Five tips…#5 – Supplement Necessary Skills with Internal or External Resources

This week we have been blogging about how to succeed with data analytics in areas such as internal audit and compliance. Monday we introduced the following Body of Knowledge and indicated that each of the skills below are often needed for a data analytics project.

  • Project Management
  • Data Acquisition and Manipulation
  • Statistical techniques
  • Visual Reporting techniques
  • Communication
  • Audit and Compliance Domain expertise
  • Change Management and Strategic Thinking

Does this mean that audit teams need a statistician or visual reporting whiz in the department? Not at all. Just as audit teams co-source with supplemental resources, they can also co-source for data analytics. Better still, co-sourcing with internal company resources, in the form of a secondment or guest auditor is often possible. Reach into IT’s Business Intelligence or data warehouse group, and internal audit can find talent with excellent company and data manipulation expertise. Reach into HR or Finance for someone with domain expertise around incentive compensation and team on that important Sales commission audit project.
Will these resources have advanced audit or compliance domain expertise? Probably not, but Tom Brady doesn’t play running back or wide receiver yet he makes those players better by fitting the pieces together. Audit and compliance leaders know what questions we want to answer. It’s the “how” where we sometimes need help. At Visual Risk IQ, I have the very good fortune to work with an incredibly talented team that is deep in database design, data manipulation, programming, and visualization skills.  We work together to make sure that our queries are answering the right business questions, and in turn that those answers are being communicated in a way that is precise and easy to understand.
When we have first worked in domains where our experience had been limited (e.g. Health claims in 2008, FCPA / anti-corruption in 2010, or HR in 2013), we relied heavily on domain expertise from our clients’ General Counsel’s office or on consultants to our firm, so we could bring the full expertise needed for a project, given the body of knowledge framework above. This technique has worked consistently for us, and it works for audit and compliance too. 
Good luck in 2015 with your data analytics projects! Please write or call if you’d like to compare ideas on how to excel in data analytics for audit or compliance. We’d be happy to assist in your success!
Joe OringelManaging DirectorVisual Risk IQ

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