Data analytics refers to advanced forms of analysis that can be used to explore large volumes of data and communicate insights.

business

Description

1. Introduction

      Data analytics refers to advanced forms of analysis that can be used to explore large volumes of data and communicate insights. Data is extracted and categorized to identify and analyze behavioral data and patterns, and techniques vary according to organizational requirements. Data analytics is used in many industries to allow companies and organization to make better business decisions. Data analysis is very different from accounting or financial reporting. Whereas many believe that financial staff or even the CFO can instantly perform data analysis, the truth is that it takes a special kind of person to be able to sift through that data and pull out those nuggets of critical information that could have an immediate and substantial effect on the profitability of your business.

      The accounting profession is surrounded by information that exists quietly in disparate systems, often unused until it’s pulled for an audit, engagement, or tax return. But if we turn large volumes of data into meaningful insights, organizations can use these findings to improve their businesses in many functions and accounting professionals would add even greater value. Indeed, accountants need to look beyond traditional business metrics and recognize the commercial potential of embracing a wider set of data. In addition to the essential financial and enterprise data they already work with, accountants will need to review other nontraditional sources of data in order to gain a more thorough understanding of business performance.

2. Scenario

    

  Vistabeans was formed in 1991 when Eli Smith graduated from college and decided to use his passion for good coffee and his recent business degree to open a coffee shop in his home town. After a few years, Sarah Jones joined Vistabeans as a part-owner and marketing director. Sarah took Vistabeans to the next level by expanding Vistabeans into new markets. With Eli focusing on products and Sarah focusing on marketing, Vistabeans grew to 150 stores throughout the Unites States. The mission of each store is to sell the best cup of coffee and other beverages in the area.

      Eli and Sarah were happy that their company was growing but they wondered if they were applying their resources in the most profitable manner. Accordingly, they asked their chief financial officer, Alma Nelson, to analyze the company’s profitability and prepare a report with recommendations as to how the company can maximize profit.

      Alma used the company’s accounting information system to create a two year profit analysis report (Exhibit 1). After reviewing the report, Alma concluded that she needed a deeper understanding of the company’s profitability. Alma recalled a report she recently read touting the benefits of data analytics so Alma decided use data analytics to help her prepare a report with recommendations as to how the company can maximize profit.

3.

Software and Data

      When embarking on a data analytics project, one of the initial steps will be to select the software that will be utilized. Fortunately, many software packages exist to help organizations explore large volumes of data and communicate insights. Software solutions range in functionality, ease of use and price. This case will utilize Tableau, a data visualization software package used in many organizations. Tableau was selected by Vistabeans for its ease of use for non-technical users. Your instructor will provide instructions regarding access to the software.

      Tableau provides Internet-based on-demand training videos to help you learn how to use the software. The on-demand videos should be viewed prior to beginning the case. While your instructor may provide additional instruction regarding the use of Tableau, you should be able to use Tableau to complete the case requirements after viewing the on-demand training videos. Tableau provides sample data with the software that will be used to complete the on-demand training videos. Your instructor will provide a Microsoft Access coffee chain data source that you should use to complete the case requirements.   

4.

Requirements

Assume you are Alma Nelson and use Tableau to analyze Vistabeans profitability. Your deliverables include:

Prepare a report with recommendations as to how the company can maximize profit. Your report should include outputs from Tableau. Your report should contain at least 3 visualizations to support your recommendations.

Deliver a presentation to Eli and Sarah summarizing how the company can maximize profit. Your presentation should include outputs from Tableau.

Instruction Files

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