Week 1: Knowledge, Direction & Strategy

If you don’t know where to go, how will you know which direction to set off in and how will you know when you have arrived? It may sound clichéd, but it is true…
We are running a series of blogs on what the most common issues are around data analytics for auditors, so from a lack of knowledge/direction and strategy through to false positives and inconsistent output along with how to handle missing data sets and fields, so, without further ado, here’s our top tips on how to kick start your data analytics project.

Tip 1: Keep it simple

Have an idea of what you want to achieve with data analytics, set some objectives and plan the whos, the whats and the whens. Having a plan provides direction and a really efficient use of resources also saves time and money.

Tip 2: Look for hot topics

Highlight a risk area which doesn’t have too much complicated/unstructured data in there, as you really don’t want to get bogged down with the data from the outset. The idea needs to be clean data, filter, analyse, report, results…quick win, quick win, quick win!

Tip 3: Compare against a previous analysis

Follow this up by comparing the previous year’s results with your findings and/or by doing some analysis on areas of the business where you know controls already exist, but what you’re actually checking for is that these controls are picking everything up, as expected and there aren’t any loopholes!

Tip 4: Consider what else will deliver high value results

Whilst it’s always nice to see an immediate return on time and investment, the intentions around data analytics in the long term has got to be focused away from just this alone. A win is a win regardless of whether it’s £1 or £10,000, although, in saying that, a small win in one area could well deliver a high value return in another.

Tip 5: Measure success

Finally, remember, the success of an analytics programme can be measured in so many ways that it doesn’t have to always deliver clear “bang for your buck” outcome to be considered a good investment. The value of Data Analytics is far more than just monetary alone, so even if just by way of confirming that existing controls are working as expected and are watertight should be considered a success and offer motivation to expand into other areas of the business.

Author: David Ryan

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021 In: Uncategorized Comments (None)

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