Sunday, 12 February 2017

What is Big Data?

Explaining Big Data

"Big Data is the next big thing in computing. This video explains Big Data characteristics, technologies and opportunities." 

Introduction to Hadoop and MapReduce
Udacity offers a set of video tutorials about Hadoop and MapReduce

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Data Visualization

The beauty of data visualization - David McCandless (TED-Ed)
"David McCandless turns complex data sets, like worldwide military spending, media buzz, and Facebook status updates, into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world."

David and his team try to distill the word's data, information and knowledge into beautiful and useful graphics and diagrams. 

Their graphics and diagrams are based on facts and data, and illustrate multiple perspectives to help everyone make better, clearer and more informed decisions.

Image result for hans roslingThe best stats you've ever seen - Hans Rosling (TED-Ed)

"You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world.""

Monday, 26 December 2016


MiFID II: Get ready for a much more digitized marketplace - Bloomberg

"As the January 2018 deadline to comply with MiFID II closes in, trading businesses of all types are scrambling to overhaul their operations—and becoming much more “electronified” in the process.

Although the transition will be a big lift, according to a panel of experts at Bloomberg’s recent MiFID II: The Market Practitioner’s View conference in London, the changes will provide a significant competitive boost for those that manage them well."

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Articles about Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics - HBR
"What big data and analytics really mean — and how they can help your business."

Business Intelligence and Analytics: FROM BIG DATA TO BIG IMPACT - 

MIS Quarterly

"The excitement surrounding BI&A and Big Data has arguably been generated primarily from the web and e-commerce communities." 

Big Data Analytics -

"Big data used to be a technical problem. Now it’s a business opportunity."

XVA Explained

Here is an interesting article related to Valuation Adjustments I thought I would share with you.

XVA Explained (From PWC)

"Valuation adjustments and their impact on the banking sector 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Done and Dusted... :-)

Hi Everyone,

I know it has been a while since my last post. I do apologize, but I was trying to focus on my studies for my final year at university. I have already started looking for a job and have had a couple of interviews, on which I am waiting for their final response, so fingers crossed.

Looking for something to write about in my next post, I came across a very interesting video from and I thought I should share it with you.


Created by

Friday, 8 November 2013


This is just a quick post. I continue to look into the area of Factoring/Invoice Trading. One of my favourite web-based invoice auction site is MarketInvoice. I took the liberty to link a few of their blog posts onto my website. Please take a look, I am sure you will find them very interesting.

Breaking Down Barriers to Finance

How To Call a Bank Manager's Bluff

London's Startups show the way in Remaking Finance

Lending Club shares surge in US stock market

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Factoring...A new twist to an old idea.

During this summer, I spent time as an Intern in a finance department, where I was processing a large number of invoices. That gave me the chance to become more familiar with the issues of factoring, which I had been introduced to during my studies.

Just for the record, the definition of factoring, as stated on the internet is as follows:

“Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business sells its accounts receivable/ invoices to a third party, the factor, at a discount.
In "advance" factoring, the business owner sells his receivables in the form of invoice to the factor, who makes an advance of 70-85% of the purchase price of the receivable amount. The factor collects the full amount from the customer in due course and pays the balance amount due to the business owner after deducting his commission and other charges”.

The latest development is that various investors can now become factors and can bypass the traditional role of the banks in the factoring process. The invoice holders are now provided with increased liquidity and lower financing costs. Even the government is trying to induce this type of factoring by participating in the process as an investor/factor.

 “As part of the Government’s Business Finance Partnership, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’) is committing £5m as an Investor Member on MarketInvoice, with expected yearly returns of approximately 10-12%. With funds on MarketInvoice recycled every 45 days, this £5m commitment will equate to approximately £40m in investment to SMEs over the next year.

I am attaching some links to websites that allow individuals to participate in the process of factoring as investors.

The following link gives a few reasons why this type of funding of working capital is becoming more popular.

There will be more on this subject on my next blog at the Accountant Magazine (The Accountant Blog)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Dragons' Den Series 11

Yet another series of Dragons' Den returns to our TV sets once again! 
5 of Britain's most influential business icons come together and give the chance to entrepreneurs to explain why they should invest in their business.

Who are the Dragons?
Deborah Meaden - Leisure and Marketing Expert
Peter Jones - Telecommunications 
Duncan Bannatyne - Hotel and Club owner
Kelly Hoppen - Interior Design
Piers Linney - Cloud Computer Pioneer
BBC - The Dragons

Every week, I will be posting a new episode so make sure you tune back to my blog to see who is successful in the den.

BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 1
BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 2
BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 3
BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 4
BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 5
BBC iPlayer - Dragons' Den Episode 6

Ellie Fanis
BPP University

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Working Holiday - Part 2

In my previous blog post, 'A Working Holiday', I discussed how important it has become, for us students, to try and get a form of international work experience as early in our careers as possible.

I am sure you agree with me that working in a foreign country can be scary, but it is definitely worth the effort. During these past two months, I had been working in the accounting department of a multinational organization in Greece, and I thought I would let you know how I got on. 

The main problem is "logistics", e.g. where do you stay for how long and how difficult it is to make all these arrangements. Being able to "work around" the logistics problem demonstrates the motivation one should have, in order to arrange an international internship. Employers are usually "attracted" to potential employees who have the ability to find solutions to everyday problems quickly and accurately. Regarding my "logistics" problem, I was lucky enough to have friends and relatives in Greece and it was possible to stay with them during my internship.

Another big problem was, of course, the language. In the beginning I was afraid that my communication skills (in Greek) are going to be a problem. Being bilingual, the extent of me speaking Greek was at home, and with friends and family. You can imagine my frustration when I was trying to understand (as fast as possible) what my colleagues where talking about, and of course my embarrassment, when I thought I said the wrong thing and I was waiting for confirmation that they understood what I said. After the first couple of days, everyone got used to my Greek accent and with a lot of goodwill from my colleagues that problem sorted itself out.

Although two months are not long enough, I believe that I got a good understanding of the culture and methodologies of the organization. 
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the company, even though based in Greece, was organized in a typical Anglo-Saxon way with a lot of clearly defined/standardized procedures and clear separation of tasks. As this was the first time I was working in a finance department, I found it very interesting and exciting, even though sometimes the tasks were very repetitive. I spent a lot of time processing invoices from suppliers and made sure that the database was always up-to-date. The biggest challenge was to locate the occasional missing invoice, which as usual, was either misfiled or on the floor behind the recycling bin, which is the most dangerous place for an invoice to be.

Now that my internship has drawn to a close, I can say that it has been a very enjoyable and educational experience. Not only did I get the hands-on experience I needed but also, and more importantly for me, this experience has boosted my confidence. 

As students, in the early stages of our careers, we rely a lot on the "goodwill" shown to us by our potential employers, in order to get some hands-on training. In the current business environment, being able to get some experience has become a real challenge. 

Regarding this summer's internship I can only say that I will be forever grateful for the opportunity they gave me and I am hoping that they will continue to do so for other students.

Ellie Fanis
BPP University

This post first appeared in The Accountant blog (August 2013)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Working Holiday

Recently I came across an article in the Independent discussing the need for international exposure at an early stage in the students' careers. According to the article, "61% of recruiters have problems recruiting candidates for graduate positions, as they do not possess the soft skills, work experience and business acumen required by international organisations". Apparently, very few UK students are participating in programmes that help them gain valuable experience in the international marketplace, or look for opportunities as part of their studies via international exchange programmes like Erasmus runs, for example.

For many of us, graduation is just around the corner and we need to give some thought to our future careers. Many universities are encouraging their students to apply for international internships in order to develop these crucial soft skills like cross-cultural communications and adapting to foreign working cultures. However, it is challenging trying to arrange these international internships but if you can, they are a great addition to your CV, and make navigating an international career easier.

Working in a foreign country, means you have to prove to yourself, and others, you have the ability to work in a different culture and therefore under different pressures, and perhaps out of your comfort zone.
If you are interested in working for a multinational corporation once you graduate then working as an international intern you can get a deeper understanding of how those organisations operate.
Given the fact that globalisation is here to stay, it is essential to be able to adapt to an ever-changing market place. The employees of a multinational organisation have to be able to understand the business culture across multiple locations and be able to establish working relationships with colleagues across worldwide.
A truly sustainable global business model takes time and effort to develop, but once developed, it has to be preserved and utilised. For that reason, those corporations are looking for what they call "global graduates" - someone who is able to add value across the company's network.
Over the past few years, I have come across quite a few global graduates who had participated in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. Some of them studied and worked in countries such as Holland, Greece and Belgium and are now working for large multinational corporations, based across Europe. They believe these types of exchange programmes have helped them mature as individuals while exposing them to new educational systems, enabling them to meet a variety of individuals and employers and to think about various cross-border opportunities.
Thinking about the variety of countries these individuals came from and what they achieved made me realise that distance and location are only geographical terms, and the bigger the scale, the shorter the distance on the world map.
With this in mind, my internship this summer will be with a multinational corporation based in Europe. I am confident this international experience will be very rewarding and I am looking forward to this challenge and will keep you posted on my activities.

I leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein: "The only source of knowledge is experience".

Ellie Fanis
BPP University

This post first appeared in The Accountant blog (May 2013)
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