Advanced Analytics (1) – Mind the Date… Format (in Power BI)

You load the data in Power BI, visualize it and… it looks wrong. Instead of the European Day-Month-Year format, you get the funny-looking US Month-Day-Year one. Or the other way around.

Even worse, when you try to summarize the January sales, you get 12 months instead.

Intelifly.com took the challenge and looked at this issue. They prepared a demo on how to import and present the dates, no matter what the source format looks like. Our Intelifly partners specialize in finding advanced solutions to your data challenges, mostly by using Microsoft’s Power BI analytics software. If you are curious about what can be achieved, have a look at the free demos available on intelifly.com – the COVID pandemic evolution (tracked daily) and the Wiener Boerse status (Vienna Stock Exchange).

To better explain what is going on, we have prepared several steps:

 

1. Input tables

There are 3 tables available in Microsoft Excel, showing 3 dates formats:

  • an US-formatted dates table (i.e. MM-DD-YYYY style),
  • an European-formatted dates table (i.e. DD-MM-YYYY style) and
  • an unformatted dates table – where I specifically formatted the dates as Text and forced them to the dubious General format (which is a way of MS Excel saying “I don’t know what you want from me”).

Read More »Advanced Analytics (1) – Mind the Date… Format (in Power BI)

“Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos”, With an Introduction by Walter Isaacson – a HBR Book Essentials Review

The latest Harvard Business Press title represents a compilation of public statements, articles and written thoughts – all belonging to Jeff Bezos. “Invent and Wander” has thus two main important functions:

1. It sheds a light on the principles and processes under which Jeff Bezos built Amazon from an online book 📚 retailer to the largest e-commerce retailer in the world.

2. It offers a historical perspective on the development (or if you want – becoming) of a top business creator, who always dared to be different.

Add to the above Bezos’s idiosyncrasies on:

– building the most possible customer-centric company and

– surrounding himself with trusted persons and leaving them to do the job whilst he sits back 

and you will have on your ✋ s som thing of a an advanced business cookbook.which would be the envy of the 19th century oil barons.

“Invent and Wander” starts big and ends… literally flying in space. The beginning theme focuses on the long term perspective. Amazon never did anything for the the next 3 months – it always looked at the next 10 years. This is the main reason why the company went public only 3 years after its start, despite its exponential growth in a hot 🔥 sector (founded in 1994, IPO in 1997). This is also why Bezos insisted that they never pay any dividends, but rather to reinvest the money in new projects. In a sense, Jeff Bezos is a brilliant financial architect – as one of the most coon-held view among the hedge funds is that companies are sums of projects with a finite lifetime, rather than production machines. Read More »“Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos”, With an Introduction by Walter Isaacson – a HBR Book Essentials Review

“What is Strategy? An Illustrated Guide to Michael Porter” by Joan Magretta, A Harvard Business Review Press Title – Book Essentials

What is Strategy?

A HBR Press Title Book Essentials

Strategy is notoriously difficult to explain.the most famous business thinkers are still struggling to convey to the Boardrooms what they think the strategy should be. Yet, as the countless courses, consultants and breakdowns demonstrate, the strategy is often properly understood.

This is why this HBR illustrated book is actually a keeper. “What is Strategy? An Illustrated Guide to Michael Porter”, written by Joan Magretta, does a great job of bringing strategy down to Earth. “What is Strategy?” decomposes all of the elements envisioned by Michael Porter since 1980s and re-assembles them in visual style. Think of it as one of the best business graphical novels ever put on paper. Or as the most worked-on strategy power point presentation brought to you. Add to it a light-hearted, interactive visual style – and voila, you have a reference, easy to use guide to strategy.

This does not mean that the illustrated guide to Michael Porter’s idea is for children. It is not even beginners’ exclusive. The guide looks detailed enough to be used by any experienced person as a quick reference guide or, why not, as a strategy concepts refresher. For example, it starts with a depiction of the the executive team that goes into the boardroom. This description serves two purposes:

– to introduce the characters that play different roles in the business world and

– to describe the most common roles in the C-suite – what does each do and what are their responsibilities.Read More »“What is Strategy? An Illustrated Guide to Michael Porter” by Joan Magretta, A Harvard Business Review Press Title – Book Essentials

“When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession With Economic Efficiency” by Roger L. Martin, a HBR Press Review – Book Essentials

Roger L Martin The win-win American capitalism might be skewed towards extremes, leaving the middle exposed. Roger L. Martin, a famous strategy professor, decided to take a new look at this “democratic capitalism” model. More importantly, he takes on a journey on how we can fix it. How well is Martin faring?

“When More Is Not Better – Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency” crosses the border of the WIFM business books. It might even become one of those titles that made famous the Chicago tribune economists – and propelled them in the driving seat of America’s economic policies. For a few decades, the US economy was transformed (at least conceptually) in a money making machine. Well, we all know the problems with the machines, do we?:

– their behavior is deemed predictable;

– they function constantly, based on well-known principles;

– the machines cannot learn and certainly cannot adapt to new ever-changing reality factors.

Read More »“When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession With Economic Efficiency” by Roger L. Martin, a HBR Press Review – Book Essentials

“Strategic Analytics – the Insights You Need” Handbook from HBR Press – Book Essentials Review

Strategic Analytics – the Insights You Need”

Analyzing the future available options strains every individual. “Strategic Analytics – the Insights You Need” takes the strategy at the next level. Curated and assembled by editors and authors from Harvard Business Review, “Strategic Analytics” puts together a pretty rounded picture on the hot topic of summarizing your organizational possibilities.

Analyzing the strategic options and their implementation results for a company is exponentially more difficult. Most organisations decide themselves on embarking on a data journey, yet the resources (hardware, software and people) are not there. And even if you arranged all your resources properly, many companies fail to deliver results at the right pace. 

What are the usual ingredients for a successful strategic analytics implementation?:

** Data and technology

Whilst usually data is there, organizations need to put in place processes to make sense of it. Every transaction with a customer is an opportunity to learn how to better serve the needs 

** The right talent and skill-set

Analysing and transforming the terrabites of customer and market data takes talent and experience. They are hard to find and need usually serious nurturing.Read More »“Strategic Analytics – the Insights You Need” Handbook from HBR Press – Book Essentials Review

“Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Frances X. Frei and Anne Morriss – Book Essentials

How should a leader be? What is your favorite CEO style?:

** A CEO that is polite, accepting most of the team’s excuses and under pressure from the Board?

OR

** One that is polite, tough and relatively fair, difficult to work with and well perceived by the Board?

“Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” came in June 2020 to change a bit our views on the efficient leadership styles. There has been much written on the topic of efficient leadership, especially at the CEO level.

The general research literature agrees overall on several traits of an effective leader:

– she gets results…

– … Without damaging the team…

– … Empowers others without giving up control…

– … And overall creates an organisation admires by customers and competitors.

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss offer in their new book a different perspective. Your success as a leader is directly proportional with your ability to unleash the maximum potential in those around you. This leadership potential depends on how far and smart are you empowering the others around you. Of course, this is just an ingredient of an organizations’ success – ultimately no company can survive only on good leadership skills.Read More »“Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Frances X. Frei and Anne Morriss – Book Essentials

Global Technology Shares – Reckoning Still Approaching?

One year ago, doitinvest.com opinionated that a retreat on the technology shared prices was coming. Now in 2020 the technology shares marched to new heights. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index increased with almost 25% year-on-year, leaving critics scratching their heads. So where did we and other analysts get it wrong?

In my view, there were several factors in play:

** The macro environment changes

The technology advances did not only increased productivity in many sectors, it also entrenched and legitimized many players. FANG companies are now an implicit part of many companies’ strategies and operations. Most services companies are now seeing cloud operations as a must-have.Read More »Global Technology Shares – Reckoning Still Approaching?