CFOs Need Mavericks to Boost Data Analytics

first_imgWe are moving from an era of data scarcity to an era of data abundance. This is being driven by the Digital age we live in. But data is not made equal, some of it is far less useful or trustworthy than other data. This is a huge challenge for society and our education systems. Zooming in on what I know best – the finance function in corporations – big data can become a curse, if you allow yourself to drown in it. To turn it into a blessing, CFOs need to change a few things, starting with the kind of talents they hire …We live a data paradox. We feel submerged by data which is all around us and omnipresent, whereas those data could make our lives so much easier are much harder to find and identify. The real problem is most data is not useful. You need to figure out where data analytics can provide you with real insights instead of bringing more complexity or setting people going off in tangents. This is not an easy task. As a CFO, I try to stay focused on the basics (revenues, costs and profits) and build up from there starting with simple data analytics that gives me more clarity on the market opportunities, the go-to-market costs and the different scenarios to allocate business profits. It is only when I feel I have a strong understanding of these scenario’s that I then move to look at big data analytics and outputs to try and validate the scenario’s that have been identified.I know this is easier said than done. Another good ploy is to surround yourself with the right people.I recently stumbled across an article in Healthcare Finance, referring to a survey by WorkDay, which perfectly summarizes the promise of big data for the finance functions: data-driven decision-making (rather than intuitions) that makes the CFOs and their teams more resilient and intelligent, delivering quality insights and strategic advantages for the whole organization. But the report also indicates that many corporate finance functions are still unable to deliver these insights, due largely to:difficulty integrating finance and non-finance datalack of relevant skills within finance teams, andineffective collaboration among C-suite peers on data-driven decision-making.My previous blogs were about point 3 and, indeed, the need for partnerships, specifically between the CFO and the CIO, which is key to aligning on the right data sets.Regarding point 1, I do not think that access to non-financial data is a problem, as such. The difficulty is to get data in a trustworthy format that you can easily embed into your own CFO story. There are so many different templates and subsets across departments and business units. This is also where a strong CFO-CIO can help getting everyone in tune.Where I think CFOs have still a long way to go is, indeed, point 2 and the access to skills.Chalk and cheeseTo refresh the knowledge inside your finance department, I strongly encourage you to search for less traditional profiles. Besides accounting and finance champions, attract some nerdy data scientists and make them feel comfortable in your team. They are so scarce on today’s market that you had better offer these mavericks a motivating challenge, as well as a suitable infrastructure to start getting value out of artificial intelligence. Otherwise, like in this testimonial, they will not stay long in your team.The infographics here illustrate that data scientists and business analysts are like chalk and cheese. They do not naturally work together. But it is your task, as CFO, to show leadership and make the best of both worlds.A tactical tip? Introduce some job rotation so that each group of skilled people understands the benefits brought by the other one. There is a kind of trade-off to be found here.If you keep data scientists and business analysts separated, the risk is that your own exploitation of Big Data may go too behind the wall, disconnected from the business realities. Data science just for the sake of it.Conversely, if you keep them together all the time, you restrict the power of data scientists to think out of the box and to provide real insights once their job is combined with the skills of the business analysts.In conclusion, there is not one silver bullet to make your finance department smarter and more resilient, but investing in a good mix of new talents while increasing the data analytical skills of the existing teams… is definitely a sound decision. Though, I must confess, it is based on my own intuition and experience more then on machine learning.Always happy to read your comments!last_img read more

How Will the Working World of 2030 Differ from that of Today?

first_imgSteam engines revolutionized the working world back in the late 18th century – first in England, and then in the rest of the world. This development kicked off the Industrial Age: Commercial production took a great leap forward, the mechanical production of goods ousted previously conventional ways of working, and people had to make radical adjustments accordingly. In turn, this gave rise to entirely new types of work, as well as new opportunities.Today, with the digital transformation, we once again find ourselves in the midst of a comparatively disruptive development, shaped by the widescale digitalization of organizations, structures, processes, full networking, and the use of new technologies such as data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. This digital transformation is far more than just a technological advance – the way in which we live and work today will thoroughly change. It’s not for nothing that this shift is being referred to as the fourth Industrial Revolution.One of the key related questions is whether artificial intelligence will threaten job availability – will its use cause future generations to run out of work at some point? In other words: Where are we headed? What can young people who are about to enter the working world expect, and what do they themselves expect from their future careers? What capabilities will be needed in the future, and which ones will become obsolete?To learn more, we asked German secondary school and university students about their dreams and expectations. So-called ‘Generation Z,’ born starting in the mid-1990s, has grown up with smartphones, apps, and social media, loves technology, and knows how to use it. According to our study, 75 percent of Generation Z wants to make use of cutting-edge technologies at their workplace; what’s more, a third of survey-takers can even imagine pursuing careers in IT. Generally speaking, this generation is unafraid of AI and robots. On the contrary: These young people believe in strong partnership and cooperation between man and machine.For some, this concept may seem unlikely at first. After all, machines are already taking on highly demanding tasks today, ones that, until recently, were only entrusted with humans. That being said, I am firmly convinced that there is no cause for concern. Although machines are already covering whole fields of work, entirely new areas of activity and careers will arise – and a significant amount of them, at that. An additional study carried out by Dell Technologies in cooperation with the Institute for the Future (IFTF), entitled ‘Realizing 2030,’ supports this expectation; it predicts that 85 percent of all jobs that will exist in 2030 have not yet been ‘invented.’ This shows that we are not – as some may fear – on the brink of mass joblessness, but rather facing a disruptive shift in the working world, one which will cause people to take on tasks that are, as yet, wholly unknown.The nature of this shift – which, incidentally, is already in full swing – will cause the IT sector to take on a leading role. The key drivers of new IT jobs include the ones mentioned above – virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics – to name just a few examples. Those who are well-versed in IT security, can design cloud architectures, or are able to analyze data are already winners on today’s IT job market. The IT sector is urgently searching for new talents, since digitalization has long affected every company in one way or another.However, we still cannot say for sure where exactly this great disruption to the working world will occur, and how it will continue. What we do know for sure is that Industry 4.0 will increase the rate of change severalfold. That being said, we will be the ones to determine whether technological progress has a positive impact on our working world. Those who remain flexible, enjoy learning, and, above all, stay open to new things will be in demand on the job marketplace of tomorrow. As such, digital transformation is far from a threat; instead, it represents a source of previously unimagined opportunities. I’m certain of that – and I look forward to seeing the working world of 2030!last_img read more

Detroit to dismiss some tickets issued during Floyd protests

first_imgThe city of Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit. Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia says Tuesday that the city expects to dismiss 238 of the 245 tickets issued on those three days. Dozens of demonstrators violated Detroit’s curfew requiring people to be off city streets after 8 p.m. and received appearance citations. Others were ticketed for disruptive or violent behavior. In addition to those in Detroit, charges that stemmed from demonstrations in some other U.S. cities also have been dismissed.last_img

Bar board proposes to alter ad rules to allow spokespersons

first_imgBar board proposes to alter ad rules to allow spokespersons Bar board proposes to alter ad rules to allow spokespersons A dvertising attorneys could use nonlawyer spokespersons in their broadcast ads and also use some illustrations in all ads under new Bar rules being proposed by the Board of Governors.The board, at its February 1 meeting in Tampa, also okayed a minor change to the Clients’ Bill of Rights, clarifying that the lawyer may not pay the client or lien-holders from settlement funds without the client’s approval or an appropriate court order.All of the rule changes will be submitted later this year to the Florida Supreme Court as part of the Bar’s annual rule amendment package.The advertising alterations came at the request of the board, which asked the Standing Committee on Advertising to review the rules on television advertisements. While reviewing the rule on television advertisements, the committee also considered changes to the rules on illustrations and visual or verbal portrayals.The committee recommended keeping the restriction that only attorneys working for a firm could do the narration in a broadcast ad, that background sound continue to be limited to instrumental music, and that no celebrity image be used in ads, but recommended changing the television rule to allow illustrations permitted in other advertising media. On illustrations, the committee recommended allowing such things as the American flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, or a tool box. Prohibited would be shots of accidents, ambulances, and any image that “is deceptive, misleading, manipulative or that is likely to confuse the viewer.”The board’s Disciplinary Procedure Committee accepted those proposals, except that it recommended that non-attorney spokespersons be allowed as long as they are not recognizable celebrities and they are identified in the ads as a non-lawyer.The board approved the DPC package on first reading at its December meeting and gave final approval earlier this month in Tampa.The change to the Statement of Clients’ Rights for Contingency Fees came after a lawyer questioned a provision which told the client, “Until you approve the closing statement you need not pay any money to anyone, including your lawyer.”The lawyer noted there could be valid court-approved liens levied on the winnings in the case.As approved by the board, the proposed new rule would read that until the client approves the settlement agreement “your lawyer cannot pay any money to anyone, including you, without an appropriate order of the court.”On another rule change, the board approved the recommendation of the Program Evaluation Committee, also endorsed by the Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law, to extend the term of circuit UPL committee members from one to three years and sets a term limit of two consecutive terms. February 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

ÖAMTC: Croatia is the leading foreign destination on the Austrian market

first_imgAccording to the research “Reisemonitoring”, which he conducted ÖAMTC, Austrian National Auto-Moto Club, Croatia is the leading foreign destination on the Austrian market.According to the survey, which was conducted in March and April on a sample of 800 respondents, Italy is in second place, Spain is in third place, while about 18 percent of Austrians for the main holiday remain in their own country. It is a very reference study with comparable data because the same research methodology has been used for the past seven years. The focus of this year’s research was on the organization of annual leave.The survey also showed that two thirds of Austrians plan their longer vacation (up to 14 days) at least once a year, while every fourth respondent also plans an additional shorter vacation (up to 4 days). During the main holiday, they prefer swimming and sunbathing, and use car (42 percent) and air transport (41 percent) as a means of transport, which is an increase in the share of air transport chosen by only one in three Austrian passengers in previous years. Croatia, ie the cities of Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka and Zadar in the summer flying season are connected with a total of 31 scheduled and charter flights, mostly with Vienna, namely the airlines Austrian Airlines and Croatia Airlines.The data further show that Austrians prefer to organize their own holidays, ie without the mediation of agencies. This especially refers to the segment of young people who intensively use the Internet or direct booking, and these trends are followed by the elderly population, because as many as 56 percent of people over 60 also organize their vacation in this way.Austria has an annual share of about 8 percent in the total Croatian tourist traffic, which ranks this market in the high third place of the top markets with the largest tourist traffic, just behind the leading Germany and Slovenia. Also, over 60 percent of Austrians in Croatia are regular guests who prefer accommodation in hotels, then household facilities, and camps. During the last year, Austrian tourists spent the most nights in Rovinj, Poreč, Umag, Medulin and Mali Lošinj.Side dish:1. ÖAMTC Reisemonitoring: Holidays 2018 so bay and travel Austria2. Issue market profile: Austria http://www.cro-diasporacongress.com/last_img read more

HAK published an interactive map with EuroVelo and national bicycle routes

first_imgIn addition to EuroVelo bicycle routes, there are also bicycle routes that pass through state roads, and the desire is to establish a national network of bicycle routes. At the beginning of 2019, cooperation was initiated with the Information Center of the Croatian Auto Club, when it was agreed to set up bicycle routes on the Interactive HAK map. Representatives of the Coordination Body submitted GPX tracks for EuroVelo and national bicycle routes for these purposes, and employees of the Information Center of the Croatian Auto Club, who are also sensitive to bicycle traffic, placed these routes on the Interactive Map. Cycling tourism as a tourist branch is a relatively young concept, and in Croatia it also occupies an increasingly important place in tourism. It is very important for such tourists to move on safe and diverse roads that are well marked, that they can look at something on these routes and that accommodation capacities are adapted for them. Since 2015, when the Action Plan for the Development of Cyclotourism was adopted, the counties in Croatia, each in its own way, provide a variety of facilities to tourists looking for an active vacation. A novelty on the interactive map of the Croatian Auto Club (HAK) are the cycling routes that pass through Croatia as a contribution to the implementation of the Action Plan for the Development of Cyclotourism arising from the Tourism Development Strategy until 2020. In the future, HAK wants to publish smaller routes by counties, along with other contents intended for cyclists. Source / photo: Ministry of Tourism; Croatian car club For starters, as part of Interactive maps HAK has published EuroVelo bicycle routes that pass through the Republic of Croatia with a brief description of each route and the possibility of downloading the route in KML and GPX format for navigation devices. This project is the result of long-term cooperation between the tourism and transport sectors and the result of the desire to establish a national network of bicycle routes as a basis for stronger development of cycling, cycling infrastructure and ultimately cycling. With the help of the Coordination Body for the Development of Croatian Cyclotourism (cikloturizam.hr), the Croatian Auto Club wants to popularize this type of tourism, enriching its Interactive Map with new content. Currently, the tourist boards of the counties collect data from the routes for entry, concerning the length, altitude profiles, route markings, and developed cycling tourism infrastructure such as rest areas, services, accommodation and accommodation facilities and food and beverage services and the like. last_img read more

Plans surface for new hotels

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Granit Xhaka reveals Unai Emery reaction in Arsenal’s dressing room after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea

first_imgGranit Xhaka and Arsenal’s players suffered defeat in the Europa League final (AMA/Getty Images)Granit Xhaka has revealed that Unai Emery and Arsenal’s players were in silence after their defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League final on Wednesday evening.The Gunners have missed out on Champions League qualification once again after they were hammered 4-1 by Maurizio Sarri’s side in Baku.Chelsea went 3-0 up before Alex Iwobi scored an excellent goal to hand Arsenal a lifeline, but the Gunners’ hopes were extinguished as Eden Hazard scored his second of the game just three minutes later.Arsenal’s players and Emery looked dejected after the final whistle and Xhaka has revealed the reaction inside their dressing room following the defeat.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Him [Emery], the players, nobody speaks in the dressing room,’ said Xhaka. Unai Emery said nothing to his players inside Arsenal’s dressing room (AMA/Getty Images)Asked why Emery did not say anything, Xhaka said: ‘I don’t know. He was disappointed of course.‘I think we know how we played. We know we lost the game.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘It is not about shouting. It is not about shouting everything if we lose.‘You can say a lot now but it is not the time to explain why and what happens.‘I think it was a big chance for us and we didn’t take it.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 30 May 2019 12:33 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Comment Granit Xhaka reveals Unai Emery reaction in Arsenal’s dressing room after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea Advertisementlast_img read more

Nailing your first buyer meeting: 5 tips from food and drink startup founders

first_imgAideen Kirby of Brew Tea Co (top left), Vivien Wong of Little Moons (top right), Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals and Pip Murray of Pip & NutThat first conversation with a supermarket buyer is as nerve-wracking as meetings come – and small brands can feel especially exposed.So how do you make sure you deliver the best possible pitch? The founders of Pip & Nut, Spoon Cereals, Little Moons and Brew Tea Co. share their top tips for food & drink entrepreneurs.Tip 1: Do your research“Apart from the obvious – why your product is amazing and the story – know the retailer and tailor your pitch to them,” says Vivien Wong of Little Moons.Here’s a quick checklist to bear in mind:Understand who you’re targeting and where you sit on-shelf relative to everyone else. You can only tailor the pitch by understanding on-shelf pricing and competition. “Store, shelf and product research make up as much of our pitch as our own products do,” says Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals.Roughly know what margins the retailer is looking for and incorporate that into your pricing.Lay out payment terms, minimum order quantities, customer contribution, stores and SKUs count, so these roll up into one negotiation.Understand the available marketing mechanisms (vouchers, introductory discount, banner ads) – work out which suits your product best.Understand rebates, over-riders and other sales mechanisms so you’re ready for the conversation. “Be clear about all the commercial terms you need to agree, not just case price,” adds Pip Murray of Pip & Nut.Tip 2: Ask for helpAideen Kirby: “Ask for help from as many people as you can. Buyers have hundreds of other suppliers, so a conversation with someone in the industry on tactics can get you further.Vivien Wong: “We were lucky to have guidance from a fellow foodpreneur. It is useful to talk to others in the industry, which is why a platform like Young Foodies is so helpful.”Read more: 5 tips for budding food entrepreneurs from people who have made itJonny Shimmin: “Understand each retailer’s supply chain systems – they don’t always explain this up-front but investing our own time with supply chain teams was worthwhile.Pip Murray: “Fmcg mentors/investors are really beneficial when navigating the intricacies of supplying larger retailers.”Tip 3: Be human and interestingJonny Shimmin: “Tell your story! We have more interesting stories to tell than account managers who the buyers see daily.”Vivien Wong: “Share your delicious product. The buyer got our product immediately and really liked the texture of the mochi.”Pip Murray: “Set the tone at the start of any new buyer meeting: introduce your story, vision, mission and values. I’m passionate about what we are working towards and I want to bring any buyer into our world.”Aideen Kirby: “Let your buyer know you’re working hard. We used to send postcards from stores we visited and sampled in.”Tip 4: Appreciate the work once you’re on the shelfAideen Kirby: “A listing is the start of the hard work! Once your product is on the shelf, make sure it sells – meaning a lot of graft along the way.”Jonny Shimmin: “Plan getting your products off the shelf, not just on it. Rate of sale is important and your activation plan for making it work is key to getting on the shelf in the first place.”Pip Murray: “Lay out your marketing plans about how you are going to activate both in and out of stores to drive awareness of your brand and rate of sale. Whether this is through sampling in store, PR or point of sale, it’s key that buyers know that you are going to work hard to get products moving off the shelf.”Tip 5: Final thoughtsAideen Kirby: “Have agendas for discussions instead of ‘catch-ups’. Send your plan in advance so everyone is prepared and you don’t rely too much on busy buyers after the meeting.”Vivien Wong: “Getting listed takes time – manage your expectations accordingly. Don’t fret too much.”Jonny Shimmin: “Be honest about what you can realistically achieve. There is no point in having an amazing product you have slaved over if you cannot be a reliable and consistent supplier going forward. Don’t overpromise.”Pip Murray: “Pitching to a supermarket is not Dragon’s Den! You do need to know your numbers and tailor a presentation to that specific customer, but it’s not an interrogationAideen Kirby: Sell them the future. Small brands are a risk – but we’re more interesting, so that’s in our favour.”Thea Alexander is founder of Young Foodies, a community for early-stage fmcg brandslast_img read more

Top tips for what to do in the garden this Winter

first_imgMike Walton from Seia Garden and Maintenance prunes back his tropical garden during the dry months of the year. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEANTHE extremes of temperature, rainfall and heat the Far North experiences means keeping home gardens and lawns looking great all year round takes some planning.Some of the gardeners on the front line of Cairns’ green space have plenty of tips on what homeowners should do now to reap the benefits of tidy, luscious, tropical vegetation come December.Mow & Mulch Lawn & Garden Maintenance owner Cady Hansen said this time of year, when the growth rate of plants and lawns had slowed down, was perfect for getting stuck into big jobs. Mowing lawns don’t need to be mown as often during Winter, according to the experts, including this beautifully maintained property atTrinity Park. Source: Realestate.com.auWhile it is not needing to be tended every week to remove weeds, Seia Gardening and Maintenance owner Mike Walton recommends doing a quick pH test of soil in garden beds to check conditions and then adding lime or dynamic lifter to ready the earth for planting. “The best time to plant trees, flowering shrubs or vegetable depends on the plant but it’s probably not a good time to do it when it’s not raining,” he said. “The temperature needs to come up a bit to help the vegetables grow. I’d probably start in November. Anything in the garden before that should be hard landscaping — reconditioning the garden beds and mulching. Winter is the perfect time to tidy up the garden making it like this pristine property at 3 Ewan Glen, Trinity Park. It’s on the market at offers over $469,000. Source: Realestate.com.au“It’s time to get stuff down like getting the big stuff chopped out, get rid of overhanging branches and trees which could be posing a problem,” he said. “It’s a good time to do mulching — we recommend 100mm thick mulch, which, no matter what mulch you use, it’ll get you through the year.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago“We’re not mowing every fortnight at this time of the year. What we do with a lot of people is we say we’re not mowing but we’ll get the gardens back up to scratch. “Once the wet season comes it’s full on and we can’t keep up with inquiries.”center_img Now is the time to chop back bigger plants like the homeowners at38 Yule Avenue, Clifton Beach, have done. The home is on the market priced at offers over $649,000. Source: Realestate.com.au“Homeowners need to prepare for the wet and chop everything back so new plants can grow out.”Landscaping to create drainage systems so gardens aren’t drowning come summer and ensuring trees and bushes are pruned away from houses or sheds is also a great job for the winter months.High pressure cleaning of paved or concreted areas will also increase the appeal of a yard and remove slippery mould, mildew, algae and fungus. SEE MORE CAIRNS REAL ESTATE NEWS HERElast_img read more