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  #381  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:26 AM
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https://www.zdnet.com/article/spread...ess-analytics/
Quote:
Executives are not comfortable with analytics platforms, and still prefer their spreadsheets
AI and advanced analytic tools are present in most enterprises, but so are data silos and spreadsheets.


Spoiler:
For close to two decades, vendors, analysts and pundits alike have been predicting the death of the spreadsheet, as executives, managers and professionals move on to connected, intelligent analytics platforms to aid in their decision-making. It's 2019, and guess what? Everyone still loves their spreadsheets.

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A recent study of 1.048 executives out of Deloitte finds most companies are not mature when it comes to business analytics; and 62% still rely on spreadsheets for their insights. While 76% of survey respondents report that their analytical maturity has increased over the past year, most are still using traditional tools such as spreadsheets (62%) and business intelligence programs (58%, combined).

"The traditional workhorses of the data analytics universe-spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel and business intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI or IBM Cognos-are the most commonly used tools," according to the Deloitte team. They add, however, there are some more advanced tools present within their enterprises: 67% also use at least one advanced tool such as SAS, an open source tool such as R, a programming language such as Python, or an AI tool.

Will artificial intelligence finally release the hold spreadsheets have on business analytical culture? We've heard this tune before, but the Deloitte survey's authors, led by Thomas Davenport, are optimistic on this one. Forty-six percent of executives see AI as an important initiative over the coming years.

The survey found that fewer than four in 10 (37%) of executives believe that their companies are relatively mature in their adoption of analytics. While the remaining 63% are aware of analytics, they lack technology infrastructure, are still working in silos or are expanding ad hoc capabilities. In addition, 67% of executives surveyed are not comfortable accessing or using data from their existing tools and resources.

Structured data still rules as an analytical foundation, the survey shows. Sixty-four percent rely solely on structured data from internal systems or resources, eliminating insights from unstructured sources such as social media comments, product images and customer audio files.

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An analytics-driven culture starts at the top, and, interestingly, Davenport and his co-researchers find executives are not comfortable with it. "Fully 67% of those surveyed (who are senior managers or higher) say they are not comfortable accessing or using data from their tools and resources," the team reports. "The proportion is significant even at companies with strong data-driven cultures, where 37% of respondents still express discomfort. This points to a major opportunity for companies to provide more education and improve the user experience if they want every employee to use insights as part of their work."

This is where the opportunity is for data analytics and AI proponents -- education, training, and simply focusing on helping business leaders work outside of their comfort zones. This can be also be reinforced by executives who encourage trying and risk-taking - even if failure occurs - and reward a "fail forward" mindset within the domain."


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Davenport and his Deloitte co-authors also urge the expansion of tools to help "incorporate both structured and unstructured data insights and implement a single master system for analytics across the organization. One dashboard that has a holistic view into all areas of the company will make it simple for employees to present information, make decisions and act on data."

They also see data analytics as something everyone needs to build into their jobs. It's time to "eliminate the idea that only highly-skilled mathematicians or data scientists are the only ones responsible for business analytics," they state. Spread accountability broadly and train all employees about the role of analytics in their respective jobs.

Here's the bottom line: In companies where all personnel have been educated about how to leverage data, 88% exceeded business goals, compared to just 61% of those with few trained employees.


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  #382  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:48 PM
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oh, this is great

a hard-coded number error

by an actuary

https://www.iol.co.za/personal-finan...putes-34927606
Quote:
Who has the final say in pension fund disputes?
Spoiler:
Pension funds involved in disputes could find themselves caught in a “perfect circle” if, aggrieved with a decision of the Pension Funds Adjudicator, they turn to the Financial Services Tribunal, which replaced the Financial Services Board Appeal Board.

This is the view of pension fund lawyer Graham Damant, partner in the employment and benefits practice at Bowmans. “The tribunal has only two courses of action: to send a matter back to the adjudicator to reconsider or to dismiss it. As we have recently seen, this could create a cycle where a matter goes back and forth between the two bodies.”

In a recent decision, the tribunal disagreed with the adjudicator’s ruling in a dispute involving an actuary facing a claim that his actions had resulted in a R40 million loss to a major retirement fund.

“This is a very important case, both for its merits and the new process for funds that are unhappy with a decision of the adjudicator,” Damant says.

The retirement fund had initially referred the matter to the adjudicator, which ruled that the actuary alone was responsible for R40m in overpayments made to exiting members of the fund. The overpayments, made over a number of years, stemmed from a “hard-coding error” in the spreadsheet system the actuary had been using.

The adjudicator ruled that the error constituted maladministration on the part of the actuary, who should pay damages.

The actuary approached the tribunal, which disagreed that the actuary had been performing administration for the retirement fund. This meant that his actions did not constitute maladministration but were a contractual matter over which the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction.

The tribunal also criticised the adjudicator’s ruling and process: the adjudicator had relied on a written report from an independent actuary, whose conclusions the accused actuary had not been given the opportunity to refute.

Furthermore, the tribunal said the adjudicator had not taken into account that the fund had recovered part of the loss, or that the fund itself had failed to stop the overpayments to members once it became aware of the error.

Consequently, the tribunal said the adjudicator’s damages order against the actuary should be set aside, and referred the matter back to the adjudicator for reconsideration.

“The operative word here is ‘reconsideration’,” says Damant. “The tribunal’s decisions are not legally binding, and the adjudicator just has to reconsider, potentially creating a perfect circle.”

A way out of such a situation would be a high court appeal - a route Damant says is still open under section 30P of the Pension Funds Act when parties to a dispute have materially different versions. The difficulty is costs: unlike “internal” dispute resolution through the adjudicator and tribunal, a high court action would be costly and time-consuming.



This is in South Africa.
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  #383  
Old 11-25-2019, 10:51 AM
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https://www.boston.com/news/local-ne...s-property-tax

Quote:
Danvers says they made a mistake calculating next year’s property taxes

Good news, Danvers residents: Your property taxes won’t be going up that much.

Steve Bartha, the Danvers town manager, announced Wednesday that officials had made a mistake when they announced earlier this week that property tax bills would be going up by an average of more than 9 percent for the 2020 fiscal year. Instead, they’ll be going up by a much more modest 3.72 percent for residents and 3.29 percent for business owners.

In a public letter, Bartha wrote that a spreadsheet Danvers officials used to calculate next year’s bills erroneously linked last year’s property values to this year’s estimated tax levy, which “significantly overstated both the projected tax rates and tax impact on the average homeowner/business owner.” Steve Poulos, the town’s chief assessor, first discovered the error Wednesday, as Bartha fielded calls from upset residents, according to the Salem News.

“The good news is that the average tax bill is not increasing by 9.28%, as initially reported,” Barth wrote in the letter, which was also posted on the town’s Facebook page with a graphic reading, “So about that 9% increase.”

“As your Town Manager, I should have caught this before the hearing, and I apologize for the day of anxiety caused by error,” he added.

The correction comes after Poulos had already alerted the Danvers Board of Selectmen to a previous spreadsheet error during a meeting Tuesday, which would have increased tax bills by nearly 13 percent, the Salem News reported.

The adjusted 3.72 percent increase means that the town’s property tax rate will be $13.06 for every $1,000 of residential property value. That means next year’s tax bill for the average single-family home — valued at $493,913 in 2020, according to town officials — would be just over $6,450.
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  #384  
Old 11-29-2019, 10:23 AM
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https://www.rte.ie/news/business/201...an-investment/

Quote:
State fund for jobs loses €750k due to 'human error'

A State fund set up to support jobs in Ireland lost €750,000 on an investment because of a human error that wrongly categorised the money as euro when it should have been in dollars.

When the rate of exchange moved against the State body, it lost thousands because it failed to put in place a mechanism to offset a loss caused by a movement in currencies.

The investment was made by the State's Strategic Investment Fund, which is part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

The issue was highlighted in a periodic report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which questioned the agency about the "control weakness".

The report said: "The NTMA explained that the agency purchased a fund in dollars, but it was not designated or marked on the spreadsheet record as such. It was recorded as a euro fund.

"Subsequently, when the error was discovered, the dollar exchange rate had moved against the NTMA and the investment return was down €750,000."

The PAC was informed that the NTMA had corrected the weakness in its processes, which it said was caused by "human error".

The NTMA said it was confident that such a situation could not happen again.

Units are always troublesome.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:31 PM
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In the following, an estimate of taxes in an article was waaaaaay off because, when they put the numbers in Excel to add them for the piece....

....they added the year to the total.

For example, the sum for 2020 was 3,154.70 -- and the sum should have been 1,134.70

That's quite the whoopsie

(partially) translated from Italian:
https://attivissimo.blogspot.com/202...onomia-ha.html
Quote:
Italy Today: an economy newspaper has problems adding five issues
Spoiler:
Many colleagues reproach me for treating them badly and for generalizing excessively when I say that with very few exceptions, the editorial method of Italian journalism is a common crap. Non-existent controls, inept titers, incompetent articulators. Come on, they tell me, it can't be that bad.

On January 21 last Italia Oggi , a newspaper specializing in economic news, published an article entitled Ethical taxes are worth 13 billion , signed by Giuliano Mandolesi.

Too bad that the figure of 13 billion was obtained by including the numerical value of the year in the calculation . In an economy newspaper.



One could think of a multiplication table prepared in a hurry by the underpaid intern who did not realize that he had included the year in the Excel sum, and a titler who has not checked and added the totals to reach 13 billion and the average of 3.4 billion a year, and this would already be a symptom of an editorial staff populated by people who work with their brains off, without wondering how those five small numbers could make more than 3000 in sum.

But Mandolesi cited the total in the article ( "over 13 billion euros in the next four years with an average of about 3.4 billion a year" , he writes) and reiterated and quoted in one of his tweets one of the sensationally wrong amounts:

@marattin I feel drawn because it is an article of mine on @ItaliaOggi

The data are of the technical report (cialtronate ????)

3,154 billion on 2020 pic.twitter.com/3HkL7HIVZJ
- Giuliano Mandolesi (@Mandolesi_Giu) January 25, 2020


I quote:

"@Marattin I feel drawn because it is an article of mine on @ItaliaOggi

The data are of the technical report (cialtronate ????)

3.154 billion on 2020 pic.twitter.com/3HkL7HIVZJ"

The same completely wrong total, without the table, is still reported now, days later, in the online version of the article , entitled "Over 13 billion of ethical taxes in operation" ( copy on Archive.is ). The original article, however, is easily available in Google as a PDF by looking for the title in quotation marks .

It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the newspaper and the journalist will be. Because the error can happen to everyone: the difference between the arrogant cialtrone and the honest bungler can be seen in the management of that error. In the meantime, I thank Valerio Minnella for reporting this pearl to me.


---


01/26/2020. On the Mandolesi tweet was removed. Of course I kept a screenshot of it.



Subsequently Mandolesi published this apologetic tweet: “I can only apologize for the mistake, the revenue from the" ethical "taxes is not 13 billion but 5.5 billion. However, it was not a question of manipulation but of an obvious calculation error:


Luigi Marattin

@marattin
· 26 gen 2020
È passata la notte, ci hanno dormito sopra. Ma @Mandolesi_Giu e @ItaliaOggi si sono scusati per aver scritto e pubblicato questa tabella che somma l’anno (2020) alle tasse (1134) per manipolare i dati? E @giuslit e @massimogara si sono scusati per ave rilanciato questa bufala?

Visualizza l'immagine su Twitter

Giuliano Mandolesi
@Mandolesi_Giu
Non posso che scusarmi per l'errore, il gettito delle tasse "etiche" non è 13mld ma 5,5 miliardi.

Non si è trattato però di manipolazione ma di un evidente errore di calcolo

154
04:08 - 26 gen 2020
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And then another: “For a selection error on excel I incorrectly calculated the total ethical taxes in the cited article - The correct figure is not 13 billion in the four-year period but 5.5 - I apologize again with @marattin with the readers and especially with @ItaliaOggi who is free of responsibility https://twitter.com/marattin/status/1221343010648133632 ... " .


Giuliano Mandolesi
@Mandolesi_Giu
Per un errore di selezione su excel ho calcolato non correttamente il totale delle tasse etiche nell'articolo citato

Il dato corretto non è 13mld nel quadriennio ma 5,5

Mi scuso nuovamente con @marattin con i lettori e soprattutto con @ItaliaOggi che è priva di responsabilità https://twitter.com/marattin/status/1221343010648133632

Luigi Marattin

@marattin
È passata la notte, ci hanno dormito sopra. Ma @Mandolesi_Giu e @ItaliaOggi si sono scusati per aver scritto e pubblicato questa tabella che somma l’anno (2020) alle tasse (1134) per manipolare i dati? E @giuslit e @massimogara si sono scusati per ave rilanciato questa bufala?

Visualizza l'immagine su Twitter
737
09:45 - 26 gen 2020
Informazioni e privacy per gli annunci di Twitter
269 utenti ne stanno parlando


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