Business Intelligence And Data Mining Sample College Essay

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) has made numerous innovative changes to the functional and structural frameworks of businesses by adopting advanced technologies in the age of global digitalization. In particular, customer-centered companies focus on aspects such as personalization, communication, and added value, which become ineffective without the implementation of business intelligence (BI). A virtual online retail company, XYZ, features an e-wallet service. It holds credit, which can be potentially used to purchase products on the site. It includes order cancellation refunds as credit and gift cards. In both scenarios, credit points expire after a period of six months. The e-commerce store needs to implement data warehousing solutions in order to report and analyze its e-wallet service. The business case includes improved business operations, faster data processing, and effective customer relationship management. The individuals involved in the integration of this solution will be top management, finance department heads, as well as external intelligence groups, specialized in data storage and business intelligence. Therefore, creating a data warehouse has a high return on investment (ROI) if the cost of the external experts is significantly lower than the projected results of meeting the company’s objectives. They include CRM optimization, wallet liabilities review, and credit payment system assessment.

The solution of the case consists of developing and implementing a dimensional model to answer some of the questions the company needs the answers to. A successful data warehouse will give XYZ an opportunity to analyze the daily balance of credit and make predictions about credit expiration rates and outcomes in a specific month. The dimensional model will be able to address the requirements of XYZ by using the company’s transactional database to make business process assumptions. All the credit and debit purchases will be captured through grain definition. The model will include various dimensions to provide context and descriptive attributes of transactions. The calculation of definitions, dimensions, and additive facts will be integral to XYZ’s credit system review and future updates. The assessment of data will also provide the company’s executives and department heads with vital information about customer behaviors and cancellation rates. The original qualities of the solution include the utilization of a star schema data mart system as well as the creation of a DimWallet and FactWallet. They will contain the necessary data about the dimensions of a particular customer (for instance, their name, contacts, customer ID, and other) and transaction facts. The main assumption of the model is the immediate availability of all the required information due to pre-existing transactional databases. The lack of existing data mining frameworks and qualified employees who could maintain the dimensional system presents various constraints.

Implementation of the system will consist of different stages, including research, planning, design, prototype, feedback, development, testing, setup, and maintenance (Yasser and Razvan, 2016). A standardized solution for the exchange of big data volumes is the creation of a centralized system, which is assumed to be available at XYZ. The model presented in the solution is developed using GitHub. The changes will include only financial, BI, and executive departments having access to a web interface and MySQL (Structured Query Language)/My ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) databases connected to a SQL server due to cybersecurity concerns (Yasser and Razvan, 2016). Other senior managers will be able to export open-access data using portable document format (PDF). FactWallet and DimWallet will include general information about XYZ’s transactions/customers with an option to search through them. Streamlining will help to connect the company’s existing business intelligence with new financial, customized data for review and updates.

Reference List

Yasser, A. and Razvan, D. Z. (2016) ‘Implementing business intelligence system – Case study’, Database Systems Journal, 7(1), pp. 35–44.

Meiji Holdings And General Mills Financial Statements Comparing

Introduction

The food manufacturing and processing industry have become one of the biggest sectors in the business world. This has been greatly influenced by the increasing demand for processed foods in the current busy world where people have little time to spare for cooking. Urbanization has further influenced consumer preference for processed foods. The highest growth rate has been registered mostly in the developed countries such as China, Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and India to mention a few. Meiji Holdings Company and General Mills Company are among the biggest food companies in the world. This report seeks to analyze and compare the financial statements of the two companies to identify which one is more profitable.

Brief Review of the General Mills Company

General Mills is one of the largest companies worldwide in the food and beverages industry. The company boasts of a capital base of approximately 33 billion dollars, which is a significant amount. The company was inaugurated in the late 1920s and ever since the company manufactures and markets food products that are sold in retail stores (General Mills, 2013). In addition to branded processed foodstuff, the company produces and supplies unbranded food products (General Mills, 2013). The company mostly deals in three central areas, the foodservice and bakeries, United States retail, and the international sector (General Mills, 2013).

Furthermore, General Mills sells ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. In 2012, the company obtained Yoki Alimentos SA and Food Should Taste Good, a firm situated in Needham Heights (General Mills, 2013). Over a long period, the gross income for General Mills has increased from 16.7 billion dollars to 17.8 billion dollars (General Mills, 2013). Most outstandingly, the company has been successful in plummeting costs related to broad management and selling from 20.29% to 19.99% (General Mills, 2013). This was its greatest achievement and the backbone of the company’s growth from 1.6 billion dollars to 1.9 billion dollars (General Mills, 2013).

Brief Review of the Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.

Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. is a conglomerate involved in many industries. The company is based in Asia, Europe, and North America but its headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan (Meiji Holdings, 2013). This is a major company with a human capital of over 14,000 employees. The company’s revenue collection is also a major success with its record of 13, 603.9 million dollars in the financial year ending in March 2013 (Meiji Holdings, 2013). This was a 1.6 % increment from the previous year. The company recorded a 28.1% rise in its profits in the same year, which was an indication of good business.

Accounting Standards Used

Although Meiji Holdings Company and General Mills Company are significantly comparable in terms of the services they offer, they employ contrasting accounting standards. Accounting standards are authoritative ethics for monetary reporting. These guidelines spell out how pertinent actions and dealings are to be documented, revealed, calculated, and presented in financial statements (Walther, 2012).

These standards intend to expose financial data to suppliers, financiers, and other stakeholders that are crucial in decision-making (Walther, 2012). In addition, these standards offer a consistent way of contrasting the financial statements of different firms. The General Mills Company’s financial statement employs the United States GAAPs in its financial reports (Walther, 2012). The arrangement and the content of General Mills’ financial statements point out that the firm employs the FASB accounting standards.

Differences in the Annual Statements Found on the Companies’ Websites

In the General Mills Company’s balance sheet, non-current assets are accounted for independently from the current assets. In the same way, non-current liabilities are also accounted for independently from current liabilities. Additionally, only current assets that are anticipated to be achieved inside the company’s fiscal year are indicated. In the General Mills company cash flow statement, cash expenditure and proceeds are classified into financing actions, operating actions, and investing actions (Walther, 2012). Besides, all the applicable data concerning financing actions and cashless investing has been documented in the cash flow.

Meiji Holdings shareholders’ equity is inclusive of treasury shares, stated capital, retained earnings, and additional paid-in capital (Wild, 2008). Their operating costs are arranged according to their nature and the profit is prepared in bits. This varies from the General Mills company income statement where several steps technique is employed. These steps include the cost of sales subtracted from the overall sales and current gross profit and current income ahead of income tax (Wild, 2008). The net assets include translation adjustments, shareholders equity, stock options, and minority interest (Wild, 2008).

Auditing Standards Used by the External Auditors

In General Mills, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board standards are used for external auditing (Wild, 2008). These standards guarantee that audits gain rational assertions on the subject of whether the financial statements lack material misstatement (Wild, 2008). It also shows whether the internal controls are efficient in making certain impartial and accurate financial documentation. Meiji Holdings Co. Ltd., on the other hand, employs the Japanese Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (Wild, 2008).

Difference Between a 10-K and Corporate Social Responsibility

A 10-K is a yearly filing that the United States publicly traded companies are obligated to submit to the SEC (Wild, 2008). These financial data present information essential for investors to make judgments concerning the selling and buying of shares (Wild, 2008). Corporate social responsibility statement is a file published by a corporation showing its programs to take accountability and review its impact on social interests. In contrast, a corporate social responsibility statement is intended to communicate a company’s social responsibility assurance and its expansion and course as a socially sensitive venture (Wild, 2008). Both General Mills Company and Meiji Holdings Company present annual reports and corporate social responsibility reports to their stakeholders (Wild, 2008). General Mills Company files a 10-K report as a prerequisite by law.

Which of the two companies is more profitable?

General Mills records a gross profit margin of 33.97% while the Meiji Holdings Company records a gross margin of 36.18% (General Mills, 2013). Therefore, it is correct to say that General Millis is more profitable compared to Meiji Holdings.

Compare the growth of revenues vs. income over time and between the two companies.

Over three financial years, 2011­-2013, the revenues of both companies’ steadily increased. Nonetheless, their incomes seem to assume an unusual tendency. General Mills’ incomes increased in 2011, decreased in 2012, and then increased in 2013 simultaneously (General Mills, 2013). Similarly, the same trend was seen in Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.’s incomes for the same financial years (Meiji Holdings, 2013).

How can you explain the differences in profitability between the two companies?

The differences in the two companies’ profitability can be attributed to their size and asset base (Walther, 2012).

General Mills’ Annual balance sheet General Mills in dollars.

Period ended 5/26/2013 5/26/2012 5/26/2011
Total Current Assets 4, 298.90 3,691.40 3, 567.00
Total Assets 22,658.00 21,096.80 18, 765.00
Total Current Liabilities 5,293.90 3,843.20 3, 096.00
Total Liabilities 15,985.80 14,675.10 12, 576.00
Total Liabilities &Shareholders’ Equity 22,658.00 21,096.80 18, 456.00

Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. Annual balance sheet General Mills in dollars.

Period ended 5/26/2013 5/26/2012 5/26/2011
Total Current Assets 3347 3164.0 3078.0
Total Assets 7705.0 7357.0 7052.0
Total Current Liabilities 3038.8 3458.0 3345.0
Total Liabilities 4560.7 4429.0 4034.0
Total Liabilities &Shareholders’ Equity 7705.9 7357.4 7164.6

References

General Mills. (2013). Annual Report, Overview and Publications. Web.

Meiji Holdings. (2013). Meiji Group. Web.

Walther, L. (2012). Principles of Accounting. Web.

Wild, J. (2008). Financial Statement Analysis. New York, NY:McGraw-Hil.

Contemporary Islamic Art: Hojat Amani’s “Fallen Angels”

Introduction

Today, Islamic art has a strong presence in the world. Contemporary artists continue to explore the line between the modern and ancient as they combine modern technology, political messages, and history. All art in the LACMA is traditional to a certain extent: it uses the Arabic alphabet and traditional ornaments. The combination of traditional and modern makes it possible to show the connection between the present and the past and show creativity. One of the artists who made a visible impact in contemporary Islamic art is Hojat Amani, whose work “Fallen Angels” is printed on the first pages of Islamic Art Now. Hojat Amani managed to depict the struggle of a fallen angel by using different means of artistic expression that thrill the viewers and make them question their beliefs.

Background Information

The basis and inspiration for Amani to create this art piece was the concept of angels in Muslim culture. The belief that angels accompany humans throughout their lives was deeply embedded in his understanding of life. Not only Amani but many other Muslim children are still brought up praying to these angels who guard them. Muslim children are taught to recite the salam looking from right to left to address the angels who record their good and evil deeds. Such an idea is deeply embedded in the Muslim culture and inspired Amani to create an alternate version of it. He took a different approach to perceive angels and showed a human side of an angel who fell and crashed. The angel was destroyed under the weight of human misdeeds and took the fall. This tragic sight raises the moral idea of the righteousness of our actions and beliefs.

Artistic Means

The work “Fallen Angels” by Hojat Amani is a digital image from a series of Angels on Paradise. The image portrays the angel who took the form of an ordinary Iranian woman lying on the ground. The golden leaves behind her are shaped as wings of an angel. The work’s despair is underlined by the cracks in the ground that add to the sense of crisis. The angel fell from the sky, as the name of the work suggests, and got shattered.

The tone of the work is dark and depressive to add to the whole impression of hopelessness. The saturation of the work is purposefully dull to set the mood. The hue of low saturation makes the scene look gray and muddy. The overall combination of colors complimenting each other is mainly warm but it does not create a sense of comfort, thus emphasizing the crisis. The texture of digital art is also an important aspect that creates a lasting impression. Even if the art is not three-dimensional, one can still feel the photo’s rough and grainy texture. The autumn earth is dry and shattered, and the leaves get mixed with dirt and mud. Even the angel who is supposed to be the embodiment of divine and pure is portrayed as dusty and decomposing.

The space in the work of art is skillfully set to create an impression from a passer-by perspective. The shot was taken from the side, emphasizing the work’s down-to-earth nature. The linear perspective and the angle from which the shot was taken allow for exploration of the space around the angel. The image does not appear to be flat as it was skillfully touched and edited. The cracks seem natural and give volume to the work. The pictorial depth breathes in the natural feeling and makes it easier for the viewer to relate to the angel than with a flat picture.

The image’s composition creates the atmosphere of the photo and allows the eye to move to explore the image. The composition is dynamic as the viewer travels from the face to the legs and analyzes the piece. The asymmetry of the photo and a certain unevenness creates a unique composition that suggests a distortion but does not make it unpleasing for an eye. The shape and colors harmoniously match to balance the work. The image also gives a pictorial space of the earth and the body that does not look like an angel’s abstract depiction.

The front and back zones of the image naturally complement each other. The foreground of the image is the laying body that attracts the viewers’ attention first. Then the view focuses on the middle ground where one can see the wings, and the image’s composition deepens. The middle ground adds to the foreground and creates an understanding that the body is an angel. Then the background comes into perspective – the shattered ground and mud allow the viewer to understand that the action takes place in everyday surroundings. The cracks appear and form the meaning that the author wanted to convey.

The specific features of the regional Islamic style can also be traced through the work. Since all the art pieces in the journal of contemporary art of the middle east can be referred to as modern Islamic art, they all share a combination of similarities. The modern Islamic style develops as any other style but still possesses historical Islamic features. It mainly uses the Arabic alphabet, geometric ornament, and specific colors. Amani does not communicate the message through any alphabet, but the traditional Arabic features can be seen through the traditional Islamic attire on a woman. Her head is covered, but she wears jeans and sneakers. Such a combination brings the past, present, and future of the Muslim culture together. The modern interpretation of the oldest cultural tradition brings a new perspective that shapes Islamic art’s future but does not ruin the heritage.

Interpretation

Hojat Amani’s work, “Fallen Angels,” has a profound meaning that needs to be analyzed. Amani himself admits that the notion of angels captivated him, and he wanted to express his understanding through art. The artist interprets an old Muslim tradition in a modern way by representing an angel in a human woman’s guise. On the one hand, it shows the humane side of angels and humans’ divine side, thus blending the line between sacred and day-to-day life. On the other hand, this art has a more moral meaning intended to teach us a lesson. The sins and moral wrongdoing that the guarding angel’s witness can sometimes be too big to handle. The angel took the weight of the woman’s faults and crashed under its deadly mass. It may as well be the metaphor for the inner crisis that crashed the person and broke him into pieces. Such an understanding shows the graveness of the societal and personal flaws that angels can no longer handle. It is a trope that brings some part of heaven to the mundane world.

All in all, the author’s message is different around the world and depends on personal beliefs. Art has a unique ability to connect with a person through color, composition, and styles used as it comes together as a complete work and leaves a lasting impression. Hojat Amani’s skillful combination of dull colors, unique composition, and deep moral meaning creates modern art that reflects the culture and builds the middle east’s future.

Bibliography

Eglinton, K.A., Gubrium, A. and Wexler, L. “Digital Storytelling as Arts-Inspired Inquiry for Engaging, Understanding, and Supporting Indigenous Youth.” International Journal of Education & the Arts, no.18 (2017): 5.

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