Participants will learn through real-world case studies and examples of success (and failures) within world-class programs. The class is intended to teach participants to enhance existing data analytics with data visualization.

Potential CPE Credits: 8.0

Instruction Type: Live
Experience Level: INTERMEDIATE
Category: Auditing

Course Objectives

Behavioral Objectives Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

• Understanding the “what and why” of data visualization

• Identifying areas of opportunity for creating visualizations

• A path to creating successful visualizations

• How data visualization will help an organization

• Case studies to create successful visualizations

Detailed Course Outline

Overview of Data Fundamental data analytics techniques

• Duplicates | Matching | “Like” attributes

• Gap testing | Compliance testing and verification

• Red flag attributes

• Data visualization – Definition | Examples | Guidance

Understanding Statistics Updated April 2020

• Quantitative relationships

• Benford’s law

• Reasonableness testing

• Fuzzy logic

Picking the Visualization

• Using pictures to tell the story

• Choosing visualization formats

• Visualization types - traditional bars and graphs to scatter plots, geographical maps, and 3D images

• Not getting stuck on bar and line graphs

• Exploring different formats and what formats to avoid

Visualization Will Help You

• Change the way you understand data

• No more looking at static information in a spreadsheet hunting for meaning in the data

• Quickly analyze information to get your message across wordlessly

• Automate continuous reporting

• Reduce audit reporting preparation time

• Answering questions on the fly in meetings - Audit Committees, Boards, Executives, External Audit

Case Studies and Exercises

• Examples of messages that went wrong without visualizations

• How visualizations can assist IA | One-page reports

• Creating audit-centric visualizations


Professionals with at least 2 years' experience.


Bret Kobel

Bret Kobel is Managing Partner for Verracy Training & Consulting and has more than 20 years of professional finance, accounting, audit, risk and compliance experience. Mr. Kobel specializes in internal controls, process improvement, process transformation & implementation with organizations operating under GAAP and/or IFRS Standards. He brings a diverse background to the organization from venture-backed startups to global Fortune 500 companies.


Prior to joining Empower, Mr. Kobel spent two years on assignment in Singapore as the Regional CFO and Controller for an international logistics company responsible for seven countries in the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Kobel was tasked with transforming the financial organization and redesigning the financial processes to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting.


Prior to that, Mr. Kobel spent several years with a large international drilling services company operating in over 40 countries on six continents. He was responsible for developing the company’s initial policies and procedures and implementing the baseline internal controls framework for the company as well as the initial Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program. Mr. Kobel later led global Internal Audit teams performing the first ever internal audits in the company’s 120-year history.


Earlier in Mr. Kobel’s career, he was part of a team that interpreted the newly released 1992 COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework that worked to define a set of policies and procedures for one of the largest university systems in the nation and later led teams conducting the initial internal audits for the newly-implemented procedures.


Mr. Kobel received his BS degree from Indiana University and his MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and is currently an instructor and conference speaker for the IIA and ISACA.

Additional Information

TAC Rule 523.142(g) requires the CPE Sponsor to monitor individual attendance and assign the correct number of CPE credits. Participants will be asked to document their time of arrival and departure in compliance with this Rule. Additionally, attendance will be monitored throughout the day and CPE certificates will reflect actual attendance of each participant.

If you are making travel plans to come to Austin, we recommend making "refundable" air and hotel reservations or waiting until 14 days before the class to actually book your reservations. Courses are occasionally canceled or rescheduled due to low enrollment. We determine whether a course has enough participants 16 days prior to the course date. If we cancel or reschedule, we will email the participant and his or her billing contact no later than 14 days before the original class date.

Vending machines with Coca-Cola products and various snack items are available. There is also a refrigerator and microwave in our coffee bar area. Feel free to bring in your own drinks and food if you prefer.

You might want to bring a light sweater or jacket, as room temperatures vary.

To see answers to our Frequently Asked Questions, visit

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