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In-Depth Research Shows How Important Analytics has Become

Data show that the majority of internal audit teams now use analytics for at least part of their work, with many creating dedicated teams and using analytics when they plan new audit engagements

Although audit executives have been talking about doing more with data for years now, the talk is finally turning into action. Audit teams around the world are now consistently using analytics to boost productivity, test larger populations of data, and provide more reliable assurance.

Many in CEB’s networks say they have also created dedicated analytics teams and plan to start employing analytics during engagement planning. Overall, the level of momentum means that analytics is here to stay as a core discipline for internal audit teams. It is also a necessary part of the audit toolkit, given how important risk management now is to all companies.

Chart 1 shows analysis from an in-depth survey of audit teams; responses from over 200 of them illustrate how the vast majority of analytics tactics are already being used (they fall into the “embedded” or “adopting” zones), and things like predictive analytics and robotic process automation will be taken up soon by many teams (falling into the “planning” zone).

Understanding the Chart

To gauge how committed audit teams were to each of the tactics, researchers asked them the following questions for each section.

  • Tools and technology: How often is this tool or technique used in your audit activities?
  • Audit processes/activities: How consistently is analytics used in this activity?
  • Risk areas: How much of your Audit work in this risk area uses data analytics?
  • Talent strategy: How much do you plan to invest in this talent-related tactic to support data analytics compared to other types of investments?

Chart 1: Data analytics in internal audit   Source: CEB analysis

Click to expand chart


More On…

  • Start Your Own Data Analytics Program

    Download this checklist and learn about the three steps to take for successful data analytics program creation, as well as common pitfalls to avoid.

  • Risk Assessment & Audit Planning

    The size and complexity of many organizations, and the constantly changing risk environment, means there is now often insufficient information to make good decisions. Learn how to change that with these resources.

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