The Downside of electric cars

Can their be a downside? When electric cars are running, they are virtually silent. This poses a danger to those that may be visually impaired, shorter, or even those that are distracted.

Electric car
Electric Car

The European Union has proposed that these cars be fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System that will vary the noise with the speed of the vehicle.

To read more about this feature, go to: https://sfmagazine.com/technotes/june-2019-quiet-streets-are-becoming-too-dangerous/

Think you need to be a data scientist?

Harvard Business Review named the data scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century. This job requires significant computing and statistical skills.

With the rise of analytics and artificial intelligence, these skills are needed, but even more critical are individuals that have excellent business acumen.

These individuals can fill the role of translator. Not in the traditional language sense, but translate business requirements for the technical individuals.

” translators play a critical role in bridging the technical expertise of data engineers and data scientists with the operational expertise of marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, risk, and other frontline managers. In their role, translators help ensure that the deep insights generated through sophisticated analytics translate into impact at scale in an organization.  “

For more on these roles, see the article at: https://hbr.org/2018/02/you-dont-have-to-be-a-data-scientist-to-fill-this-must-have-analytics-role?

Slicers — Making Pivot Tables Easier

You have perfected your data analysis with a pivot table and you are about to share with other users. Slicers make Pivot Tables easier for other users to filter data in the table.

Slicers are a pop-up dialog box which allow the user to click on button to quickly filter the data.

To insert:

  1. Click in your Pivot Table.
  2. From the Pivot Table Tools > Analyze toolbar, Click Insert Slicer.
  3. Select the fields to provide a filter.
Insert slicer

4. To filter select the value on the slicer dialog box.

Slicers with Pivot Table

To select multiple values, click on the Multi-Select icon then click on the desired values. To clear the filter, select the Clear Filter icon with the red x to display all values.

Technical Disruption – Target Corp

Imagine — the busiest shopping day of the week and all of the systems to checkout customers are shutdown. Imagine you are one of the largest retailers nationwide.

Target Corporations experience an outage on Saturday of all stores nationwide due to a software outage. It seems the software outage was caused by routine maintenance — which obviously failed.

More from the Wall Street Journal at https://www.wsj.com/articles/target-stores-suffer-nationwide-outage-11560627812

Is this picture for real? Finding if a picture has been manipulated

Adobe and UC Berkley researchers are using machine learning to review photos to determine if a face in the picture has been changed using Photoshop.

For the full story, go to https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-research-and-uc-berkeley-detecting-facial-manipulations-in-adobe-photoshop

Can you trust your data?

As businesses move to more AI-generated modeling and higher forms of data analytics, we still need to apply common sense? In other words, don’t blindly trust the data.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This articles describes some of the pitfalls of not critically analyzing data output and gives some solutions.

https://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/data-and-analytics-don-t-trust-numbers-blindly

Vlookup — True or False?

Vlookup is one of the functions I use the most. It can locate data within a table and return a value. One of the most confusing things about the function is whether or not to include the True or False at the end.

When using the Excel Function wizard, it argument in the function is called Range_lookup.

Function Wizard for Vlookup.
Vlookup in Function Wizard

Simply stated, use a TRUE or 1 when you want an approximate match. Use a FALSE or 0 when you need an exact match.

Use TRUE when the data in the lookup table does not contain all of the possible data points. For example, in the figure below, if you want to look up the tax rate you would use an approximate match since all incomes are not in the table. If the net income were 100,001, it would return a rate of 39%.

Tax Table

It finds the closest value that is not larger than the lookup value.

In order to use an approximate match, your data must be sorted as well. Otherwise, use a FALSE or exact match.

For more examples, see this YouTube video:

Video explanation

The accountant of the future

At the recent AICPA conference, much of the discussion focused on what skills the accountant of the future would possess. There are two major changes happening in public accounting — technological disruption and a move to more advisory services.

These two changes require more diverse skills than ever before. Many of the skills are beyond the traditional CPA.

One of the primary skills that will be needed in the future is the ability to continuously learn.

“There will be a need to learn, unlearn and relearn… it’s the thought of futuristic literacy moving forward–not to read and write but the ability to unlearn so you can relearn, and the general awareness of all these activities for everyone. If you’re trusted advisors, you need to know the implications of these shifts–of both the wide knowledge and capabilities for a narrow knowledge.”

With these changes, the certifications will need to evolve. Possibly different types of certifications will be needed beyond the CPA.

To see the remaining summary of the conference, go to

https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/the-accounting-professional-of-the-future-non-cpas

In my opinion, as students start to focus on graduation, certification needs to be a focus. No matter the certification — CPA, CMA, CFE, or CISA, those initials will matter and could be a difference maker.