In case you missed it: Surefire ways to succeed with data analytics

February 10, 2017

Struggling to get started using data analytics in your audit projects? Feeling intimidated by the technology or don’t know where to find the data you need to input into the data analysis tool? In the webinar presentation Surefire Ways to Succeed with Data Analytics, presenter Lenny Block, Associate Vice President, Internal Audit, NASDAQ, shared easy-to-implement strategies to get up and running with data analysis tools. Lenny takes a different approach to data analytics, encouraging auditors to focus on what they want to achieve with their data instead of on the tool itself.  The following are some strategies he suggests:

Know what you want to find out or achieve with your data

Identify your audit objectives by asking, “What do you want to achieve?” or “What questions do I (or management) want answered about our data?” A game plan will help you identify how a data analysis tool can help achieve your objectives—and it will reduce frustration.

Test the in-box features

Once you’ve identified your audit objectives, test the built-in functions of your tool. In very little time, data can be displayed in various ways. Simple tests you can try: validate data accuracy; show the maximum value of population or field, the minimum values, the average, and standard deviations; look for negatives or zeros within the data. Performing these simple test also helps you find your way around the tool while also learning about your data.  

Start to think out-of-the-box

Auditors tend to think of data analytics in a traditional way. Start to think beyond business applications like general ledger, travel and entertainment (T&E), accounts payables, accounts receivables and fixed assets. Instead, brainstorm non-traditional ways to expand the use of data analytics in your projects. You can start with technology-focused applications like log files, access review, alerts, and file access and management.

Gain management support

Gaining support internally, especially from management, is essential. This is needed not so much for the money to buy the tool, but for management to appreciate the time needed to become proficient with a data analysis tool. Auditors need adequate time to learn how to use the tool with the data in order to meet audit objectives. Manually searching for anomalies is nearly impossible with the growing complexity of today’s data, and auditors cannot be effective with sampling alone. 

Whether you are in internal or external audit, or specialized areas such as fraud, data analytics has many benefits to help you with the growing complexity of today’s business. Learn more about how data analysis tools are easier to use with the help of the strategies Lenny shared. Watch the full recording of the webinar now.  

 

 

About Anu Sood:

Anu Sood is the Director of Product and Corporate Marketing at CaseWare Analytics and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. Prior to CaseWare Analytics, Anu worked in various roles in the high-tech industry and her accomplishments range from writing software for telephone switches to launching a new global satellite communication service. Anu has extensive experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing, product management, product marketing and technology development. 

Connect:    Anu Sood 

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