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Organizations rely on valuable insights to drive their success in today’s data-driven world. Business Analytics and Data Science are two key disciplines at the forefront of this data revolution. Similarly, professionals in the roles of Business Analyst vs Data Scientist play crucial roles in extracting meaningful insights from data. But what sets them apart? In this article, we delve into the fascinating realms of Business Analytics vs Data Science and explore the distinctive responsibilities and skills of Business Analysts and Data Scientists. Join us as we unravel the power of data and uncover the nuances between these disciplines, shedding light on their respective contributions in leveraging data to make informed business decisions.What is Business Analysis?
Business Analytics is the practice of using data analysis and statistical methods to derive meaningful insights and make data-driven decisions that optimize business performance. It involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing data from various sources to identify trends, patterns, and correlations. Business analytics focuses on solving specific business problems, improving efficiency, identifying opportunities, and guiding strategic planning by providing actionable insights and recommendations.
To start your business analytics journey, register for our exclusive course on CBAP!What is Data Science?
Data Science is a multidisciplinary field that combines statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualization, and computer science to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data. Data scientists employ a combination of data exploration, data preprocessing, predictive modeling, and data visualization techniques to uncover patterns, make predictions, and gain valuable insights that drive decision-making and solve complex problems across various industries. Data science encompasses the entire data lifecycle, from data collection and cleaning to analysis and interpretation.
The skills and tools required to make a career in Business Analytics and Data Science differ to a great extent. Here is the list of the same for both profiles:Business Analytics
Business Analytics professionals must be proficient in presenting business simulations and business planning. A large part of their role would be to analyze business trends. For eg, web analytics/pricing analytics.
Some of the tools used extensively in business analytics are Excel, Tableau, SQL, Python. The most commonly used techniques are – Statistical Methods, Forecasting, Predictive Modeling and storytelling.Data Science
A data scientist must be proficient in Linear algebra, programming, computer science fundamentals. Some examples of data science projects vary from building recommendation engines to personalized E-mails.
The common tools of a data scientist are R, Python, scikit-learn, Keras, PyTorch and the most widely used techniques are Statistics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, NLP, CV.
And for both the roles, structure thinking, and problem formulation is a key skill to do well in their respective domain.Data Science vs Business Analytics Business Analyst vs. Data Scientist – Role & Skills
Let us take an example of an exciting electrical vehicle startup. This startup is now big for creating job families. And, they have decided to create three job families, one is a scientist, and the other two are an engineer and a management professional. Now I want you to take time and imagine what kind of role they play in the company.
We can infer their role from the general level of understanding:
Engineer – Take these developments and apply industry techniques to transform them into production. For example, making an assembly line to manufacture these vehicles using the right machinery.
Management – Run the business and solve business-related problems on a day-to-day basis. For example, to find the right market to open a store for the vehicle. Decisions regarding the sales and marketing of these products and many others.
Now, let’s take these roles and convert it to data-based profiles.Business Analyst vs Data Scientist Data Scientist vs Data Engineer vs Business Analyst
Data Scientist – He Works on complex and specific problems to bring non-linear growth to the company. For example, making a credit risk solution for the banking industry or use images of vehicles & assess the damage for an insurance company automatically.
Data Engineer – He would Implement the outcomes derived by the data scientist in production by using industry best practices. For example, Deploying the machine learning model built for credit risk modeling on banking software.
Business Analyst – Run the business and take decisions on a day-to-day basis. He’ll be communicating with the IT side and the business side simultaneously.
This is a very basic analogy that you need to keep in mind to differentiate the role of Data Scientist, Business Analyst, and Data Engineer.
Caution: These terms are losely used in the industry. The exact role can depend on the maturity of your organization in data initiatives.
Now that we have our basic analogy clear, let us see the kinds of problem solved by data scientists and business analysts.Business Analyst vs Data Scientist – Job Role
To understand the difference between a business analyst and a data scientist, it is imperative to understand the problems or projects they work on. Let us take up an interesting example. Imagine that you are a manager of a bank and you decide to implement two important projects. You have a team of a data scientist and a business analyst. How will you do the project mapping job? Below are two problem statements:
Build a business plan to decide how many employees a bank needs to do XXX business in 2023
Build a model to predict which transaction is Fraudulent
Take your time to understand the problems. What do you think, which problem is best suited for which profile?
The first problem statement requires making several business assumptions and incorporating macro changes into the strategy. This will require more business expertise and decision making, this will be the job of a business analyst.
The second problem statement requires processing vast behavioral data from customers and understanding hidden patterns. For this, the professional should have a very good understanding of problem formulation and algorithms. A data scientist will be a suitable person to tackle this kind of specific and complex problem.Which Career Path to Choose – Data Science or Business Analytics?
A Data scientist’s strengths lie in coding, mathematics, and research abilities and require continuous learning along the career journey whereas a business analyst needs to be more of a strategic thinker and have a strong ability in project management.
Business Analyst tends to take business roles, strategic roles, and entrepreneurship roles as they progress through career while we notice that data scientist are more of tech entrepreneur roles as they have a strong technical background.
You can refer to the following career path to see a more in-depth route from the start of data science and business analytics journey:Final Verdict
To further enhance your skills and gain a competitive edge in Business Analytics, consider enrolling in our Certified Business Analytics Professional (CBAP) program. This comprehensive program equips you with the necessary knowledge and practical expertise to become a proficient Business Analyst adept at translating data insights into actionable strategies.Frequently Asked Questions Related
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Key Difference between Grammarly and ProWritingAid
Grammarly is a widely used writing enhancement tool that offers numerous writing styles and suggestions for grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, whereas ProWriting Aid offers world-class grammar and style checking, combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing.
Grammarly offers only important suggestions, while ProWritingAid shows more suggestions. However, not all recommendations are accurate.
Comparing Grammarly vs ProWritingAid, The Grammarly design and the interface are clean. ProWritingAid interface is not as clean as Grammarly.
Grammarly helps you to find all the types of writing errors in your content, whereas the ProWritingAid tool handles things like fragmented sentences.
Grammarly vs ProWritingAid
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a widely used writing enhancement tool that was founded in 2009 by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn. It offers numerous writing styles, and suggestions for grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.
You can use this tool via the website, as a browser extension, or as an app that you download to your computer. It helps enhance your writing skills by highlighting grammatical mistakes and areas of improvement.
The web tool offered by Grammarly closely resembles online text editing software like google docs. This helps the user to get a sense of familiarity and makes the transition a lot easier.What is Pro-Writing Aid?
Pro-Writing Aid offers world-class grammar and style checking, combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing. You will also get a detailed report for every section you evaluate in its online editor. It allows you to checker grammatical and punctuation mistakes while also checking for structural issues like overuse, repetition, clinches, and a writing style and sentence length.Difference between Grammarly and ProWritingAid
Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid are two different brands of best grammar checker software that help you to enhance your writing skill. However, if you are just like most people who are not able to decide which software to use, the following different points may be helpful.
Grammarly is a widely used writing enhancement tool that offers numerous writing styles, suggestions for grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. Pro-Writing Aid offers world-class grammar and style checking, combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing.
You can use this grammar checker tool on your Android and iOS phones. It provides this support both for the free and paid versions. It does not provide any mobile app support for Android and iOS devices.
Grammarly offers only important suggestions. ProWritingAid shows more suggestions. However, not all recommendations are accurate.
The Grammarly design and the interface is clean. ProWritingAid interface is not as clean as Grammarly.
Grammarly is accurate for non-fiction writing based on our tests. It is accurate for fiction writing and a good option for fiction writers.
Grammarly helps you to find all the types of writing errors in your content. ProWritingAid tool handles things like fragmented sentences.
Grammarly premium monthly plan costs you $29 per month while the quarterly plan charges you $19 per month. If you buy a Grammarly premium for a year, you will need to pay on an average of $11.66 per month. ProWritingAid comes with four pricing structures. The full-year cost of ProWritingAid is $59, while its lifetime plans cost $224. You also can opt for a monthly plan of $20.
Grammarly tools provide 24/7 support via submitting a ticket and sending emails. ProWritingAid support team is available via email, and response time is a maximum of 48 hours.
Offers a lot of features, even in its free version. It offers a free version, but with limited features.
Does not offer much feedback on big picture writing It helps you strengthen your writing style with complete feedback about your writing.
Grammarly is better in terms of handling accuracy. Pro-Writing-Aid is best for handing fragmented sentences and dialogue. It can be a useful tool for fiction writers.Features of Grammarly
Here are the important parts of Grammarly:
Create a Personal Dictionary: Grammarly tool allows you to add words in your dictionary. So that the same mistake of a specific name does not highlight when you run Grammarly again.
Spelling and Right Pair: This feature helps you to detect spell mistakes and also offers suggestions for using the right pair of words.
Passive Voice: The program also notifies users about the overuse of passive voice in content.
Punctuations: This feature highlights all the missing and misplaced punctuations.
Wordiness: This will check long and hard to read sentences. It also helps users to find out the way to shorten sentences so that you can correct and make your sentences more for a concise explanation.
Repetition: If a specific word is repeated in the content, the tool provides suggestions to replace it.
Proposition: Grammarly also points out confused prepositions.
Plugins: Offers MS-Word, MS Outlook, and Google Chrome plugins.
Plagiarism: This feature helps you to detect plagiarism by checking text against over eight billion web pages.Features of ProWriting Aid
Here are important features of a ProWriting Aid:
Grammar checker and spell checker: This tool helps you to find all grammatical and spelling related mistakes.
Find repeated words: The tool also allows you to find the repeated word in your content.
Context-sensitive style suggestions: You can find the exact style of writing and suggest if it all flows in your writing.
Check the readability of your content: Readability is the most important factor in any kind of chúng tôi writing aid tool helps you to find the reliability of your article. By suggesting difficult and slightly difficult paragraphs.
Visualize sentence lengths and variation: It also displays the length of your sentences.
Sticky and clinches: You can also check all the sticky and writing clinches into your sentences.
Overused words: It often happens to us to get a word stuck in your head and use it used repeated into your write up. ProWritingAid’s overused word checker helps you to of catching you out on this lazy writing mistake.
Consistency: Checks for inconsistencies huge use of open quotation marks without closing quotation marks.
Echoes: Checking your writing for words and phrases that are repeated in proximity.
Human Proofreader: Touch of a button. You can order a human proofreader to evaluate your writing work by providing paid support.Advantages of Grammarly
Here are the pros/benefits of Grammarly
It allows you to correct various types of grammar and spelling mistakes.
Lots of basic features are available for free.
Works with every type of website with ease.
Correct most grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
Make text corrections across different websites and platforms.
Grammarly will also suggest you to frame sentences in a more appropriate way.
Helps users to improve their vocabulary
Detect contextual mistakes
Helps you to boost your writing style
Enhance the readability of your document
Genre-specific suggestion abilities
Extensions for all major browsers
Offers useful knowledge base for grammar learning
It offers you an indirect cloud storage to save your documents.
Offers a quick check for your writing
It helps you find out common errors you make so that you can avoid those mistakes and learnAdvantages of ProwritingAid
Here are the pros/benefits of ProWritingAid
Based on your writing, it offers more than 20 different reports for improvements.
It is cheaper than other grammar checkers.
ProWritingAid supports more integrations options
Helps you strengthen your writing style as it offers big picture feedback
Provides the most information even in the free proofreading software version.
Compatible with Google Docs!
It helps you to analyze your writing and finds over 20 different reports for potential improvements.
Prowritingaid supports both in Windows and mac Desktop versions.
It has a unique lifetime plan, which you can choose if you are serious about ProWritingAid, so you never have to pay again.
To save your time and effort, they provide more integrations than most of the tools.
Here are the cons/drawbacks of Grammarly
Does not offer any personal dictionary.
Grammarly does not provide the free trial of the premium version.
Price on monthly billing, so you need to go for the annual subscription
Sometimes stop working or stop finding errors until you reopen the document in Grammarly editor
Not all features are available for Mac.
Microsoft Office extension of Grammarly is not supported on Mac
Here are the cons/drawbacks of Grammarly
It has slower editing when you add a large segment of text to edit.
ProWritingAid does not offer any mobile application for Android and iOS.
Support for the plagiarism checker is only available with the premium plan.
The crawling process is slower than some other grammar checkers tool, when you paste a large portion of text for editing.Grammarly vs ProWritingAid: Which One Should You Choose?
After comparing Grammarly and ProWritingAid in terms of various parameters: like features, ease of use, customer support, pricing, and more, the given information helps you to decide which tool is useful for you.
On the other hand, ProWritingAid is also an excellent tool that helps you to improve your writing. However, it is more focused on writing style and readability. Even though it is able to resolve many Grammarly and spelling errors, Grammarly is a better option for that purpose.
One of the biggest features which matters to me when it comes to smart assistants is the ability to easily access them. Even though Google Assistant is now present on iPhones, Siri can be accessed way more easily and hence is used more on iPhones. It doesn’t matter how good an assistant is if it is not easy to get to. Now, both Google Assistant and Siri have a voice command and a long-press on home button shortcut to invoke the respective assistants. However, Samsung takes it up a notch by including a dedicated hardware button for its assistant. In addition, you also get the usual voice activation command (Hi Bixby). I think Samsung wins here, as a dedicated button to access the smart assistant makes it really simple.Phone Actions And Interactions
Now, that we have covered the accessibility part, let’s test out the assistants head to head by asking them to perform the usual functions which we expect from them. This section will deal with the actions related to user interactions with the phone and the apps. Similarly, the later sections will deal with things like queries, contextual awareness, and so on. So, let’s not waste any time and start with our first section, i.e., phone actions and interactions.
As you can see, both Bixby and Google Assistant performed the action fairly easily. However, I prefer Google Assistant over Bixby in this case, as Google Assistant allowed me to edit and share the screenshot as soon as it took it, while Bixby asked me to go to the gallery. Google Assistant reduced one step for me. Lastly, as you can see in the pictures, Siri failed to execute the action.
Calling and Messaging
Let’s check out if our assistants can send messages and call on our behalf or not. First, we will try to send a normal text message and then take it up a notch by using a third party app.
1. Send a message to Rupesh.
2. Send a message to Rupesh on WhatsApp.
3. Let’s try calling Rupesh now.
Install and Uninstall Apps
One of the most frequent things to do on a smartphone is to install and uninstall the apps. I install and uninstall a dozen of apps on weekly basis, some for work purposes, and some because, I just love to check out new apps. If you also love to check out new apps, you might also be installing and uninstalling quite a lot of apps. Let us see if our assistants can help us in that or not.
1. Let us try installing a well known app like the Firefox Browser.
As you can see, Samsung’s Bixby is the clear winner here. While Google Assistant did well to give me the link for the Firefox Browser app, further two taps were still required to install the app. Siri came second with directly launching the App Store. However, Bixby beat both of them hands-down as not only it launched the Play Store to open the app, it even started the download and installed the app on my device, with no further assistance.
Hmm, that’s weird. The assistant which was supposed to lose is doing pretty well here. While Google Assistant just showed a Mozilla help web page with instructions for the uninstall process, Siri flat out said no to me. Bixby however, did which was asked of her, and uninstalled the app. The only thing she needed was my confirmation before so proceeded with the process of uninstalling the app. Bixby wins this round too.
Interacting with Notifications
Notifications are something which each of us have to deal with multiple times a day. How cool it would be if we can deal with them without touching our phone. Let’s see if our smart voice assistants can help us with that. We will start with something as simple as asking the voice assistants to show us our notifications.
1. Show Notifications
As you can see in the picture above, Google Assistant is unable to show me my notifications, while Siri can show the number of notification but not the notifications themselves. However, a point to mention here is that Siri does recite the notifications instead of showing them. Again, Bixby wins here as it pulls down the notification shade perfectly.
2. Now, let’s try to clear all notifications.
Following the trend, Google Assistant and Siri failed while Bixby easily performed actions. One neat thing about Bixby is that you can even remove individual notifications. Just say, “Clear notification from ‘app name’” and Bixby will remove the notification from that app. Now, that is cool.
1. Turn on the Bluetooth.
As you can see, all of them performed very well. Now let’s try something a little harder.
2. Turn on the night mode.
I was expecting Bixby to win here, but I was quite surprised to see Siri handling the request so well. Google Assistant could not do it. I even tried multiple keyword combination with Google Assistant, but none of them worked. Like above, all the assistants were tested with more settings related questions. The results came out to be the same. While all of them could perform regular tasks (WiFi, Bluetooth), Google Assistant failed at the more complex ones. Bixby and Siri could do almost everything correctly.
Launching and Interacting With Apps
Now, that we have taken a look at the system level interaction of our assistants, let us see if they can help us in using third-party apps or not. To start simply, we will just ask them to launch an app.
1. Let’s try launching the YouTube app.
2. Launch the YouTube app and search for “discovery”.
Bixby takes the crown here too. It can easily launch apps and perform tasks inside it. For example, you can launch a browser and tell it to visit a website, you can launch Facebook and directly see your notifications and much more. In the above test, Google Assistant was also successful but on the second attempt. I needed to change the keywords to get it to work. However, Siri could not perform the action even after trying different keywords.
Creating Calendar Entries
This is one of the most common actions which any voice assistant should be easily able to perform. From our previous comparisons, we know that both Google Assistant and Siri can easily perform this function, so it just remains to see if Bixby can do this or not.
As we can in the picture above, Bixby can also easily create calendar entries without any problem.
Setting Reminders, Alarms, and Countdown Timers
We will end this section by asking our assistants to perform some basic tasks such as setting up reminders, alarms, countdown timers.
All the three smart assistants were able to perform these tasks with ease. However, considering all of the above actions, we can surely say that Bixby is far better at controlling your phone than Google Assistant and Siri. In fact, Bixby allows you to do pretty much everything with your voice that you can do with touch. Both Google Assistant and Siri can perform basic actions, but they fail to do anything which is more complex, and involve more than two steps. Bixby is the clear winner here.Usual Queries
1. What’s the Weather like?
As expected, all the three assistants could easily answer this query.
2. How about tomorrow?
This query was also handled pretty well by all the three assistants.
3. What about two months after?
Bixby gave up on this one. It is showing me web links to some random pages. Google Assistant also cannot show the weather so far out, but it was intelligent enough to give me the links of websites which can show me the required data. Siri handled it pretty intelligently, as it informed me that it cannot show me the weather pattern for such a far away date and gave me the forecast for the next 1o days. I think I prefer Siri here.
When it comes to sports related questions, Bixby is pretty bad, to say the least. Instead of showing me Real Madrid’s next match, it showed me the links of the websites containing the information. Google Assistant was quick to show me the next match. However, Siri takes the cake here by not only showing the next fixture but all the future fixtures of Real Madrid too.
5. Show me the standings of La Liga.
Now, this will be a true test of the assistants, as in this section we will test the conversational skills and contextual awareness of our assistants. An assistant can become truly useful if it behaves more like human than AI. Having contextual awareness plays a big part in that. So, let’s try them out.
1. Who won the Wimbledon 2023?
I hoped that all the three assistants will be able to handle a question as simple as this. But, alas, only the Google Assistant could answer this question. Now, since I wanted to check the contextual awareness of the smart assistants, I am ready to give them one more chance. That’s why I asked both Siri and Bixby a simple question.
As you can see, Siri got it right, but Bixby is again showing her love for the webpages. I asked this questions because I wanted both Siri and Bixby to have a context for the questions I was going to ask next. But, it seems, Bixby has lost even before the race started. Let’s see if Siri can keep up (now that she knows the context).
2. How old is he?
As expected, Bixby failed spectacularly. However, I was surprised to see Siri getting the right answer. Let’s move on to the next question.
Again, Siri got it right. It feels like Siri is going to give a tough competition to Google Assistant here. Okay, moving on with the next question.
4. Where did he study?
It seems Bixby has totally lost it, now its just showing random pages. Siri came at the end of her wits at this stage. Let’s continue our test with Google Assistant to see if it can handle some more questions.
5. Who is his wife?
Again, Google Assistant got it right. Let’s end this with one last question.
6. What does she do?
Now, that’s impressive. Google Assistant’s contextual awareness is mind-boggling. Remember we didn’t even start with a straight-forward question, but a question at which both Bixby and Siri failed at. Answering five more questions based on the context of that initial question is really impressive. Bixby failed at the first question itself. Siri got to the 3rd question after we gave her a context. But, I should mention that, even this feat took multiple attempts to achieve. There’s no doubt here, Google Assistant is the clear winner.Personality and Quirks
Let’s start with asking them to tell us a joke.
As you can see, all of them can tell you jokes. However, Siri just tries to be a little cheeky and her answers repeat after 3 or 4 attempts. Bixby is better than Siri and her jokes are not repeated frequently. However, Google Assistant is the best as she will tell unlimited one-liners, most of which will make you smile.
2. Sing me a song.
Now, let’s see how good a singing voice our assistants have.
Siri behaves as if she is angry. She outright denied my request, while Bixby said that she can rap. We will check out her rapping skills next. Google Assistant sang small songs in a quite natural sounding audio. I am impressed.
3. Rap for me.
As Bixby said she could rap, let’s check out their rapping skills next.
I hope you get what I was trying to do here. I asked them a lot more questions and I felt that Google Assistant has a far better personality than Siri and Bixby combined. However, your opinion might differ. For me, Google Assistant is the clear winner here, but still, Bixby can rap like crazy.
SEE ALSO: Google Assistant on iPhone vs Siri: Can Google Assistant Compete?Bixby vs Google Assistant vs Siri: And The Winner Is?
It was a tough fight, and for the first time, Google Assistant is not the clear winner here. Bixby beats both Siri and Google Assistant when it comes to controlling your smartphone. There’s no action that Bixby cannot perform. However, when it comes to usual queries, Bixby bites the dust. Both Google Assistant and Siri did great here. But, when the time came for the real test (contextual awareness), only Google Assistant could stand tall. Siri has improved a little, still, Google Assistant is the one to beat here.
Google Assistant’ s personality is also richer than the other two. To sum up, if you want to control your device, Bixby is the way to go. However, if you want to extract information from the web, Google Assistant is still the king. Siri shines here and there but still needs a lot of improvement. In an ideal world, the best assistant will have the combined power of Bixby and Google Assistant. Until then, your favourite assistant depends on your usage. For me, it’s still Google Assistant, but it is impressive to see Bixby (which was declared dead on arrival) doing so well in our test.
Now that Android Wear is officially compatible with iOS devices there’s a lot more smartwatch love to go around, at least for Apple fans. Android users have had a taste of the first generation, but Motorola’s new Moto 360 is one of the many new options available for both sides for the fence. The question is, should you give Motorola your money?
If you’re not familiar with the first generation or Android Wear in general, you can check out our Moto 360 review here. This year Motorola has updated the internals to closely match the other smartwatch offerings on the market, but does it pack enough to win over the hearts of iPhone users? Like Apple, Motorola has two different sizes available for this year’s Moto 360. There’s a 42mm version which is the same as Apple’s largest offering and a slightly bigger 46mm version for those who prefer chunkier watches.
Each model packs a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 4GB of storage, and 512MB of RAM. On the 42mm version there’s a 1.37-inch display with a 360×325 resolution, while the 46mm features a 1.56-inch display coming in at 360×330. In comparison, the 42mm Apple Watch’s 1.5-inch OLED display has a slightly higher pixel density with its 312×390 resolution.
Both devices are water-resistant as well, which is definitely a must-have on any electronic device worn on your wrist. Activity tracking is available with heart rate sensors on each device and it’s safe to say you’ll get about a day’s worth of use on a full charge, though Motorola claims the Moto 360 will last up to 1.5 to 2 days depending on which size option you choose. Either way, expect to charge any of these watches at night.
Check out our Moto 360 (2023) vs Apple Watch video below:
Comparing the sizes, you’ll notice that the 46mm Moto 360 isn’t too much larger than the 42mm Apple Watch, but the difference is really present when worn on your wrist. I prefer the 42mm look of the Moto 360, but anything smaller than that would just look funny on my arm.
When it comes to customization, the Moto 360 definitely wins. First off, it accepts any 22mm watch band with the new lugs that were added this time around, but with Apple you’ll need to stick to proprietary bands which can run you a bit of cash if you go with the official offerings. You can even take it a step further and completely customize the colors and variation of the Moto 360 using Moto Maker.
For software customization, Apple may have the lead here. Both offer customized watch faces, but there’s a lot more to do (almost too much) with Apple’s watchOS interface than you’ll find on Android Wear. Android Wear’s simplicity may be seen as a positive aspect though depending on who you ask. You can also take phone calls and use Siri on the Apple Watch, while the Moto 360 will only respond to voice search and Google Now.
With the Moto 360 your primary method of input is going to be the touch screen. Navigating through menus, apps, and more will all happen with a swipe of the finger, but you can use motion gestures with your wrist to flip through various notifications. On the Apple Watch, most navigation is done with the touch screen, but there’s also a Digital Crown on the side that will allow for scrolling and zoom in certain situations and a couple of buttons to perform various tasks, Unfortunately, the relocated button on the new Moto 360 will simply put the device to sleep when pressed, but again the entire story here is simplicity.
Which one do you prefer? Did Google’s latest Android Wear compatibility announcement change your mind about buying or keeping an Apple Watch? Obviously if you’re on Android, Apple Watch isn’t an option, but let us know what you think.
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Accounting software helps you track your accounts payable and expenses in one place.
Accounting software packages vary in size, capabilities and integrations.
When selecting accounting software, you should evaluate all offerings, including compliance, reporting, tracking and available add-ons.
This article is for small business owners or financial officers looking to incorporate accounting software into their operations.
One of your top priorities as a small business owner is keeping a close eye on the money you bring in and pay out. This is why it’s critical to have the right accounting software. You need a program that helps you accomplish your daily accounting tasks, including recording payments, tracking expenses, invoicing customers and reconciling transactions. Your accounting software should also help you manage your business’s financial health, allowing you to generate reports that analyze your business’s performance from multiple angles.
Editor’s note: Looking for information on accounting software for your business? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information and quotes you need.
We’ll examine the factors involved in choosing accounting software for your small business and look at some excellent options.Primary factors to consider when choosing accounting software
Choosing the best accounting software for your business is challenging. Every program includes a different set of features, and most offer multiple pricing plans that vary in functionality, number of users and other aspects.
To simplify your search, keep three primary factors in mind when selecting accounting software for your business.
Cost: Would you prefer inexpensive, basic accounting software or an application that costs more but includes extra features?
Usability: How many users must access the software? Do you prefer a cloud-based system you can access anywhere or desktop software? Do you need your accounting software to have a mobile app? What capabilities do you need the app to have?
Features: What do you need the accounting software to do? Do you need both accounts receivable and accounts payable tools? Which accounting reports do you need to generate? Do you need it to track inventory? Do you need it to include ancillary services, such as time tracking, project management,and payroll?
If you already know what you need and only want to see our recommendations, see our page for the best accounting software for small business.What usability factors should you look for in accounting software?
To find the best accounting software for your business, you need to decide how and where you want to use it and if anyone else will be using the system. Here are some factors to consider.Easy integration
Even the world’s most feature-packed, reasonably priced accounting applications won’t do your business much good if they don’t integrate with your existing solutions, such as sales platforms, shipping systems and even payroll applications. By choosing accounting software that works with your existing solutions, you won’t have any compatibility issues leading to potential time-consuming errors.Multi-user access
Most accounting programs allow you to invite other users to the system and control the data they see and the tasks they access. For instance, you may wish to give your business partner and accountant full access while allowing your employees to use the system only to track their time and invoice customers.
Some systems allow you to invite multiple users at no additional cost; others provide free accountant access but require you to subscribe to a higher pricing plan or pay extra to add other users to the system. Some solutions offer “unlimited” payment plans to accommodate growing businesses while providing robust account options. Understanding your company’s access needs will guide you toward the right decision.Multi-business support
If you own more than one business, you may want accounting software that supports multiple small businesses under one account at no additional cost. Otherwise, you’ll pay extra to set up separate accounts for each entity.Cloud-based software and mobile access
Most of the top accounting systems are cloud-based so that you can access your account anytime, anywhere from any computer with internet access. This ease of access helps you run your business remotely, whether you’re at home or on vacation.
Many also offer mobile apps to help you monitor key information and accomplish core tasks on the go, which is especially helpful for teams working from home or in the field. Some packages offer separate apps for employees with basic features, such as tracking time and submitting expense receipts.
Mobile app capabilities vary, so if mobile access is an essential feature for you, ensure the accounting system’s app has the functionality you need. You’ll also want to ensure it works on your preferred platform, as some are compatible only with iOS, while others can be used with smartwatches in addition to phones and tablets.
When choosing the right small business accounting software, consider how you need to access the software. For example, would you utilize mobile apps or require remote access through cloud software?What are the top accounting software providers?
There are a few leading accounting software providers that offer stellar service. Which provider you should choose comes down to a few key factors, but the better-known names are reputable and offer reliable service.
These are some of the best-regarded accounting software providers:
QuickBooks is one of the leading accounting software providers in the world, and with good reason. Renowned for stellar products and accounting support, QuickBooks is a fantastic all-in-one accounting solution for small or growing businesses.
QuickBooks comes with a nice variety of features that can handle most businesses’ needs, including payroll, estimate creation, organizing receipts and even cutting-edge automation technologies – all to keep your accounts up to date and error-free.
Prices range from $12.50 per month for a single user up to $90 per month for up to 25 users. But unless you’re running an accounting firm, you probably won’t need to create accounts for too many employees, so you can keep your monthly costs manageable.
For more information, read our QuickBooks Online review.FreshBooks
Another great option for accounting software is FreshBooks, which is filled with features to keep your finances in order. Because FreshBooks uses a payment model based on how many billable clients you have, rather than how many users need access, it’s an ideal service for contract workers or ultra-small businesses.
Organizations with up to five clients can expect to pay $6 per month for FreshBooks’ services. For $20 per month, an organization could subscribe to a service plan to accommodate an “unlimited” number of clients.
With FreshBooks, services include expense tracking, estimate submissions, automatic recurring bills, vendor management and more. It gives any small business a fantastic return on investment and can easily scale as your business grows.
Our review of FreshBooks has more details about how this software stacks up.Sage 50cloud
The most significant selling point of Sage 50cloud accounting software is its easy integration with Microsoft 365 enterprise software. Sage 50cloud has a robust and intuitive dashboard so you can easily understand and analyze your accounting activities, all from a central hub. By capitalizing on the cloud architecture of Microsoft 365, 50cloud can access and organize your data to simplify all your accounting activities.
Pricing for Sage 50cloud is available on annual plans only, but each plan comes with features such as cash flow analysis, inventory management and 24/7 support to remove any hurdles from your accounting software. If you’re using Microsoft 365 as your preferred enterprise software solution, this is a great accounting software solution.Wave Accounting
For a business that needs a free, easy-to-use accounting solution, Wave Accounting is a great place to start. Although Wave Accounting is free, it offers an excellent array of features and functionality to help organize and streamline any business. With Wave, any business can set up basic accounting with ways to optimize operations.
Wave allows you to link multiple bank accounts or credit cards, while essential financial tools allow you to generate reports to observe your financial performance, whether it’s month over month or year over year, and provide significant financial insights about your business’s overall health.
You can learn more in our Wave Accounting review.Cloud-based accounting software vs. desktop software
While you may assume that your chosen accounting software’s cloud-based and desktop versions perform the same functions, the two platforms can have significant differences.
The desktop version of an accounting software package is typically a one-time purchase. On the other hand, cloud-based software usually runs on a subscription model. Often, desktop accounting software can access data saved to that computer only, missing out on the updated features and functionality that come with cloud-based options. Unlike cloud software, however, desktop accounting software is not dependent on an internet connection for access.
Cloud-based software syncs directly with your bank accounts and can be accessed from anywhere. It offers regular updates with new features to optimize functionality. Additionally, cloud-based data storage offers top-level security, so you can rest assured that your sensitive financial information is protected.
There are considerable differences between desktop and cloud software, but user access is vital. Desktop software is available only on the computer on which it was installed, while cloud-based software is accessible from anywhere you have internet access.Questions to ask when evaluating accounting software
When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few options, sign up for the free trials so you can see for yourself whether the accounting software has the features you need, is easy to use and saves you time.
Call the software companies and gauge the quality of their customer service so that you can be confident that you’ll receive the support you need if you experience an issue with the program.
Here’s a list of questions to ask when you call to help you select the right accounting software for your business:
Is your software a good fit for my industry?
Do you offer customized solutions to fit my business’s needs?
How many employees and clients can your software accommodate?
How can your software help me comply with GAAP, tax laws and financial regulations?
How is my data backed up? Can access be restored immediately after an outage?
What security measures do you have in place to keep both my business’s and my customers’ data secure?
What is the total cost? Are there any setup or cloud storage fees?
What types of tech support and customer service do you provide? (For instance, does the provider offer your preferred form of contact, such as via phone or live chat?)
Eduardo Vasconcellos and Stella Morrison contributed to the writing and research in this article.
BU Student Government: Which Slate Will You Choose? Voting begins today, ends next Monday
Students meeting with executive board candidates last Monday at the Student Government Election Kickoff at the GSU. Photos by Nailya Maxyutova (COM’14)
Crisp blouses and blazers bearing campaign buttons, newly printed campaign posters, and free cupcakes were all part of last week’s Student Government Election Kickoff, signaling the beginning of a week of frantic campaigning.
Executive board candidates from this year’s two competing slates, BU’s Push to Start and TrueBU, were on hand to meet with students to promote their platforms and strengthen their support. The kickoff gave student voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and voice their concerns about issues that matter to them. Voting begins online at noon today and runs through next Monday.
Heading the TrueBU ticket, whose platform emphasizes community, empowerment, and vision, is Alexander Golob (CAS’16, CFA’16), for president, Sandra Soto (SED’16), for executive vice president, Cassandra Shavney (CAS’15), for vice president of internal affairs, and Salma Yehia (CAS’15), for vice president of finance.
Golob points to his current position as CFA student government president as proof that he has the experience necessary to lead, calling the CFA government “a microcosm for the larger student government.”
“To me, I believe we should build a community, empower students, and have a long-term vision for BU so that student government is included in the BU culture, the BU DNA, and so students know it’s a way to make changes happen,” Golob says.
Those changes would include collaborating with Student Health Services Behavioral Medicine to create a peer-to-peer mental health support service, the establishment of a grant program to be funded by Student Government that would support community-oriented student projects and start-ups, and the hosting of bimonthly forums with students, faculty, and administration.
BU’s Push to Start slate, headed by current student government executive vice president Richa Kaul (CAS’16), running for president, is devoted to bringing inclusivity, continuity, and transparency to Student Government, with an overall effort to address quality-of-life issues for students and improve their university experience.
“Our slate is very much based on realistic, tangible changes,” says Kaul. “We have the ability to see what will work on this campus and how to accomplish those goals.”
Extended late night service for the BU Shuttle (BUS), more options for vacation housing, increased international student services, and a database of student talent are just some of the immediate goals of BU’s Push to Start. The candidates also hope to improve the relationship between students and administration.
“We need to work to earn students’ trust so they can come to us with their problems,” Kaul says. “But in a parallel way, administration has to realize that when we do come to them with an issue, it’s one of legitimate concern to the community…You can’t get one done without the other.”
BU’s Push to Start team: Kaul, Joe Ferme (CAS’15), for executive vice president, Jamie Ellis (CAS’15, COM’15), for vice president of internal affairs, and Josh Mosby (CAS’17), for vice president of finance.
“I’ve already seen a lot of growth in the amount of activity that our Student Government has in the community and the amount we’ve been able to get done as a result of the growth in our relationship with the administration,” says current president Dexter McCoy (COM’14).
“Each year it seems like we try to be connected through different media, social media, but we ultimately have fewer conversations,” says McCoy. “That, I think, is the biggest challenge for my successor—fostering those conversations within the BU community.”
Paula Sokolska can be reached at [email protected].
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