From Toys to Tools ---- Using Data Analytic software in the classroom

Lorrie Metzger; Kathy Nesper

School of Business, University at Buffalo

The presentation includes two parts/two presenters:
1.) This presentation will, in part, explore the results of a hands-on service learning project completed by University at Buffalo MS Accounting students. Excel was used to summarize sales dollar and demographic data maintained manually by an area nonprofit. Next, Tableau Software was used to develop data visualization charts for the organization. The information was structured to answer specific organizational concerns and will be used to reduce costs, improve customer engagement, and set direction to improve the entity’s future operations.
2.) This presentation will focus on cases for both undergraduate and graduate Accounting courses. For the undergraduate Accounting Information Systems course, a data analytics case was provided to the students in a structured way which required the students to use IDEA software to analyze the data set. For the graduate Data Analytics for Accountants course, data analytics cases were provided to the students with less structure and little guidance in order to allow students to draw conclusions from the data by looking for anomalies and internal control deficiencies with IDEA software. Both the undergraduate and graduate cases required the students to write scripts, join data sets, and summarize data using IDEA software. Additionally, the graduate cases required the students to draw conclusions and make Management recommendations based upon the findings noted.