To prepare for this case—and those in subsequent chapters—using Tableau, you will need to download Tableau to your computer. Tableau provides free instructor and student licenses as well as free videos and support for utilizing and learning the software. You will receive further information on setting up Tableau from your instructor. Once you are set up with Tableau, watch the three “Getting Started” Tableau videos. Future cases will build off what you learn in these videos, and additional videos will be suggested. All short training videos can be found at here.
This case introduces you to data analysis in a very basic way by allowing you to quickly extract, visualize, and compare financial data over a span of ten years for two (hypothetical) publicly traded companies: Discount Goods and Big Store. For this case, assume you are an analyst conducting introductory research into the relative merits of investing in these companies. For this initial look, you want to visualize the pattern of net income and of net operating cash flows over the past ten years for the two companies.
You have available to you an extensive data set that includes detailed financial data for Discount Goods and Big Store and for 2012–2021. The data set is in the form of an Excel file available to download from Connect, or under Student Resources within the Library tab. There are four Excel files available. The one for use in this chapter is named “Discount_Goods_Big_StoreCase1.xlsx.” Download this file and save it to the computer on which you will be using Tableau.
Open Tableau and connect to the Excel spreadsheet you downloaded. You should see the data in the “canvas” area of Tableau.
Click on the “Sheet 1” tab at the bottom of the canvas, to the right of the Data Source at the bottom of the screen.
Move “Account name” into the Filters shelf. In the Filter dialog box that opens, if all accounts are selected, un-check all accounts by selecting the “None” button.
Select only the account “Net cash flows from operating activities”. Click OK. Note: the accounts are listed alphabetically.
From the Dimensions section on the top left side of the canvas, drag “Store” and “Measure Names” into the “Columns” area at the top of the canvas.
From the “Measures” section on the middle left side of the canvas, drag “Measure Values” into “Rows” area.
In the “Rows” area, remove “Number of Records” from “Measure Values” by clicking the pull-down menu arrow from the Measures Values dimension. Select “Edit Filter”, unselect “Number of Records”, and click “OK”.
On the “Show Me” menu in the upper right corner of the toolbar, select the side-by-side bars if they do not already appear in that chart format. Add labels to the bars by clicking on “Label” in the “Marks” card and clicking the box “Show mark label”. In the same box, format the labels to Times New Roman, bold, black, 10-point by selecting those options using “Font”.
Change the title of the sheet to be “Operating Cash Flows: Discount Goods vs. Big Store” by right-clicking “Sheet 1” and selecting “Edit Title”. Then, format the title to Times New Roman, bold, black, and 15-point font.
If the color bars of your chart are all the same color, change the colors of the bars by dragging “Measure Names” onto “Color” in the “Marks” card. If they are already multi-colored, then you can leave your chart as is.
Format the years by right-clicking on any year in the chart, then select “Format” from the menu. The “Format Measures Name” window will open on the left. Change the Default Font dropdown box to Times New Roman, bold, black, and 10-point. This chart is now complete.
To save time completing the next chart, right-click the “Sheet 1” tab at the bottom of the canvas and select “Duplicate”.
Click on the new “Sheet 1 (2)” tab. You should now see a duplicate of the “Sheet 1” chart. Now, double-click on “Account name” in the “Filters” shelf. When the Filter dialog box opens, un-check all accounts by selecting the “None” button. Note: The filter dialog box may open to the right of the canvas.
While the Filter dialog box is still open, select only the account “Net income/(loss)” and click “Ok”. Then, change the title to “Net Income / (Loss): Discount Goods vs. Big Store” by editing the title as instructed above.
Based upon what you find, answer the following questions:
One of the companies reported a huge loss on its income statement related to a foreign expatriation of properties in one of the years. Which company, which year, and what was the amount of net income or net loss that resulted for that year?
What was the amount of net operating cash flow in the year of the loss for the company reporting the loss?
Which company reported the largest percentage change in net operating cash flows between 2012 and 2021, and what was the percentage change for that company?
Which company reported the largest percentage change in net income between 2012 and 2021, and what was the percentage change for that company?