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Knowledge Analytics Ability Builders for Introductory Accounting

Revealed: 11/27/2023

Studying Time: 5 minutes


Knowledge analytics is a cornerstone for decision-making, strategic planning, and goal advertising in enterprise. There’s additionally an ever-growing demand for knowledge analytics within the accounting occupation—a lot so that it’ll grow to be a part of the up to date CPA examination in 2024. 

Enterprise college students needs to be uncovered to knowledge analytics early, and sometimes, so that they develop a ability set very important to their careers. Rules of Accounting programs are perfect for introducing the subject of knowledge analytics. College students are required to take these lessons at first of most enterprise applications, and accounting by nature is an enormous assortment of content material simply ready to be analyzed. 

The prospect of together with knowledge analytics in Rules lessons, nevertheless, is justifiably daunting for Accounting instructors. In her weblog submit on this topic, Kristen Quinn voices two widespread college reactions:

1. “I don’t have the time to spend instructing college students the basics of knowledge analytics in my course.”
2.  “I’m not an professional on knowledge analytics—how do I start with creating acceptable knowledge analytics assignments?”   

Properly stated.

Knowledge Analytics Ability Builders—an answer for introductory Accounting college students (and school!) 

I’m excited to be implementing the brand new Knowledge Analytics Ability Builders (DASB) from Cengage.  They’re interactive actions that particularly goal introductory Accounting college students. DASBs are instantly tied to textbook subjects and examples. You need to use them to show or reinforce accounting content material coated within the course. 

DASBs are accomplished in CNOWv2 utilizing its Excel On-line drawback sort, making them obtainable to all college students on all working methods. So, an additional benefit is that college students enhance their proficiency with Excel, which can be a extremely desired enterprise ability! 

The excellent news is: 

  1.  College don’t want to show knowledge analytics or Excel, since a number of assets* can be found to information college students in finishing DASBs.  
  1.  Cengage has 40 DASBs that cowl a wide selection of monetary and managerial accounting subjects—so there’s no have to create our personal assignments. 

Properly finished. 


Bonus Ideas:

1. A 13-page primer doc describes the fundamentals of Excel and formulation, lists and offers examples of features related to those actions, and particulars the method of making pivot tables. 

2. Present Me How Movies cowl pivot tables and filtering. 

3. Verify My Work suggestions evaluates tried reply cells, and hints present helpful prompts. 

4. Publish Submission suggestions particulars pivot desk directions and associated explanations, and mouseovers present rejoinders for solutions, even when entries are right.


Knowledge Analytics Ability Builders—what they appear like 

Every exercise briefly describes a situation associated to an accounting train or subject to create context. 

College students open an Excel worksheet with a practical knowledge set associated to the accounting subject. Column headings every describe the data recorded or requested (if clean). Every row represents a person file—one borrower, buyer, sale, mortgage, asset, and so on. There are tons of of data, so college students use Excel instruments to extract particular info they’re requested to search out. Knowledge units are algorithmically generated, so every pupil has a distinct model until instructors select in any other case. 

There’s a constant feel and look among the many DASB actions. College students first full the Excel knowledge sheet by coming into formulation and features within the clean columns (necessities). They then reply 4 quantitative questions on choose components of the total knowledge set. Lastly, they reply to 1 important considering multiple-choice query associated to the subject. 

Let me take you on a fast tour of one of many actions. The instance that follows exhibits knowledge for 4 of the 300 data from the DASB on short-term notes. 



STEP 1:  Scholar opens the info sheet offered and notes that two columns include no entries. 

College students begin by coming into formulation within the first row of the info set to resolve accounting-related questions, which teaches and reinforces key ideas. These calculations are usually the questions that may be requested as phrase issues in a textbook—simply in a distinct format. 


STEP 2:  Scholar enters formulation to resolve for lacking quantities for the primary file within the knowledge set. 

Screenshot of a data sheet from a Data Analytics Skill Builders activity.

It requires some important considering to create formulation that end in right solutions—past what it takes to only sort static numbers right into a calculator. I like that the formulation function an archive of a pupil’s thought processes. College students can use them as a fast reference afterward when marvel, “How did I get that quantity?” 

As a finest follow, I permit college students to examine their work (and proper their formulation, if essential) after they remedy for the quantities within the first row, so that they don’t proceed with an incorrect reply. All subsequent questions rely upon the solutions within the first file. 

As soon as the accounting content material questions have been answered within the first row, these formulation are copied right down to all different data to finish the info set. This may increasingly contain appropriately making use of relative and absolute references in Excel. 


STEP 3: Scholar copies entries for the primary file right down to all different data. 

Screenshot of a data sheet from a Data Analytics Skill Builders activity.


Quantitative questions 

Now comes the info analytics! College students are requested 4 questions associated to the info set they accomplished in steps 1 to three. They use Excel pivot tables and features to extract related info and insights from the info set to reply focused questions. 


STEP 4: Scholar creates primary pivot tables to “slice and cube” and filter and type the massive knowledge set. 

Screenshot of a data sheet from a Data Analytics Skill Builders activity.

What’s the quantity Firm A will accumulate from Frankfurt Co., Matsumoto Co., Traynor Co., and Xu Co. mixed when these prospects pay their 2023 loans in full? 



Questions grow to be more and more analytical and will ask for comparisons, traits, modifications over time, ratios, selections, decisions, and so on. 


Qualitative multiple-choice query 

Lastly, college students really feel proud and achieved after they arrive at an accurate numerical reply utilizing formulation, features, and pivot tables. However do they really know what the outcome means? Is it good or unhealthy? Higher or worse? Acceptable or under customary? 

STEP 5: Every DASB features a qualitative multiple-choice query to evaluate college students’ important considering.  


How’s it going to this point?  

To date, the expertise with the brand new DASBs has been optimistic! College students catch on rapidly to the method, and so they appear to benefit from the hands-on, drag-and-drop interface used to create the pivot tables. They’re actually utilizing the assets—the primer and movies—to be taught on their very own. Plus, their formulation end in right solutions to accounting and knowledge set questions! 

My sense is that Enterprise college students who full even a handful of those actions won’t solely be taught some accounting, however will even construct up their Excel, knowledge analytics, and important considering expertise. 

Need to be taught extra about Knowledge Analytics Ability Builder actions for introductory Accounting lessons? You possibly can attain out to your rep to get extra info. 

Additionally, you’ll be able to watch the recording and entry the PowerPoint from the Persevering with Skilled Schooling Webinar for Accounting and Tax Instructors that I hosted in Fall 2023. The session features a demonstration of how college students entry a DASB exercise, enter calculations to finish a big knowledge set, and create pivot tables to reply focused questions in regards to the knowledge. 


Christine Jonick is a Professor of Accounting on the College of North Georgia 


Watch Christine’s recorded session from the Persevering with Skilled Schooling Webinar for Accounting and Tax Instructors to be taught extra about Knowledge Analytics Ability Builders. 





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