In preparation to my job at Bain I would like to improve my analytical skills. Any advice on how to improve these?

analytics Excel MBB preparation
New answer on Aug 31, 2023
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 04, 2017

Worked at a big four for over 3 years however do not feel comfortable about my analyical/excel skills. Any idea on what type of analysis (strategy) consultants at a MBB perform? Should I refresh also my statistical know how? Thank you all for your great help!

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 06, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I would assume you are referring to the actual job at Bain. In general there is no statistical analysis that should be performed in a strategy-consulting job (unless you have a background in statistics and they specifically hired you for that reason). As for excel, you will be mainly required to use two functions, vlookup and pivot tables. Of course, if you know macros and advanced formulas, that would also help, but likely not be necessary.

Besides that, below you can find some other general tips useful for excel:

  1. Review excel shortcuts – in the long run can save you a lot of time
  2. Never use the Hide function for cells – rather use the Group function
  3. Get used to do multiple backups in case anything goes wrong
  4. Always double check formulas before delivering the file – most of the time at the beginning you will find mistakes that could hurt your credibility
  5. Prepare drafts to show/ align with your supervisor before doing actual analysis – otherwise you may end doing very complicated things that will turn useless

Hope this helps,


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replied on Sep 11, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would concentrate on getting the right financial modelling skills and presenting your analysis in Power Point.

1) Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. Also, learn the basic statistics tools

2) Power Point - Google for MBB presentations and try to replicate them. Search for tips and tricks in books / internet in parallel. Plus read "Say it with charts" and "Pyramid Principle"

And finally - take a long vacation before starting your job;)

Good Luck!

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Anonymous replied on Sep 05, 2017

Hi - is this in reference to recruiting? Case interviews at MBB don't have a direct excel or analytical component per se.

In reference to the actual job, there is tons of excel analytical work. The majority of it is finding inferences from client data that we use to solve the problem. Happy to talk more in detail (currently work at Bain & Co.) via direct message.

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 31, 2023
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Precisely for the high amount of questions (1) asked by my coachees and students and (2) present in this Q&A, I created the “Economic and Financial concepts for MBB interviews”, recently published in PrepLounge’s shop (

After +5 years of candidate coaching and university teaching, and after having seen hundreds of cases, I realized that the economic-related knowledge needed to master case interviews is not much, and not complex. However, you need to know where to focus! Hence, I created the guide that I wish I could have had, summarizing the most important economic and financial concepts needed to solve consulting cases, combining key concepts theorical reviews and a hands-on methodology with examples and ad-hoc practice cases.

It focuses on 4 core topics, divided in chapters (each of them ranked in scale of importance, to help you maximize your time in short preparations):

·        Economic concepts: Profitability equation, Break even, Valuation methods (economic, market and asset), Payback period, NPV and IRR, + 3 practice cases to put it all together in a practical way.

·        Financial concepts: Balance sheet, Income statement/P&L and Performance ratios (based on sales and based on investment), +1 practice case

·        Market structure & pricing: Market types, Perfect competition markets (demand and supply), Willingness to pay, Pricing approaches, Market segmentation and Price elasticity of demand, +1 practice case

·        Marketing and Customer Acquisition: Sales funnel, Key marketing metrics (CAC and CLV) and Churn, +1 practice case

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the guide, and I hope it helps you rock your interviews!

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Francesco gave the best answer


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#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
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