Data Analytics: the impact on Internal Audit

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Data analytics has always been an important issue and something that companies have taken into consideration to both help explain past trends whilst also predicting future ones. However, with an increasing rise in the volume and variations of what companies are measuring, data analytics are now shaping how businesses operate more than ever before.
The growth and prominence of data analytics go hand in hand with the rise of technology. Increasingly we are seeing new software that not only helps manage and store the vast amount of data collected but also a specific investment into software that focuses on reporting and analysing the unstructured data. The interest and investment in data analytics are occurring across a wide variation of industries, but banking and professional services are likely to be the biggest spenders. Smaller firms won’t invest as much as the larger Blue Chip businesses but data analytics will still be very much part of any future strategies and business proposals.
We are seeing such a rise for two reasons; firstly the data collected is used in a more traditional fashion and is linked with customer management; ensuring businesses are providing the most efficient, relevant and premium services. The secondary focus is on security and compliance, which are both increasingly becoming threats that companies are constantly trying to mitigate.
Data analytics can be used for a wide variety of tasks ranging from analysis of revenue trends to internal benchmarking. Regardless of the use, management want and expect to see more than raw data. Instead, they are looking for quantified and explained results and visualisations that can improve the quality and widen the breadth of the analysis. It is because of this that there is now a rapidly rising demand for internal auditors that have the desired skill set and experience within data analytics.
Audit functions require candidates that can effectively analyse the data and report findings that fit in line with the overall company objectives. It is essential that any business models produced off the back of the data analytics are practical and also fitting with up to date regulations and so the desired candidate will have had prior involvement in this.
Now is an exciting time for those with data analytics experience. The market is buoyant and these candidates are in demand, meaning that the average salary is increasing alongside the variety of roles being offered. The scope of influence that data analytics wields shows no sign of stopping or even slowing down. Instead, it will continue to become a more prominent part of our day to day lives and a crucial part of how businesses plan and justify their decisions.
If you are considering a move within audit and think we can help, please contact Nick at Nicholas.edmonds@communicate-rs.com or call us on 020 3617 9730.