The event was again hosted by the Swiss Institute of Internal Auditing (IIA Switzerland, http://www.svir.ch/) in the Swissotel Zurich. Although the number of participants was officially limited to about 50 ahead of the event, we estimate that some 80 persons actually participated, which clearly speaks for the attractiveness of the occasion.
A special bonus are the practice-oriented papers that this year too showed real-life data analytics from different perspectives. A comparison with one year ago made it possible to "feel" the progress made in the past 12 months. Besides emphasis of successes achieved, which rightly came to the fore, new or continuing challenges were openly addressed. Quite basically the importance of data analytics for businesses, and internal auditing in particular, is gaining ground, which we are glad to see, and is necessary too. Technical solutions are becoming more sophisticated, software is easier to work with, and hardware costs less. Meaning that the subject is easier to speak of, to communicate, to address. Nevertheless, participants did not spare on criticism of the fact that in their impression the attitude to providing budget and resources has not developed as they would have wished. Just a few years back it was "no budget" for data analytics in auditing. In the meantime that had turned into "low budget", a small step forwards but still with a lot of headroom. Then there is the remaining difficulty of finding good human resources with the right mix of skills (cf. our blogpost “Data Analysts with domain knowledge: Telling true stories about your data”).
The paper I was able to present to the event together with my executive colleague Martin Riedl bore the title "Key success factors in 10 years of data analytics projects and what will drive the future". We looked back a few years to describe challenges, problems, success factors and current trends in matters of data analytics referring to practical examples. As part of a small live demo we were then able to show participants how they could make use of the results of data analytics: ACL™ Results Manager (part of the ACL™ GRC solution) serves to automatically distribute results through workflows and questionnaires. This is necessary for instance to involve different divisions, but also for normal follow-up and tracking of measures. Then there are numerous application scenarios in continuous auditing and continuous controls monitoring, where this further processing of results plays a central role. We decided to emphasize this aspect because it is of much importance for successful data analytics that after number crunching, i.e. creation of the results, you are not yet through, but that these can be followed up transparently and simply, distributed or worked on to generate true added value and findings from the analytics.
You can find the presentation here in English as a PDF download.
If you have further interest in the illustrated ACL™ Results Manager solution, you can find more information under “ACL™ GRC – data-supported Audit Management”. Alternatively you can always contact us.
Our conclusion following this second Data Analytics Event is that in general there is big demand for such events devoted to the subject of data analytics. We were again enthusiastic about this event staged by the Swiss Institute of Internal Auditing. The good to very good content, the professional management, the right location – everything again combined right for a successful event. Finally we should appreciate the excellent moderation by Esther Stanhope: As in 2015 already, she managed to present a topic to us that may sometimes have appeared to be a little dry in its subject matter with an enormous amount of drive, dynamism and entertaining too – making it a true event. So we look forward to continuation of the event in 2017 - and to moderation again by Esther Stanhope.