Why Microsoft

A blog about Microsoft's strategic and technical differentiation.

A Day in the Life of a Financial Analyst

A Day in the Life of a Financial Analyst

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It’s going to be her best day, or her worst day ever. This financial analyst has a fantastic opportunity to showcase her knowledge of the business, and a 5 PM deadline. Her firm’s comptroller is preparing an offer to purchase another company, and hand-picked her to finalize the cost projections for integrating the two firms’ operations -- today. Will her report earn her a “thank you” and a cold salad from the cafeteria, or the promotion she’s been seeking?  

Using Microsoft Office 365 she brings in all of the cost data she wants to analyze. Concentrating fully in a remote corner of the building, she loses Web access, yet continues working. Her analysis is accurate. Her charts are comprehensive and clear. Certain she has done an excellent job, she shares her report securely.  

Working with Google Apps means she must use less data and take a narrower view in her analysis. Not only that, she cannot manipulate data easily like she can with Excel. Working in her noisy cubicle to stay online, less confident in the caliber of her work, and frustrated, she worries whether she can even meet the deadline. Take a look!  

Download the infographic.

  • Yet another inaccessible infographic. This one even has alt attributes at the end of the img elements with no values.

  • @Ian Ray: I’m pleased to point out that those wanting accessibility options to graphics may go to the Windows 7 control panel and open the ease of access center, and a label is now available on the infographic.

  • How is a screenreader going to interpret this:

    area shape="rect" coords="580,1178,870,1222" href="groups.google.com/.../forum target="_blank"

    No alt attribute, no semantics, no interpretation. Your own internal users aren't creating accessible documents. This is basically late 1990s style Web code you are publishing. If this infographic is made with Microsoft productivity software, how can it be claimed that Microsoft productivity software is making strides in accessibility?

    Google just released another iteration in accessibility enhancements to its Docs offerings this week. It is one thing to talk about the issue, quite another to do something about it.

  • @ Ian Ray: Alt tag is there. Let us know if you have valuable input regarding a financial analyst’s needs for a capable productivity tool to do his/her job.

  • @Tony

    Alt attributes are not in the area elements. There are no img elements with corresponding alt attributes. The only way to read for example "Locks cells and define data entry area to protect integrity of report" is to look at the image that represents the text. Not even "Why Microsoft Learn about Microsoft's strategic and technical differentiation" has a value for the alt attribute.

    As for financial analysts, more and more analysts generate financial statements directly in ERP systems. Dynamics use of FRx and now Management Reporter provides a decent tie-in to Excel so that at least reports can be saved in Excel format, but this is more of a comfort zone issue. Other ERPs generate excellent reports without a specific export function. The concept of keeping the data in the ERP and not having Excel sheets with various macros and versions floating around is sound and will be standard practice in the near future.

    I generate reports via live SQL views to Google Apps spreadsheets. The Google Apps charting is good these days although it was once was not so great... you may want to revisit that before attacking charting specifics. This is not intended to replace ERP-based report generation at all but to make the summary data available for collaboration.

    The way this story reads is of an analyst pulling disparate data sets directly into Excel and making some charts. This is a fine use case for Excel, but is more of a one-off exercise. I would also like to see a demonstration of this happening "in Office 365" without using the Excel 2010 desktop version at all.

  • @Ian Ray: Thank you for the additional, financial analyst productivity example using Microsoft’s interoperable tools. Here is a demo that shows how the Power Pivot add in for Excel assists in pulling Microsoft Dynamics ERP data into a spreadsheet for analysis of sales data (http://bit.ly/d1dx6Y). Here is a short, fun video just on Power Pivot (http://bit.ly/HZChrR).

  • Wow.  I think u will stick with MACS after the image.  Lol.

  • thank you

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