This post #2 in my summary of a recent edited book. This chapter by Alonso Moreno analyses the narrative information disclosed by a Spanish brewery, El Alcázar, from 1928–1992. The objective is to determine if the tone of the corporate reports is related to profitability. Today, the brewery belongs to the Heineken group.
The study focuses on a document entitled Memoria which is, in essence, similar to the Chairman’s Statement. Software was used to analyse the words in this report to determine the tone of the words. The tone (positive or negative) was related to other variables such as performance (profit) and the person acting Chair of the board. Over the full time period, there were more positive than negative references, irrespective of the actual performance of the company. This is a phenomenon called impression management and is something a lot of companies engage in still today. The interesting thing about this study is that overall, a positive tone dominates, despite many political events during the timeframe.
As you might know from some of my previous posts, I really like concise presentation of information. The infographic is one of my favourites. Graphical reporting is always great, and managers tend to really like it – it simple, conveys trends, and it’s not boring accounting numbers.
I read a piece on CIMA Insight about a new add-in for Excel 2013 called GeoFlow, or more correctly PowerMap. You can read the full article here. The add-in uses Bing Maps (from Microsoft) and you can plot up to a million rows of data against a map. You can also plot date data, so you could for example see how sales have trended over time on a map. The data can be presented in 3D format, as bubbles, or as a heat map. This tool will certainly create really cool business reports.