Why Accounting Data is a Great Starting Point for Citizen Data Scientists
As the 21st-century business has been completely redefined by the conclusions provided by data (big or otherwise), one factor remains constant; data-driven decisions are here to stay. If one is to take a step back from emerging enterprise technologies and observe, it’s safe to presume that everything from Artificial Intelligence to on-demand services is being formulated to be data-centric.
While the latest food delivery app is being developed based on the preferences of its target audience (which has been confirmed via gathered data from reliable sources), AI is being designed to deliver intuitive feedback and experiences (also thanks to data records) that will enable business people to make more strategic decisions.
Likewise, the role a data scientist plays is expanding, due to the importance that accounting professionals in this niche are garnering. So what’s new on this front?
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Citizen Data Scientists: Number Crunchers, with a Fresh Outlook
An up-and-coming role in data analysis is that of Citizen Data Scientists. In the interest of making the best sense of data, Citizen Data Scientists evaluate varying data sets – but do not hail from a data science background. Instead, they are professionals from other business units, such as marketers or designers.
A citizen data scientist is not primarily trained in the field of analytics and statistics but they leverage the analytical data to make well-informed decisions in their own field. Using the right BI analytics tool is important for any data scientist but it's all the more important for citizen data scientists as data science isn’t their primary subject of training. Later in the article, you will learn the importance of choosing the right business intelligence products and how to choose the best business intelligence software that will be suitable for your entire team.
What Makes Citizen Data Scientists Beneficial to Modern Organizations?
Unlike professional data scientists, Citizen Data Scientists introduce a brand new perspective when it comes to scrutinizing the numbers. Although they are not formally trained in traditional data science, the outlook that Citizen Data Scientists bring to the table is a refreshing one as it involves understanding data from the perspective of a different business unit or a whole other industry entirely. Given the right business intelligence and analytics tools, citizen data scientists can do wonders for your organization.
Now for the Big Question: Why Should Citizen Data Scientists Start with Accounting Data?
Just as a simple blood test can reveal the presence of many ailments in the body, Accounting data can help diagnose not just the financial health of your business, but other (seemingly unrelated) areas such as employee satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Accounting data includes things like income and expense reports, sales and purchase reports, tax information, general ledger, payroll management, as well as other financial reporting and analytics.
Accounting data gives you an overall picture of how your business is doing. Before Citizen Data Scientists lay their hands on databases in any other department, here’s why they should start off with Accounting.
1. Financial data is quantifiable
Accounting data is at the heart of any business, no doubt. More than just ledgers, Accounting data can be used to justify business decisions because, at the core, this data shows the health of a business. This is enough incentive for a discerning Citizen Data Scientist to start with Accounting data.
2. Provides insight into other business units
Results derived from Accounting data provide a bird’s eye view of how other areas within your business are performing. With this knowledge, it is easier to pinpoint problems in other areas of your business, as opposed to carrying out ambiguous searches through entire departments.
3. Doesn’t require technical knowledge
This is one of the wonders of functioning as a Citizen Data Scientist. It is easy to grasp key insights from Accounting numbers with minimal technical knowledge – and any familiarity with complex data analytics is not required to glean key business insights.
Finding the right business intelligence tool for accounting data
Finding the right business intelligence tool that works for both traditional data scientists and citizen data scientists can be a real challenge. When getting a business intelligence tool for your organization it is important to make sure that it offers efficiency and ease of use. Following are some of the features that should be present in a good business intelligence software designed to manage accounting data:
● The ability to streamline financial processes
● Real-time reporting
● The ability to provide in-depth business insights
● The ability to save time and reduce the cost of analytics
● Ease of use
● Integration of data across different departments of the organization
● Fast synchronization abilities
● The ability to maintain data privacy and security
● Data accuracy
Before diving into the process of buying a business intelligence tool for your organization, it is best to identify the specific needs of your organization and list down the features that your ideal business intelligence tool must-have. Once you have done that you can do a bi tool comparison to see which business intelligence tools serve your needs the best. This will save you from paying extra money for features that are not even important to you. Talking of money, comparing the cost of business intelligence software is also a very important factor.
We will suggest that you decide on a price range and make a list of features that you want in your software and then shortlist the software that falls within your requirements.
Sounds like too much of a task? There is no need to be intimidated. We have already done half the job for you by picking the best technology vendors there are and comparing their services. If you are having trouble making a decision, allow us to help! Wheelhouse can source the best software vendors based on your requirements, and provide you with a free quote. Visit our Accounting software solutions page to compare BI tools. By making a BI tools comparison, you can get the software that aligns with your needs the best.