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. “
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.
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%.
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.
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
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.