Big Data and Analytics

6/24/16 At the recent Annual Convention of the NJCPA, we heard a speaker – Bryan Smith from CPA Crossings, LLC – talk about data analytics. Most believe that analytic activities will have a positive impact on business activities, processes and profits but there seem to be mixed results with analytic activities actually achieving stated goals and adding value. The companies that are most successful using data analytics have CEO involvement in the activities and initiatives. This includes providing the investment to support analytics through organizational infrastructure and appropriate talent. As an example, The President of WAWA, Chris Gheysens, frequently talks about their ,business success coming from their use of analytics in the hiring process, product selection and locations of stores. According to Gheysens “In business you win or lose in this hyper-competitive market based on the speed and correctness of your decisions, ideas, and investments,” he said. “You’ve got to do things to make your business grow. Analytics is the backbone to all of that”. Bryan Smith discussed some analytic tools like Oracle, Cognos, Hadoop, IDEA, ACL and EXCEL BI. Several of these tools require heavy technical support or external partnerships due to the environment they are pulling data from, while others can be used in smaller enterprises. Bryan’s advice; plan and organize for success, that is align resources with stated goals to create value.

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